What flowers do hummingbirds like?

What Flowers Do Hummingbirds Like? 17 Flowers That Attract Hummingbirds

Last Updated: July 21, 2023By

If you’re looking to create a garden paradise for hummingbirds, it’s important to know which flowers attract them the most, so you can get the best return on investment. These tiny avian jewels are not only charming, but they also play a crucial role in pollinating flowers and maintaining plant biodiversity.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the top 10 flowers that hummingbirds simply cannot resist! From colorful blooms like bee balm and salvia to shade-loving plants such as hostas and fuchsias, there’s something for everyone’s taste.

So get ready to transform your outdoor space into a magnet for these vibrant creatures by discovering which flowers will have them flocking to your yard.

Key Takeaways

  • Hummingbirds are attracted to brightly colored, tubular flowers that provide a rich source of nectar.
  • Flower shape, size, and color play a crucial role in attracting hummingbirds. Tubular or trumpet-shaped flowers are perfect for hummingbirds as their elongated bills can easily reach the sweet nectar inside these floral structures.
  • The top 10 flowers that attract hummingbirds include bee balm, salvia, zinnias, trumpet creeper, red cardinal flower, honeysuckle, lupine, columbine, penstemon and fuchsia.
  • Providing an inviting environment for hummingbirds with their favorite flowers in your garden not only provides nectar for the birds but also adds a touch of color and beauty to your outdoor space while supporting local ecosystems.

Understanding Hummingbirds And Their Flower Preferences

Hummingbirds feed by hovering and sipping nectar from tubular flowers, which makes the shape and size of flowers important in attracting them.

1. How Hummingbirds Feed

Hummingbirds are uniquely equipped to feed on nectar from flowers, thanks to their long, slender bills and specialized tongues that can rapidly sip the sweet liquid.

Their incredible hovering ability allows them to access nectar sources while in mid-air; this is made possible by their powerful wing muscles which enable them to flap their wings at a remarkable speed of up to 80 beats per second.

An interesting fact about these tiny birds is that they need copious amounts of energy just to keep themselves going during the day – in some cases consuming up to half their body weight in nectar daily! As a supplement, they also occasionally consume small insects and spiders for protein.

2. What Attracts Hummingbirds

Hummingbirds are naturally drawn to brightly colored, tubular flowers that provide a rich source of nectar. These small birds have an exceptional memory for food locations and can remember the exact spots where they found sustenance in the past.

Some popular flower choices for attracting these agile fliers include Salvia, Bee Balm, Red Cardinal Flower, Trumpet Creeper, and Columbine. In addition to their penchant for colorful blooms, hummingbirds are attracted by the scent of nectar produced by these plants.

3. The Importance Of Flower Shape, Size, and Color

The shape, size, and color of flowers play a crucial role in attracting hummingbirds to your garden. These tiny creatures have evolved unique feeding habits that make them particularly adept at accessing nectar from certain types of blooms.

Tubular or trumpet-shaped flowers are perfect for hummingbirds as their elongated bills can easily reach the sweet nectar inside these floral structures.

Bright colors are also essential in enticing these agile birds to your garden’s blossoms. Although they show no innate preference for the color red specifically, it is often considered their favorite due to its high visibility against green foliage.

Other vivid hues such as orange, purple, and blue flowers can be equally effective in capturing the attention of passing hummingbirds.

In addition to shape and color considerations when choosing plants that attract hummingbirds , size matters too; larger clusters or spikes of tubular flowers provide greater quantities of nectar within easier reach than single blooms do .

Top 17 Flowers That Attract Hummingbirds

1. Salvia

Salvia is a perennial favorite of hummingbirds. Hummingbirds love Salvia plants! These perennials offer vividly colored blooms that are rich in nectar and highly attractive to tiny birds such as hummers.

With hues ranging from reds and purples to blues and pinks, Salvia’s trumpet-like blossoms make it a favorite among gardeners seeking to attract pollinators to their yard.

Whether grown solo or mixed with other bee-friendly shrubs like bee balm or planted alongside a hummingbird feeder filled with sugar water solution; salvia is an excellent choice for providing late spring through early fall bloom periods year after year.

Providing nectar for hummingbirds

To attract hummingbirds by providing nectar, choose brightly colored flowers that produce high nectar volume. Plant tubular-shaped flowers such as salvia, bee balm, or cardinal flower that bloom at different times throughout the year.

Hummingbird feeders can help maintain a steady source of nectar when there aren’t enough flowers available. Choose native plants like honeysuckle or trumpet vine for a low-maintenance option. Always avoid using pesticides or herbicides on your plants to keep hummers safe.

2. Petunias

Petunias are among the favorite summer annuals for hummingbirds thanks to their brightly colored tubular flowers that provide a great source of nectar. These plants can be grown easily in pots or directly in the ground with regular watering and deadheading.

Hummingbirds are attracted to the bright colors and tubular shape of petunia blossoms. Gardeners looking to attract these tiny birds should consider planting petunias as part of their garden design.

Using hummingbird feeders

Attract hummingbirds by planting flowers that produce high nectar volume and brightly colored blooms in a range of blooming periods.

Consider using native plants, wildflowers or hang up feeders filled with sugar water near shrubs such as salvia, petunias or honeysuckle that hummingbirds love! Remember choosing a feeder with red parts and placing them throughout your garden will bring hummers in droves!

3. Trumpet vines

Trumpet vines, also called trumpet creeper or cow itch vine, are a favorite of hummingbirds due to their trumpet-shaped blossoms that come in red, orange, and yellow colors.

These hardy and drought-tolerant shrubs can grow up to 30 feet tall and produce tubular flowers that provide nectar for hummingbirds.

With its attractive foliage and fragrant blooms, the trumpet vine is a favorite among gardeners across the United States.

Planting trumpet vines near a trellis or fence allows them to spread upward and create an attractive vertical display in your garden. What’s more, these vines are relatively easy to care for and can be propagated from cuttings.

4. Columbines

Hummingbirds love columbines for their unique shape and bright colors. They’re available in various colors and types, making them a favorite among gardeners.

Regular watering and deadheading can assist extend the blooming period of these hummingbird-friendly flowers. Columbines are an excellent addition to any garden that aims to attract pollinators like butterflies and bees.

5. Honeysuckle

Hummingbirds are attracted to the sweet fragrance of honeysuckles making it a popular hummingbird attracting flower. These flowers come in different varieties such as trumpet honeysuckles and coral honeysuckles.

They bloom in the spring and summer months, adding color to your garden. Honeysuckles can be grown as vines or shrubs and trained to grow on trellises, fences or walls.

Gardeners can also attract hummers by planting other flowers such as salvia, bee balm, petunias and fuchsia alongside the honeysuckle blossoms.

How to grow honeysuckle flowers in your garden

If you want to grow honeysuckle flowers in your garden, make sure to provide them with moderate watering and full sun exposure for optimal growth. Regular pruning helps maintain their shape, while propagation can be easily done through cuttings or seeds.

These fragrant blooms are not only a favorite of hummingbirds but also an attractive source of nectar for pollinators like bees and butterflies.

Try pairing them with other favorite hummer blooms like trumpet vine, cardinal flower, or bee balm to create a colorful haven for these tiny birds.

6. Sage

Hummingbirds have a sweet spot for sage, a popular culinary herb with bright red or purple blossoms. Sage is easy to grow in backyards or gardens and attracts tiny birds with its colorful blooms. Gardeners can also opt for other hummingbird favorites like bee balm or cardinal flower.

These beautiful plants have tubular flowers in bright colors that hummers find irresistible. Trumpet vine and purple-flowered sage are other must-haves for your garden if you want to attract these tiny birds.

7. Penstemon

Penstemon is a colorful perennial that tiny birds adore. These tubular flowers with bright colors bloom from early summer to early fall and grow best in well-draining soil under the full sun.

They are an ideal choice along with bee balm, trumpet vine, or sage to create a beautiful garden that provides a source of nectar for hummers.

Gardeners can also plant Penstemon alongside native plants like lupine or butterfly bush as companions. Penstemon does not require much maintenance and can tolerate drought once established.

8. Monarda

Bee balm or bergamot (Monarda) is a great choice for attracting hummingbirds and other pollinators like bees and butterflies with its bright red, pink or purple blossoms.

The blooms of this native plant have a tubular shape which makes them perfect for tiny birds like hummers. A favorite of hummingbirds due to its long blooming season and constant source of nectar that lasts from early summer to early fall.

Gardeners across the United States prize Monarda for their gardens and window boxes. You can even make sugar water at home which can be used in hummingbird feeders when natural sources run low.

9. Catmint

A hardy perennial plant that hummers love is catmint. Late spring through early fall is when this low-maintenance shrub blooms with purple flowers shaped like tubes that are irresistible to tiny birds and pollinators alike.

Catmint is a drought-tolerant and native plant in the United States that’s perfect for brightening up gardens or window boxes. An excellent source of nectar for hummers; it can be planted in containers or as a border plant in gardens where they can easily get their fill.

10. Daylilies

Daylilies are one of the most popular and easy-to-grow hummingbird flowers available in the United States. With their bright colors that bloom for an extended period, these flowers are a favorite of hummingbirds.

Plant daylilies in well-drained soil with full sun or partial shade. Consider planting them in groups or clusters to increase their visual impact.

11. Fuchsia

Hummingbirds adore the delicate blooms of the fuchsia plant. With its colorful trumpet-shaped flowers available in shades like red, pink, purple and white, fuchsia is one of their favorite flowers.

You can grow this stunning plant in hanging baskets or pots to add a touch of elegance even if you have limited space. To keep your fuchsia thriving with an abundance of blossoms, make sure you use well-drained soil and water it regularly.

12. Foxglove

Foxglove is a tall perennial plant that will attract tiny birds to your garden. Its blossoms in shades of pink, purple, and white are a favorite of hummingbirds due to their tubular shape that makes it easy for hummers to sip nectar.

Foxglove requires moist soil and part shade to grow well and is often grown in groups or clusters to increase visual impact and attract more pollinators like bees and butterflies.

13. Lupine

Lupine is a hardy and stunning flowering plant native to North America that attracts tiny birds like hummers with its tubular shape. Whether you choose hybrids or native varieties, these purple flowers bloom from early summer through late summer on tall spires ranging between 12-36 inches high.

The foliage is also attractive to pollinators and adds texture to mixed borders.

Gardeners who want to attract hummingbirds should consider planting Lupines along with other favorite flowers like salvia, bee balm, trumpet honeysuckle, penstemon, or cardinal flower in full sun or partial shade with moist soil and well-drained soil.

14. Delphinium

Delphiniums are among the most elegant and tall flowering plants for hummingbirds. These towering beauties come in a wide range of colors like blue, pink, white, and purple.

Plant them in full sun with well-draining soil in early spring for best results, remembering to deadhead regularly during the blooming season for new growth.

Hummingbirds love delphiniums for their majestic heights and tubular shape blossoms that hold a source of nectar while they hover.

Don’t forget to add other favorite flowers such as salvia, bee balm or even a butterfly bush nearby to keep these tiny birds happy throughout the early summer until late fall.

15. Cuphea

If you’re looking for a hummingbird plant with unique and tropical-looking flowers that produce tubular-shaped blossoms perfect for hummers to feed on, look no further than Cuphea.

With its adaptability to containers or gardens and various colors such as red, pink, purple, and orange, Cuphea is an excellent choice for your garden.

This drought-tolerant shrub thrives in full sun or partial shade with moist soil and well-draining soil. Other hummingbird-friendly plants include Bee balm, Cardinal Flower, Salvia.

How to care for Cuphea flowers in your garden

To care for Cuphea flowers in your garden, ensure they receive full sun to partial shade and well-draining soil. Regular watering is essential, but avoid overwatering as it can lead to root rot. Deadheading encourages new growth and prolongs the blooming season.

Versatile for any garden, Cuphea thrives in containers or beds. Add a tropical flair with its tubular shape and bright colors that attract tiny birds like hummers.

Other hummingbird-friendly plants include salvia, bee balm, cardinal flower, trumpet honeysuckle, phlox and lantana.

16. Hollyhocks

Hollyhocks are a favorite of hummingbirds due to their bright colors and tubular shape. These tall, stately plants bloom in early summer to early fall and come in shades of pink, red, and purple that attract the tiny birds’ attention.

Hollyhocks grow best when planted in full sun with well-draining soil or moist soil with partial shade. Gardeners can choose to plant them from seed or purchased as seedlings from a nursery.

Hollyhocks are perfect to plant near windows or on trellises for a beautiful view of the hummingbirds enjoying the nectar-filled blossoms.

17. Sunflowers

Hummingbirds love sunflowers! These bright and cheerful flowers make a great addition to any hummingbird garden as they serve as a surprising source of nectar. Sunflowers come in different varieties that provide different benefits for hummers such as longer blooming periods.

You can grow sunflowers in pots or in the ground, making them versatile for any garden space.

Other hummingbird-friendly plants like bee balm, salvia, and trumpet vine can also be planted alongside sunflowers to create a diverse habitat for these tiny birds.

How To Attract Hummingbirds To Your Garden

Attracting hummingbirds to your garden is easy with the right mix of flowers that bloom at different times, a water source, and avoiding pesticides.

1. Planting a Mix of Flowers That Bloom at Different Times

To attract hummingbirds to your garden, planting a variety of flowers that bloom at different times is essential. This ensures a constant supply of nectar for the birds throughout the season.

For example, bee balm and salvia bloom in mid-summer while hostas and fuchsias are shade-loving plants that flower later in the season. Furthermore, lungwort is an excellent early source of nectar for hummingbirds as it blooms before many other species in spring.

Facts such as these underscore why having a mix of flowering plants is beneficial not just for homeowners but also for birds and pollinators alike.

Examples like morning glory, phlox, lilies, and bird-of-paradise demonstrate that there’s no need to limit yourself. Each one has its own distinctive beauty and can serve as either perennials or annuals, with corresponding variations in maintenance levels over time.

2. Providing a Water Source

Hummingbirds love to bathe and drink water, so it’s important to provide a reliable source in the garden. A bird bath with shallow water is ideal for these small birds that love to splash around.

It’s also a good idea to keep the water fresh and clean by replacing it daily or every other day, especially during hot weather when algae can grow quickly.

In addition to bird baths, adding misters or drippers can attract hummingbirds by creating a fine spray of water that resembles rain droplets.

By providing these sources of water close to flowering plants, you’re sure to entice the visiting hummingbirds into your garden sanctuary.

3. Avoiding Pesticides

Attracting hummingbirds to your garden is not just about planting the right flowers, it’s also crucial to avoid using pesticides. Pesticides can be toxic to birds and other pollinators, which can lead to their decline.

Instead of using chemicals, try companion planting with herbs like basil or dill that naturally repel insects.

Eliminating pesticides from your garden not only helps attract hummingbirds but also promotes a healthier environment for all living things. By providing a safe place for these delicate creatures to feed and rest, you’re contributing to the wellbeing of our planet as a whole.

4. Keeping the Garden Clean

Maintaining a clean garden is crucial for attracting hummingbirds. These tiny birds are highly sensitive to the environment around them, and dirty or contaminated feeders can cause harm to their health.

Regularly cleaning your hummingbird feeder with soap and water is important to prevent mold or bacteria from growing inside it, which can make the nectar harmful for them to consume.

Additionally, keeping the ground under your feeder clear of spilled nectar and debris ensures that insects aren’t attracted to the area, as they can harm both hummingbirds and butterfly populations in your garden.

What Flowers Do Hummingbirds Like – Final Thoughts

Understanding the flower preferences of hummingbirds can help you attract these beautiful creatures to your garden. By planting a mix of tubular-shaped flowers that bloom at different times, providing a water source, and avoiding pesticides, you increase your chances of attracting them.

The top 10 flowers that hummingbirds love include bee balm, salvia, zinnias, trumpet creeper, red cardinal flower, honeysuckle, lupine, columbine, penstemon and fuchsia.

These stunning blooms not only provide nectar for the birds but also add a touch of color and beauty to your yard.


Do hummingbirds prefer specific colors of flowers, and are there any plants to avoid when attempting to attract them? What other factors beyond flower types attract hummingbirds to gardens?

1. Do hummingbirds like roses?

Hummingbirds are not usually attracted to roses due to their low nectar content and lackluster color. While the bright blooms of non-tubular, red flowers like roses may lure hummingbirds with their appearance, they offer little nectar, so the birds quickly reject them.

Hummingbirds are most attracted to red flowers, but they also prefer those with tubular shapes that allow them easy access to the sweet nectar inside.

In general, it’s best to choose native North American flowers with high nectar content when trying to attract hummingbirds instead of relying on showy blooms alone.

2. What other factors attract hummingbirds besides flower types?

Hummingbirds are attracted to more than just colorful and tubular flowers that produce the most nectar. Other factors that can also lure them in include the height of plants, the arrangement of flowers, and the scent emitted by certain blooms.

Hummingbirds are especially drawn to red- and orange-colored flowers as they associate these hues with a good source of nectar. Additionally, hummingbirds prefer plants that bloom at different times throughout the year so that they have a steady supply of food.

Water sources such as fountains or birdbaths also attract hummingbirds for drinking and bathing purposes.

3. Are there any plants to avoid when attracting hummingbirds?

While there are plenty of plants that attract hummingbirds, there are also a few to avoid. In general, plants with tubular flowers are the best option, but some species may have a negative impact on hummingbirds or pollinators in your area.

It’s important to avoid any plant that has been treated with systemic pesticides or neonicotinoids, as these chemicals can kill the very creatures you’re trying to attract.

Additionally, invasive species like butterfly bush and Japanese honeysuckle may be tempting options due to their high nectar content but should be avoided as they can harm local ecosystems.

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