There are dozens of flowers that can attract hummingbirds, but some flowers are better at enticing these flying jewels than others. When choosing hummingbird flowers for your garden or landscape, look for blooms that have rich, bright colors (red is preferred but not necessary to attract hummingbirds), special long or tapered shapes that can accommodate the hovering birds' long bills and are rich in nectar to keep the birds coming back for more sips. Native species are always preferred because hummingbirds will be more familiar with them and the plants will more easily thrive with minimal care, and consider plants with a long bloom time or repeat blooming to be a reliable food source for hummingbirds for many weeks. Adding diverse flowers will not only create an attractive hummingbird garden, but will provide ample food for different hummingbirds throughout the spring, summer and fall, and even investigate flowers that can bloom in mild winters to feed overwintering hummingbirds in southern areas.
These 10 flowers are tried-and-true plants that hummingbirds love. Check your local nursery or landscaping center for popular and appropriate cultivars for your area, and create your own backyard hummingbird habitat today!
1. Bee Balm
Perennial: Zones 4-9
The full spikes and spherical shape of bee balm makes it an interesting and attractive plant for many gardens. Also called bergamot, horsemint and monarda, this plant thrives best in full sun and will grow 12-36 inches high. Different cultivars are available in bright shades of pink, red, orange and purple.
Perennial: Zones 2-9
An ideal choice for attracting hummingbirds, this flower is also called lobelia. Its long stalks of flowers can grow as high as 48 inches and works best in moist, well-drained soil. The rich red blooms are delicately shaped and attractive both for landscaping and for the birds, and add visual height and interest to tiered flowerbeds.
Easy to grow, this annual bloom has a full, compact shape and works best in full sun. It blooms repeatedly from late summer to mid-fall, making it an ideal choice for migrating hummingbirds, and the blooms can be pink, red, orange, yellow, white or multi-colored. This flower is also suitable for seasonal containers.
Perennial: Zones 4-11
Tall spikes of small, delicate flowers make this a great plant for the backs or centers of flowerbeds, and flowers range from mauve and pink to purple and blue. Related to mint, salvia flowers emerge in mid-summer and will keep blooming through late summer. This plant does best in full sun and will come back larger each year.
Perennial: Zones 2-9
A stunning plant with attractive foliage and dangling heart-shaped blooms in white or pink, bleeding hearts are hardiest in cooler climates and thrive best in lightly shaded locations. They grow 24-36 inches tall and can be divided to transplant as they grow larger, making them an economical choice for hummingbird gardens.
Perennial: Zones 5-10
True to its name this plant is as good for attracting butterflies as it is for attracting hummingbirds. The thick elongated clusters of flowers come in pink and purple shades, and will bloom repeatedly from mid-summer through fall. This is a drought tolerant plant that thrives in full sun and develop into a thick, luxurious shrub over time.
Perennial: Zones 4-10
Also known as trumpet vine or hummingbird vine, this plant can quickly overpower a small area and will climb on many surfaces. It has dense foliage and its long, tubular flowers are perfect for hummingbirds. It thrives best in full sun to partial shade and produces orange, red or yellow blooms, but beware of its invasive properties.
Perennial: Zones 3-8
This elegant flower may have been named for the Latin word Columba, the same as for the common rock pigeon Columba livia, but it is ideal for hummingbirds. The flowers come in shades of blue, purple and pink, and it thrives in areas with partial shade, where it can grow 15-20 inches tall.
Petunias are easy to grow and inexpensive for any garden, and they are also ideal for containers, borders and baskets in small spaces. They thrive best in full sun and will bloom repeatedly in shades of pink, white, red, purple, blue and stunning variegated shades, all of which provide abundant nectar for hungry hummingbirds.