Considered one of the most popular birds in the world, it’s not surprising to learn that many birders and gardeners will go to great lengths to attract more hummingbirds to their garden. If you love watching hummingbirds flying around your yard, but you’ve noticed that only one or two visit your yard a day, there are some things you can do to make your yard more appealing to this particular species. Planting flowers that attract hummingbirds will significantly increase hummingbird traffic in your yard, so you can enjoy their presence all day long. My guide will cover the best options that include many varieties of flowers that hummingbirds find irresistible.

Creating a Hummingbird Haven

These tiny, brightly colored birds can be very rewarding to watch. They can hover, fly and swoop through your yard at the speed of light, or you may even be lucky enough to find one resting in your garden, in need of a little R&R after a long flight.

For hundreds of years, gardeners have been fascinated with the speed and beauty of the hummingbird. The easiest way to encourage these birds to visit your yard often is to plant plenty of flowers that provide all the elements that will make your yard a perfect habitat for them.

White-necked

This includes:

  • Security
  • Water
  • Food
  • Shelter
  • Shade

Dwarf trees, flowering shrubs, vines, and herbs can all be used to create the perfect habitat, starting from the ground and reaching ten feet high or more.

You’ll want to provide plenty of space between each of the plants in order to provide the bird with enough space to navigate and hover from plant to plant.

These birds love water, especially moving water. A continuous, gentle spray of water from a sprinkler or hose nozzle is perfect for a quick bath on the fly.

The hummingbird doesn’t have a very good sense of smell, so they have to rely on finding food based on bright colors.

These birds are particularly fond of the colors red and orange and are commonly observed investigating feeders with red plant labels, red parts, red clothes on the gardener, or even red thermometers that are hung in the yard. However, it’s important that you avoid using any type of food that’s been dyed red. There is some concern that these red dyes can harm the birds. Instead, learn how to make sugar water for hummingbirds, which will give you total control over their diet, while ensuring that their food is free of harmful dyes, preservatives, and additives. To attract the birds to the sugar water, you can use a hummingbird feeder, one that’s very colorful and designed to attract these beautiful birds. I recommend the More Birds Vintage Hummingbird Feeder, which features a red top and base that makes it very appealing to these birds.

Flowers

Flowers that are brightly colored and tubular will hold the most nectar, which is what makes them so attractive to these birds. This will include the following types of flowers:

  • Petunias
  • Impatiens
  • Cleomes
  • Hollyhocks
  • Foxgloves
  • Biennials
  • Lupines
  • Daylilies
  • Columbines
  • Bee balms

Nectar is the only reason why these birds visit flowers. They need sugar in order to fuel their fast, high energy lifestyle. Flowers with this type of tubular shape make it hard for insects to swoop in and take the nectar, however, the long beak and tongue of the hummingbird is specifically designed for this purpose. Most birders believe that the best flowers to use for this purpose are species that are native to North America. Not only do these flowers provide an excellent energy source for these birds, but they are also preferred by other pollinators such as spiders, bees, and caterpillars.

Some hummingbird plants originate from other continents, but they’re so popular in North America and have been here for so long, that they’re now considered naturalized. Most of the plants that you’ll find in a nursery are not what you’d find in nature, instead, you’ll find some cultivar of the wild version.

Below, you’ll find an extensive list of the best choices of plant species to add to your yard that will instantly attract more hummingbirds.

Sugarbird

Trumpet Vine

This is an excellent flower to plant in your yard and one that has a reputation for attracting a variety of hummingbird species. These brightly colored flowers are tubular, long, and loaded with nectar. It’s also very easy to grow and is known to grow like crazy and can quickly take over your yard. Because of this, it will need to be regularly trimmed. The vines can become so large that even many larger species of birds will make a nest in its dense foliage.

This plant is widely available, so you shouldn’t have any trouble finding it at your local nursery. It can take one to two years to begin getting bright flowers, once it’s planted.

Trumpet Honeysuckle

This is another type of vine that’s native to the eastern U.S. and it’s the ruby-throated hummingbird’s favorite. This vine features bright orange and red flowers that these birds will find irresistible. This vine is not quite as aggressive as the trumpet vine, so it may be a better fit for smaller yards.

Cardinal Flower

This flower will be a very exciting addition to your garden. When in bloom, it’s gorgeous and provides very vibrant red flowers. The flowers are too long for most insects to access so the flower relies on attracting these birds for pollination. This flower will grow the best when it’s placed in a location that doesn’t receive full sun. It also loves moisture. In the wild, these flowers are usually found in the shade.

Bee Balm

This perennial flower is very small. Butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds love this plant and its rich nectar. There are fifty different types available in a variety of colors. Some types are also mildew resistant. Make sure you choose a type that can withstand the conditions in your yard and plant it in an area in your yard that doesn’t receive direct sunlight all day. This plant is drought-resistant, very easy to grow, and is also great for attracting butterflies.

Sage

The leaves of this plant can be eaten, it’s easy to grow, and it works like a charm to attract hummingbirds. There are hundreds of different species of sage to choose from, which can make it difficult to find the particular species that will work in your yard and for your climate. This plant is available in a variety of colors and sizes. Some types are perennial, while others are annual. Many types of sage are native to America, however, the most common originates from the Mediterranean, but it’s now considered naturalized in North America. Each type of sage features tubular spikes of flowers. These flowers are perfect for attracting hummingbirds, in addition to other types of pollinator insects including butterflies, caterpillars, and bees.

Rhododendron

The display of the rhododendron is incredibly beautiful, especially when they’re in full bloom at the beginning of summer. It’s one of the reasons they’re such a hit with hummingbirds. There are over a thousand different species of this plant that have been identified, which is one of the reasons that they’re considered the most popular plant at any nursery. The catawba rosebay species is one of the best choices if you want to attract more hummingbirds. It features dark green thick foliage all year long and the hummingbird will love the vibrant pink flowers that make an appearance toward the end of spring. It’s also a very hardy plant and can easily survive harsh winters.

Lupine

This plant features long spikes of flowers that are very beautiful. There are many species to choose from, but the hummingbird loves them all. This plant comes in a variety of colors and sizes, so you’re sure to find a species that will fit perfectly in your hummingbird garden.

Columbine

These flowers are very unique looking and the hummingbird will find them irresistible. The flowers will usually bloom in late May, right when these birds are making their way North. Insects will have a hard time getting to the flower’s nectar, which means the hummingbird will have this flower all to themselves. There are many hybrids and species available, but most birders will choose the red columbine, for their vibrant colors.

Lily

These are one of the most popular flowers that you can commonly find in gardens, for their sheer beauty alone. But it so happens that these flowers are not just popular with gardeners, hummingbirds also go wild over them. There are several species of lilies to choose from, however, the true lily is usually the hummingbird’s favorite. In any backyard garden, lilies are usually the show stoppers, the fact that hummingbirds love them as well is simply a bonus. The Canada lily attracts the ruby-throated hummingbird. The Columbia lily attracts the rufous hummingbird.

Bloom Times

If you want these birds to visit your yard all summer long, then choosing different bloom times will be important. You’ll need to spend time planning out when each of the plants in your yard will bloom, so you’ll always have blooming flowers in your yard. If you don’t plan it out carefully, you may end up with plants that bloom at the same time. Keep in mind, hummingbirds will begin to migrate north in the early spring. They will leave again at the end of summer. The challenge here will be to always have one of your plants in full bloom, in order to provide these birds with a natural nectar source.

Supplementing with a Hummingbird Feeder

If you’ve just decided to create a hummingbird garden, then you may not get the blooms or growth you’re looking for that summer. Until your plants grow and reach the point where they’ll bloom you can easily supplement the hummingbird’s diet using the best hummingbird feeder. These hummingbird feeders can be just as appealing to birds, if you know where and how to hang a bird feeder, in the perfect location, one that will capture the bird’s attention when they’re flying overhead. Of course, these feeders can’t really take the place of fresh flowers, but they can help to attract more birds until your plants flower, or in the event that your plants have all bloomed at the same time.

Make sure you’ve researched the best place to put a hummingbird feeder and choose spots that are safe for the hummingbird, and one that will keep them protected against predators. This means hanging the feeder at least six feet from the ground, in an area that doesn’t have too much foliage, which can give predators a place to hide, allowing them to sneak up on a feeding bird. If you place the feeders correctly, it will be more likely to encourage visits since a hummingbird will naturally scope out an area and determine whether or not it’s safe for them to feed.

Final Thoughts

Hummingbirds are fast, tiny, and beautiful to behold, whether they’re hovering around your yard in search of food, resting in dense foliage in your yard, or they’re feeding. Because they’re so fun to sight and watch as they flit from flower to flower, it’s not surprising that they’re one of the most popular birds in the world. So why not go to great lengths to make your yard more appealing to them and encourage more visitors every season? This list of flowers that attract hummingbirds is by no means complete, since there are virtually hundreds of flower species that hummingbirds will find appealing, however, this list does include some of the most popular and appealing species and will ensure you get plenty of visitors this spring. The key will be to plan out the blooming times of these flowers so that you’ll always have flowers in bloom in your yard, all summer long.