Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map!

List of Hummingbird Attracting Plants

By Karen Carter ; Updated September 21, 2017

Hummingbirds need nectar-filled flowers to survive. They also need fresh, clean water to drink and sunny and shady areas. Provide perching and nesting areas to attract them to your garden for the entire summer. Some hummingbirds become dependent on one garden for their food source. Hummingbirds are attracted to flower color and nectar.

Bear’s Breeches

Bear’s breeches (Acanthus mollis) produce foliage that reaches 3 feet in height. The large, shiny dark green leaves have soft spine on each of the lobe tips. In late summer, a flower stalk grows to 5 feet tall. Creamy white, pink or purple flowers cluster at the top of this stalk. Bear’s breeches prefer moist, enriched soil and light to moderate shade. Root pieces broken off of the parent plant contributes to the growth of the 4 foot wide clump. In some areas, this flower is considered invasive.

Cardinal Flower

Cardinal flowers (Lobelia cardinalis) grow 2 to 5 feet tall. The green, lance-shaped leaves grow up and down the stem. Bright red flowers appear in August. These wildflowers are tube-shaped with flaring petal tips. The native habitat of the cardinal flower is in boggy woodlands, so mulch around the plant to keep the roots damp. This is one of the favorite flowers of the ruby-throated hummingbird.

Butterfly Bush

Butterfly bush (Buddleia davidii) is also called the summer lilac. A mature butterfly bush grows to 10 feet tall. In one season, it can grow 5 to 8 feet from ground level. The leaves are 4 to 10 inches long and 1 to 3 inches wide. The gray-green leaves are white and fuzzy underneath. The butterfly bush blooms from July to the first frost. Deadhead the dying flowers to encourage continued blossoming. Prune the bush down to the ground in the early spring to create a vigorous growing plant.


About the Author


Karen Carter spent three years as a technology specialist in the public school system and her writing has appeared in the "Willapa Harbor Herald" and the "Rogue College Byline." She has an Associate of Arts from Rogue Community College with a certificate in computer information systems.