Plants That Attract Hummingbirds

Hummingbird-friendly gardens are easy to create if you remember that the tiny birds need dense bushes that offer safe places for them to rest as well as plants rich in nectar. Providing colorful flowers throughout spring, summer and fall is the best way to draw their attention and, though red is well known as a favorite color, they will visit blooms of other shades as well.

Trees And Shrubs

Substantial trees that offer both shelter and food for hummingbirds include the black locust, flowering crabapple, red buckeye, silk tree and hawthorn. For dense, shrubby cover plus flowers, plant weigelia, red flowering currant, bush honeysuckles, flowering quince, butterfly bush, abelia, acacia, elderberry, rosemary and lilac.


Climbing vines also provide high, shaded resting places for hummingbirds--especially dense vines such as honeysuckle and trumpet creeper. Fast growing annual vines like cypress vine, morning glory and scarlet runner bean offer quick cover for a fence or wall, plus flowers for the hummers.


Though perennials usually only bloom for three or four weeks, you can choose several different types to give your garden a succession of bloom that will attract hummingbirds throughout the season. For instance, columbines, coral bells and foxgloves bloom in spring, followed by cardinal flowers, salvias, lupine, bee balm, hollyhocks, agastache and penstemon in summer.


Annuals will often continue blooming right up until frost if cut back after the first flush of bloom is over, filling in between and after your garden's perennial bloom. Petunias, impatiens, annual salvias, shrimp plant, firespike (Odontonema strictum) and nasturtiums are all good choices if you hope to attract hummingbirds. Some tender perennials such as fuchsias and cannas also attract hummingbirds, and can be wintered over in a cool garage.

Keywords: attracting hummingbirds, hummingbird plants, nectar plants for hummingbirds

About this Author

Over the past 30 years, Mara Grey has sold plants in nurseries, designed gardens and volunteered as a Master Gardener. She is the author of "The Lazy Gardener" and "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Flower Gardening" and has a Bachelor of Science in botany.