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Earliest Blooming Plants That Attract Hummingbirds

By Gen Schmidt ; Updated September 21, 2017

Hummingbirds appreciate early-blooming plants, those which bloom from January through March, because at that time very few nectar plants are blooming. By growing nectar-producing plants that bloom at that time, you can attract many hummingbirds to your garden because food is not abundant elsewhere.

In addition, growing nectar plants that are taller than 6 feet can attract hummingbirds to nest in your garden at other times of the year.

Marina Strawberry Tree

Marina Strawberry Tree (Arbutus x ‘Marina’) blooms through winter into early spring, and has masses of tiny, bell-shaped flowers that are pink and white. Hummingbirds love the nectar-filled flowers, and other birds enjoy eating the fruit that appears later.

Marina Strawberry Tree thrives in USDA Zones 7 to 9 and reaches 20 to 30 feet tall and wide. It is evergreen, prefers full sun and has attractive peeling red bark. Its height makes it a good nesting place for hummingbirds.

Victoria California Lilac

Victoria California Lilac (Ceanothus thyrsiflorus ‘Victoria’) blooms in February or March and has puffy blue blossoms that are very attractive to hummingbirds. It reaches 10 feet tall and wide, needs full sun and good drainage, and can tolerate windy coastal conditions with ease.

Victoria California Lilac grows well in USDA Zones 8 to 10, and it provides both nectar and a nesting habitat for hummingbirds.

Sensation Lilac

Sensation Lilac (Syringa vulgaris ‘Sensation’) has vibrant reddish purple flowers with white edging on each floret. The fragrant flowers bloom in March, and attract hummingbirds.

Sensation Lilac reaches 8 to 10 feet tall and 6 feet wide, and can be grown in USDA Zones 3 to 10 in full sun. Hummingbirds often nest in the topmost branches of lilacs.

Coastal Gem Grevillea

Coastal Gem Grevillea (Grevillea lanigera 'Coastal Gem') blooms year-round, and makes an effective groundcover plant for gardens in USDA Zones 8 to 10. The red blooms attract hummingbirds, and because it blooms year-round it feeds hummingbirds in times of year when little else is available.

Coastal Gem Grevillea reaches 2 feet tall and 5 feet wide, needs full sun to bloom regularly, and prefers good drainage.

Flowering Currant

Flowering Currant (Ribes sanguineum) blooms pale pink in January or February, and grows slowly to 6 to 8 feet tall. It is a Pacific Northwest native which grows in USDA Zones 6 to 10, and it prefers partial to full sun.

The drooping pink flower clusters are exceptionally attractive to hummingbirds. Ribes sanguineum ‘King Edward VII’ is a variety with red blooms, and Ribes sanguineum ‘Alba’ is a variety with white blooms.


About the Author


Gen Schmidt has been a landscaper in Northern California since 1998, and a professional garden writer since 2008. Her education includes a certificate of completion in environmental horticulture from City College of San Francisco. She is the owner of North Coast Gardening, a garden website for the Pacific Northwest.