Hummingbirds are one of the most popular backyard birds that people love to attract. These tiny, energetic birds have mastered the art of hovering and can fly forwards, backwards, and upside down! There are numerous flowers that attract hummingbirds to your garden what are some of these flowers?
Planting hummingbird-friendly plants is one way to keep them coming back to your backyard. Among these numerous flowers, do hummingbirds like geraniums? What about the likes of impatiens and begonias? Let’s find out quickly.
Hummingbirds get their name from the characteristic humming or buzzing sound their wings make as they flap up to 80 times per second. You would also hear them being affectionately referred to as hummers.
There are over 300 different species of hummingbirds in the Western Hemisphere. In North America, the ruby-throated hummingbird is the most common.
Hummingbirds need lots of calories to power their wings for hovering and aggressive flights. They get these calories from flower nectar and small insects. That’s why it’s so important to have nectar-rich flowers in your yard if you want to attract hummingbirds.
What Flowers Do Hummingbirds Like?
Hummingbirds are extremely attracted to tube-shaped colored flowers that they can insert their long, needle-like beaks into. Some of their favorites include:
- Trumpet vine
- Bee balm
- Cardinal flower
Hummingbirds also need plants that bloom continuously from spring through fall to provide a constant food source.
What about geraniums?
Geraniums are a popular flower for gardens and window boxes. The commonly grown garden geranium (Pelargonium) is originally from South Africa. Geraniums come in a variety of colors like red, pink, white, purple and salmon.
Unfortunately, geraniums don’t attract hummingbirds very well for a couple reasons:
- The flowers are flat rather than tubiform in shape. Hummingbirds can’t reach the nectar easily.
- Geraniums have only small amounts of nectar compared to trumpet vines or other hummingbird favorites.
While geraniums likely won’t be a hummingbird hot spot, here are some tips to draw more hummingbirds to your yard if you already have geraniums planted:
- Place feeders with sugar water near the geraniums. The red feeders will attract hummingbirds to that area where they may also forage on geraniums occasionally.
- Plant tubular flowers like bee balm near the geraniums to increase the appeal of that area.
- Choose red, orange, or purple geraniums rather than pink or white. Hummingbirds see these colors well.
- Deadhead spent geranium blooms often to encourage continuous new flowering.
Best Flowers to Plant with Geraniums for Hummingbirds
We wrote a detailed article on the different types of flowers that hummingbirds love. We recommend you check out by clicking this link:
If you already have geraniums but want to attract more hummingbirds, here are 5 great companion hummingbird plants:
- Fuchsia – A hummingbird favorite with pipe-like red and purple flowers hanging downward. Place fuchsia in a hanging basket alongside upright geraniums.
- Petunia – Funnel-shaped flowers in bright colors that hummingbirds love. Plant petunias around geraniums in window boxes or borders. Find out more why hummingbirds like petunias.
- Salvia – Known as the “hummingbird sage,” these long tubed flowers come in reds, purples, blues, and pinks. Grow alongside geraniums.
- Lantana – Clusters of small tubular blooms. Great for borders and containers. Attracts butterflies too.
- Nasturtium – An annual with funnel-like flowers full of nectar. Plant around the base of geranium pots.
Here geraniums are paired with petunias that hummingbirds love.
Other Ways to Attract Hummingbirds
While nectar-rich flowers are critical, there are some other tactics you can use in combination with flowers to bring hummingbirds buzzing around your yard.
1. Offer sweet nectar in feeders
Buy a few hummingbird feeders and fill them with homemade sugar water. Use a ratio of 1 part white sugar dissolved in 4 parts water. Boil the water first to ensure it’s sterile. Don’t use honey, which can harbor bacteria harmful to hummingbirds.
Place feeders near flowering plants, and try to hang more than one. Hummingbirds can be territorial over feeders. Having multiple options helps prevent bullying.
Clean feeders at least once a week with hot water and replace sugar water frequently.
2. Provide a water source
Hummingbirds like to bathe as well as drink. A shallow bird bath or mister provides a water source. Place it near feeders and flowers and keep it clean and full. Include a perch as hummingbirds don’t like hovering over water.
3. Let some areas naturalize
Don’t be too tidy! Leaving areas wild with native plants, flowers, and grasses provides habitat for insects that hummingbirds eat as well as protected nesting spots. Milkweed, asters, goldenrod, and wild hydrangea are great native plants to allow to grow freely.
4. Avoid pesticides
Chemicals and pesticides reduce insects that hummingbirds rely on for protein. Avoid or limit use of these toxins whenever possible.
5. Offer safe shelter
Hummingbirds rest overnight and benefit from dense trees and shrubs that offer protection from predators. Native pines, hemlocks, and junipers are great choices. You can also hang a specifically designed hummingbird shelter.
Do Hummingbirds Like Geraniums? Final Thoughts
Part of the magic of hummingbirds is that they are only found in the Americas. No other birds quite like them exist anywhere else in the world. Attracting these shimmery jewels to your backyard habitat is rewarding and enjoyable.
While geraniums may not be their top favorite, incorporating a variety of tube-shaped blooms, feeders, water sources, native plants, and protected areas can make your yard into a hummingbird paradise. The more habitat features, the better! Placing it all near existing geraniums can help bring hummingbirds over to explore those flowers too.
With a little planning, you’ll be thrilled seeing tiny hummingbirds hovering at the flowers, feeders, and unexpected places around your yard – gems of summer that indicate a healthy habitat. Enjoy!
Frequently Asked Questions
Do hummingbirds actually eat from geranium flowers?
Hummingbirds don’t prefer geraniums since their flowers are flat rather than tubular. But they may occasionally take some nectar from them if hungry.
What type of geraniums attract hummingbirds the most?
Red geraniums, especially the Nectar series, seem to attract hummingbirds more than other colors. The brighter red may be more visible to them.
Should I plant geraniums in my yard to attract hummingbirds?
Geraniums alone won’t be very effective at attracting hummingbirds. Combine them with tubular flowers the birds prefer, as well as feeders, water sources, and native plants.
Do hummingbirds and geraniums have any special relationship?
No, hummingbirds are not especially attracted to geraniums compared to other flowers. Geraniums don’t offer the high-energy nectar hummingbirds rely on.
What are the best flowers I can plant near my geraniums to interest hummingbirds?
Great options include petunias, fuchsia, salvia, lantana, nasturtium, bee balm, trumpet vine, cardinal flowers, and columbine.
When should I plant geraniums if I want to attract hummingbirds?
Start geraniums early indoors and transition them outside after the danger of frost. Have them blooming by mid-spring when hummingbirds arrive and migrate through.