Planting for Hummingbirds
Who doesn’t love hummingbirds in their garden? You may already set up hummingbird feeders filled with sugar water, but feeders can require a lot of maintenance, as they must be kept cleaned and filled with fresh food. A
better option might be to plant native flowers to attract hummingbirds.
As a general rule, hummingbirds like the color red which is why most hummingbird feeders are red, or have red feeding tubes. Sometimes you can buy pre-made hummingbird food which is dyed red, but please don’t buy this as it can be fatal to the birds. Cardinal Flower and Bee Balm are both bright red flowers that attract hummingbirds and they are exactly what hummingbirds want and need. Bee Balm, also known as Bergamot, has another use after it stops flowering — you can dry Bergamot leaves, crush them and use them as a replacement for oregano.
Lupine is a beautiful purple flower that is easy to grow. In some parts of the country it almost grows like a weed, and you’ll see it in highway ditches. Lupine is a low-maintenance flower that will brighten your yard and attract hummingbirds.
No space for a garden? Any of these flowers will grow wonderfully in a window box or ceramic pot — just put them on your balcony where hummingbirds can see them.
Planting native flowers around your home that offer hummingbirds nectar, is fun to do, and will keep those hummingbirds coming to your house all summer long. For more native planting ideas, visit the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.