Hummingbirds are among our most magical garden visitors, inspiring awe in anyone who sees them with their fast flight, shiny feathers (on males) and tiny size. Hummingbirds prefer to feed on plants, though at the times of year when few things are blooming, they appreciate having backup nectar in a feeder. In you live in California, there are a number of nectar-producing plants that will grow well for you and attract these valued garden guests.
Pink Australian Fuchsia
Pink Australian Fuchsia (Correa pulchella 'Pink Eyre') is an evergreen shrub with small hanging bell-shaped blooms that are light pink. Many Australian natives do well in California, and this one is no exception; it thrive in USDA zones nine through 11.
Pink Australian Fuchsia reaches 3 feet tall and wide and is happy in full sun or part shade. The bell-shaped flowers provide ample nectar and attract hummingbirds. This plant prefers good drainage, will tolerate low water conditions and it blooms winter through spring.
King Edward VII Flowering Currant
King Edward VII Flowering Currant (Ribes sanguineum 'King Edward VII') is an upright deciduous shrub which grows slowly to 3 to 6 feet tall and wide. This variety has been bred to have brighter pink flowers than the original Ribes sanguineum and makes a strong show in spring, attracting hummingbirds with its pinkish-red blooms.
King Edward VII Flowering Currant thrives in partial-to-full sun, prefers regular watering, and since it is a California and Pacific Northwest native, performs admirably in California. It thrives in USDA zones six to 10.
Blue Springs Foothill Penstemon
Blue Springs Foothill Penstemon (Penstemon heterophyllus 'Blue Springs') is a California native with light blue and purple blooms in summer. It grows only 2 feet tall and wide, and the bell-shaped blooms hold abundant nectar to feed hummingbirds.
Foothill Penstemon needs full sun and grows well in USDA zones six to 10. It prefers full sun and can tolerate low water conditions in the garden. This plant requires good drainage to live over the winter.
Noell Grevillea (Grevillea x 'Noell') is a compact evergreen shrub that reaches 4 to 5 feet tall and wide. The flowers have an interesting, curled shape, and are a bright red color with creamy accents. The flowers provide nectar to hummingbirds in spring.
Noell Grevillea prefers full sun, regular water and thrives in USDA zones eight and up. Because it's an Australian native, it does well in California's similar climates. Noell Grevillea tolerates poor soil and is even deer-resistant, making it an easy shrub to maintain.