The Best Flowers for Hummingbirds

Hummingbirds feed from flowers that contain a high amount of nectar. You might think that a very fragrant flower would lure in hummingbirds, but this is not the source of their attraction. It is, of course, the nectar, but also the color of the flowers. The color red is very attractive to these birds. The tiny hummingbird can take in twice (or more) of its weight in nectar, each day.

Butterfly Weed

By its name, you can tell that this plant attracts butterflies. It is also a favorite of hummingbirds. Butterfly weed (butterfly milkweed, orange milkweed or pleurisy root) grows up to 2 feet in height. This perennial bush has bright orange flower clusters at the end of tall stems. It blooms May through September, depending on the variety and the location's climate. This flowering plant requires infrequent watering, giving it drought tolerant status. It does best in a sand-based soil. Butterfly weed is prone to get aphids. This will draw ladybugs in, so if you wish to rid the plant of the aphids, make sure to spray a soapy water mixture, rather than a chemical insecticide that could hurt the beneficial lady bug.

Cosmos

This tall--up to 4 feet--perennial is a nice backdrop to shorter annuals. The flower blooms in shades of pink, purple, yellow and white. The pinks and purples would be better choices for attracting hummingbirds. Cosmos do best when kept moist in a well-drained soil with lots of nutrients. That means preparing your garden space by mixing compost into the soil before planting seeds or plants. A high-nitrogen fertilizer should be used as the shoots and roots are growing. When flower buds begin to appear, change to a high-phosphorus fertilizer, which will help create larger and more blooms. This flower will attract both hummingbirds and butterflies. Some more popular varieties include: Candy Stripe, Sea Shells, Yellow Garden and Chocolate.

Petunias

Plant your petunias out in the garden or landscaping. If you want to witness the delightful hummingbird at close range, plant some in pots and set them on your deck or patio next to a bench or hammock. These low growing bedding plants are perfect in containers of mixed flowers. They are thought of as perennials in fair climate locations and as annuals in cooler areas. Petunias come in reds, pinks, whites, blues and purples. The blooms usually last until the first frost appears, making it a long-lasting flower through the summer season and beyond. There are many varieties to choose from within the different petunia hybrids of wave, grandiflora, multiform and doubles.

Keywords: hummingbird flowers, butterfly flowers, hummingbird garden