Hummingbird Gardens

o attract and keep hummingbirds in your garden, you will need to supply food, water and shelter. Provide nectar producing plants, feeders, water and shade areas for perching, and the hummingbirds will flock to your garden all season. Hummingbirds prefer trumpet or tubular shaped flowers, but will readily visit most flowers in search of nectar. Hummingbirds do not have a sense of smell and rely on their sense of sight to find the flowers. Red flowers and red colored feeders are strong attractants.

Plant flowers «en masse» that have different blooming periods, and keep feeders full to provide a continual food supply. Use a commercial mix or make your own — 1 part sugar to 4 parts water — never use food coloring or honey as these can cause illness or death. Hummingbirds are very territorial; if you notice fighting amongst the hummers, add another feeder out of sight from the other one. Hummingbirds spend approximately 80% of their time perching on twigs, stems, clotheslines, etc. between feedings, so place the feeder close to a perching spot. Hummingbirds are a delight to watch in the garden and will also eat insects such as aphids and gnats. The Ruby-throated Hummingbird occurs in our area (Southeastern US) and migrates south to Mexico and Central America in the fall. Migration begins when the daylight length lessens and so leaving your feeders up will not delay their migration.

Hummingbird Favorites

Note — these plants are suitable in the southeast region of the US
*Indicates southeast native cultivars

Botanical NameCommon NameBloom PeriodColor
Ajuga reptans  Bugleweed  Spring  Blue, lavender, pink
Aquilegia caerulea  Columbine  Mid — late spring  Various
*Aguilegia canadensis  American Columbine  Mid — late spring  Various
*Asclepias tuberosa  Butterfly weed  Mid — late sum  Bright orange
Campanula glomerata  Bellflower  Early — mid-sum  Violet blue
*Campsis radicans  Trumpet Creeper  Summer — fall  Orange tubes with scarlet lobes
Dianthus species  Pink’s, Carnation  Spring — fall  Various
Dicentra formosa  Bleeding Heart  Late spring — fall  Cherry-red
Hemerocallis species  Daylily  Summer — fall  Various
Heuchera sanguinea  Coral Bells  Late spring  Pink, coral and red
Hosta species  Hosta  Summer  Various
*Lobelia cardinalis  Cardinal Flower  Mid-sum — early fall  Cardinal-red
*Lobelia siphilitica  Great Blue Lobelia  Mid-sum — early fall  Blue
*Lonicera sempervirens  Coral Honeysuckle  Summer — fall  Coral-red
Penstemon digitalis  Beardtongue  Early — mid-sum  White tinged with pink
Penstemon x mexicali  Beardtongue  Early — mid-sum  Bright rose
*Phystostegia virginia  Obedient Plant  Summer  White
Salvia elegens  Pineapple Sage  Early — mid sum  Red
*Salvia lyrata  Sage  Mid — late sum  Blue-purple
Salvia nemorosa  Meadow Sage  Early — late sum  Rose-pink, white
*Silene virginica  Fire Pink  Spring  Bright red