Attract Hummingbirds With These Plants

Are you looking to attract hummingbirds to your yard or garden?  It’s a good idea! Not only are they fun to watch, but they’re also pollinators: as they stick their long skinny beaks into flower after flower, they’re doing the same work as bees, butterflies, and other insects that pollinate plants (and we know how important pollination is).  Make a conscious effort to invite these tiny birds into your space by planting some of their favorite flowers and plants.



1. Echinacea



That’s right! The same herb that boosts your immune system also attracts hummingbirds.  Also known as coneflowers (due to their shape), the blooms on the echinacea plant come in a variety of colors and look a little like daisies.  The plant is relatively hardy, but enjoys well-draining soil, plenty of sunlight, and frequent waterings.



2. Lobelia



Lobelia is another plant lauded for its medicinal uses (like echinacea).  It’s sometimes referred to as cardinal flower due to the bright red color of its flowers.  The long stalks of flowers can grow really tall—up to 48 inches high—making it a good choice if you’re looking to add some height variety to your garden.  Make sure to keep its well-drained soil moist for best growth results.



3. Hollyhocks



This perennial is a favorite of hummingbirds, who are attracted to its brightly colored flowers.  Once planted, they need moist soil and full sun, and since they’re prone to rust, good air circulation is a must.  While hollyhocks are short-lived, they usually reseed themselves so can keep growing for years to come.




4. Snapdragons



Snapdragons tend to bloom when it’s a little cooler, so including them in your garden can be a good way to provide a food source for hummingbirds early in the summer and late in the summer—perhaps when they’re migrating through your region.  They enjoy full sun or partial shade and can be grown in containers, too.  Make sure to deadhead wilted blooms to prolong the blooming season.



5. Lantana



This blooming plant is a great choice if you want a specific color for your garden—it comes in a wide range of colors, including purple, blue, white, orange, red, and yellow.  Lantanas can be annuals or perennials, and they make great container plants.  They have a long blooming season and enjoy lots of sun and slightly acidic soil.  While they enjoy a weekly watering, they can tolerate periods of drought.  Too much fertilizer can inhibit blooming, so go easy—and they respond well to pruning, so don’t be afraid to cut off about 1/3 of an overgrown plant to encourage new growth.



6. Zinnias



They might be annuals, but hummingbirds love zinnias so much that the short blooming season is well worth it.  They come in a variety of colors: yellow, purple, pink, red, orange, white…a flower bed of different colored zinnias can be vividly gorgeous!  If you let the flowers go to seed and collect them at the end of the season, you’ll be ready to go next spring when it’s time to plant.