Hummingbird Plants: 25+ Of The Best Flowers That Attract Hummingbirds

Not only are hummingbirds fun to watch in your garden, they also cross-pollinate plants and eat aphids as well as other bugs. No wonder so many people want to learn about the flowers that attract hummingbirds! Find out the hummingbird plants that will work best for your yard.

Hummingbird plants: 25+ best flowers that attract hummingbirds to your garden
I love watching the hummingbirds darting around my garden in the summer. It’s just amazing to see them hover in one spot, perfectly still while their wings are flapping so fast they look like a blur. Then speed away to the next flower so quickly it’s hard to tell where they went.

Like many gardeners, I like to do what I can to get these pretty little birds to stay in my yard. Not only are they fun to watch, but they cross-pollinate plants, eat aphids (and other bugs) and are generally a big help in the garden!

One of the easiest ways to attract hummingbirds is to provide a source of nectar for them to drink.

A lot of people do this by hanging hummingbird feeders in their yard, which works very well.  But not for me. The feeders are quite a bit of work since you need to keep them clean. Which means taking them down and cleaning them out every few days.  And I just know me…it wouldn’t happen on a regular basis. (I have a hard enough time remembering to clean out the cat litter boxes, and I have cats who remind me when they think that needs to be done!).

To get hummingbirds to visit my garden, I go with the other way of providing nectar. Planting lots of brightly colored flowers that hummingbirds love.

In hummer language, red means “come here”. Hummingbirds (like most birds) do not have a very good sense of smell. Instead, they use color to determine where they might find some good flowers with nectar. So growing hummingbird plants with red, pink or coral flowers will get them into your yard.

Once they are there, they prefer flowers with tubular shapes that produce a lot of nectar. Ideally, the flowers you used to flag them down also have this shape. If not, you can do a bait-and-switch…use the red to attract them into the yard, and then provide some other plants close by that have the flower shape and nectar that they are looking for.

The last consideration for choosing hummingbird plants is to have consistent blooms throughout the gardening season so that the hummers always have something to eat. Picking plants to ensure you have something blooming in the spring, summer and fall will keep the birds coming back to your yard all summer long.

So you might be asking, what flowers do hummingbirds like? Well, let me tell you…

Annuals That Attract Hummingbirds

Planting annual flowers that attract hummingbirds is one of the easiest ways to keep hummers in your garden.

Because these annuals bloom for a long time, they provide a consistent nectar source for the birds and makes them some of the best hummingbird plants.

Salvia

Salvia is one of the annuals that attracts hummingbirds
Salvia is one of the annuals that attracts hummingbirds

Light: Sun

Planting Salvias for hummingbirds is a no-brainer in my books.

Salvias are really easy to grow, bloom all summer long and many have really pretty blue-purple flowers (my favorite color!)

It is an an annual plant in most of the country, with some varieties being perennial in southern regions of the United States.

Salvia 'Black and Blue' is one of the best Salvias for hummingbirds
Salvia ‘Black and Blue’ is one of the best Salvias for hummingbirds

In my garden, I have found that one of the best Salvias for hummingbirds is Salvia ‘Black and Blue’. It has really blue flowers on black stems and the hummingbirds seem to love them!

Snapdragon

Snap dragons is one of the annuals that attracts hummingbirds
Snapdragons

Light: Sun

Snapdragons are the second one of the annuals that attract hummingbirds on my list.

They are available in many different colors, are quite easy to grow from seed* and do best in full sun.

Snapdragons with bright colored blooms will be the best hummingbird plants, but I find it hard to resist some of the other ones…they are just too pretty!

Zinnia

Zinnias are one of the annuals that attract hummingbirds
Zinnias

Light: Sun

Zinnias are an annual flower that are easy to grow from seeds. You can literally sprinkle the seeds* in your garden and watch them grow.

With their big brightly colored flowers, they are a joy to have in any sunny spot in your yard.

Tall zinnias with pink or red flowers will do the best job of attracting hummingbirds.

Flowering Tobacco (Nicotiana)

Nicotiana × sanderae 'Baby Bella Antique Red' - one of the best hummingbird plants

Nicotiana × sanderae ‘Baby Bella Antique Red’ by  S.G.S. [CC0], from Wikimedia Commons

Light: Part Sun

The tubular flowers of Flowering Tobacco make it another one of the annuals that attract hummingbirds.

While many varieties of Nicotiana will provide nectar, Nicotiana × sanderae ‘Baby Bella Antique Red’ may be the best one since it also has the red color to flag them down.

Hanging Plants That Attract Hummingbirds

One of the best way to see hummers is to plant flowers that attract hummingbirds close to a window. That way you can watch from inside the house without disturbing them.

The easiest way to do that?

Fill hanging baskets or window boxes with hummingbird plants and install them in front of a good viewing window.

Here are a few of my favorite hanging plants that attract hummingbirds.

Fuchsia

Fuchsia is one of the hanging plants that attracts hummingbirds
Fuchsia

Light: Shade

Fuchsias are a great flower for hanging baskets even if you aren’t trying to provide nectar for hummingbirds.

They flourish in the shade, which means they are perfect for hanging in covered areas like your porch or gazebo. Just make sure to water them well since they don’t like to get too dry.

Then you can watch from your window as the hummers flocking to your baskets full of hummingbird plants.

Impatiens

Impatiens are one of the hanging plants that attract hummingbirds
Impatiens

Light: Shade
Impatiens are a standard bedding plant that also make great hanging plants for shady locations and have such a profusion of color that hummingbirds can’t help but notice them.

They are easy to grow if you keep them well watered. Impatiens wilt when they get thirsty so you will definitely know if you have let them dry out.

To attract more hummingbirds with your flowers, try to pick impatiens with brighter colors.

Petunia

Petunias are one of the hanging plants that attracts hummingbirds
Petunias

Light: Sun

Petunias are another one of the colorful hummingbird plants that work well for getting the birds to notice your hanging baskets. They are vigorous bloomers and require regular fertilizing to keep them blooming.

If you want petunias that will drape over the edges of your pot, try the Wave petunias (such as Purple Wave).

Annual Geranium (Pelargonium)

Ruby-throated Hummingbird and Pink Geraniums ©chas53 - stock.adobe.com
Ruby-throated Hummingbird and Pink Geraniums © chas53 – stock.adobe.com

Light: Sun

Annual Geraniums (Pelargonium) are widely-used plants for containers and hanging baskets in sunny locations. And there’s a good reason why they are so popular.

They are really easy to grow, come in many different colors and survive being dried out better than most other plants.

It’s just an added bonus that hummingbirds like them.

Ivy geraniums in window box ©slava2271 - stock.adobe.com
Ivy geraniums in window box ©slava2271 – stock.adobe.com

If you want plants that are more trailing than upright, try ivy geraniums.

They like a little more shade and a little more water than the standard zonal geraniums, but look beautiful hanging over the edge of window boxes or hanging baskets.

Tuberous Begonias

Begonias are one of the hanging plants that attract hummingbirds
Begonias

Light: Shade

Another one of the hanging plants that attract hummingbirds is Tuberous Begonia. It grows best in the shade and produces beautiful large flowers that are available in many different colors.

As with most plants, the red, coral and pink flowers will do the best job at getting the hummers to notice them.

However, while Begonias are great for getting the birds into your garden, their flowers are not the best shape for hummingbirds to drink from. So it helps to have some of the other flowers that attract hummingbirds (with a tubular shape) close by. They will make the birds happy to stay a little longer.

Perennials That Attract Hummingbirds

Bee Balm (Monarda)

Ruby-throated hummingbird feeding on monarda © Dave Nelson - stock.adobe.com
Ruby-throated hummingbird feeding on monarda © Dave Nelson – stock.adobe.com

Bloom Time: Summer
Zones: 3 – 9
Light: Sun to Part Shade

The first flowers on my list of perennials that attract hummingbirds is Bee Balm (Monarda). Its brightly colored flowers are made up of little tubes that are perfect for hummers to drink from.

Monarda is a member of the mint family which means it can spread pretty quickly so you might want to grow it in a container rather than in the ground. Planting it in a pot actually has some other benefits since you can position it where you can see it (and the hummingbirds) from your window.

Penstemon

Costa's Hummingbird with penstemon © wollertz 2015 - Depositphotos.com
Costa’s Hummingbird with penstemon © wollertz 2015 – Depositphotos.com

Bloom time: Spring to summer (depending on variety)
Zones: 3 – 10
Light: Sun

Penstemon is a native plant in North America that is drought tolerant and requires very little care. With over 100 varieties available, there are lots of different shapes, sizes and colors to choose from.

Because of its brightly colored blooms that are the perfect shape for hummers to drink from, it is definitely on the list of hummingbird favorite flowers.

Columbine (Aquilegia)

Columbines are one of the perennials that attract hummingbirds
Columbines

Bloom Time: Spring
Zones: 3 – 8
Light: Sun to Part Shade

Columbines are another native plant in North America that are on the list of perennials that attract hummingbirds.

They bloom earlier than many of the other perennials on the list which makes then a good addition to your garden. Although all varieties of columbine are good for nectar, look for the red ones if you want hummingbird plants that are sure to draw them in.

Cardinal Flower (Lobelia Cardenalis)

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Cardinal Flower ©Phil - stock.adobe.com
Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Cardinal Flower ©Phil – stock.adobe.com

Bloom Time: Summer to Fall
Zones: 3 – 9
Light: Sun to Part Shade

As its name implies, the Cardinal Flower.has bright red flowers that definitely help to get the hummingbirds into your yard. The blooms are also tubular in shape which means it checks both boxes as one of the perfect hummingbird plants.

On top of that, it’s a native plant in North America and requires very little maintenance.

Lupine

Lupines are one of the hummingbird plants
Lupines

Bloom Time: Late spring or early summer
Zones: 3 – 7
Light: Sun to Part Shade

Lupines are a beautiful flowering perennial that don’t like high heat or humidity (which kind of rules them out in my SC garden, although I used to grow them in Toronto).

The flower spikes are taller than the leaves which makes them perfect for viewing hummingbirds as they flit from one flower to the next.

Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea)

Foxgloves are one of the flowers that attract hummingbirds © 2011 Stephanie Frey Photography
Foxglove Flower © 2011 Stephanie Frey Photography

Bloom Time: Summer
Zones: 3 – 9
Light: Sun to Part Shade

Most Foxgloves are actually biennial rather than perennial (which means they bloom the second year after they are planted and then die). However, they self-seed. So once you get them going they act like perennials.

Like Lupines, the flower stalks are generally taller than the leaves making it easier to see the hummingbirds enjoying the flowers.

Note: Foxglove is a poisonous plant so you may not want to plant it if you have pets or children who like to eat things they shouldn’t.

Daylilies

Daylilies are one of the flowers that attract hummingbirds
Daylilies

Bloom time: Summer
Zones: 3 – 9
Light: Sun

Daylilies are very easy-to-grow perennials that attract hummingbirds to your garden.

They used to have a fairly limited range of colors consisting mostly of shades of yellow.

However since their popularity has grown, plant breeders have put a lot of time into producing more color options. Which makes it much easier to find a shade that will go with your garden’s color scheme. And keep the hummers happy at the same time!

Bushes That Attract Hummingbirds

There are a few advantages for growing bushes that attract hummingbirds.

First it is safer for the birds since predators (such as the neighborhood cat) will have a harder time reaching them.

Second, since they will be flying closer to your eye level, it will be easier for you to see them.

Third, the thin branches of the bushes can also act as perches for the hummingbirds when they need to take a rest.

All of the bushes in this list are also beautiful in their own right, so I would have them in my garden even if I weren’t trying to attract hummingbirds!

Azalea

Encore Azaleas are one of the best hummingbird plants
Encore Azaleas

Bloom Time: Spring or Fall
Zones: 3 – 9
Light: Sun to Shade (depending on the variety)

Azaleas are one of my favorite shrubs. Many of them are evergreen and the gorgeous blooms in the spring can totally cover the plant.

The newer Encore varieties will even bloom again in the fall, which make them good plants for hummingbirds by providing a longer feeding season.

You might also like:  Bushes To Plant Under Trees

Lilac (Syringa)

Blooming lilac
Blooming lilac

Bloom time: Spring
Zones: 4 – 9 (depending on the variety)
Light: Sun

To me a lilac in bloom is one of the prettiest plants in the garden. No wonder hummingbirds love them, too!

Most lilac flowers tend to be in the cool color range (purple, blue, white, and pink) so you may need to plant some more vibrantly colored companion plants to get the hummers to notice them. But they definitely like the lilac nectar once they figure it out it’s there!

If you’ve never seen a hummingbird in action, this video of a hummingbird in a lilac bush gives you a close up view.

Weigela

Weigela is one of the bushes that attracts hummingbirds
Weigela

Bloom time: Late spring
Zones: 4 – 9
Light: Sun

Weigela is a spring-blooming bush with tubular flowers that often have a really pretty perfume.

The pink or maroon flowers are a beautiful contrast to the green leaves and make this one of the best plants for hummingbirds.

Butterfly Bush (Buddleia)

Butterfly bush is one of the best hummingbird plants
Butterfly bush

Bloom Time: Summer
Zones: 5 – 9
Light: Sun

Butterfly Bush, as the name implies, is a favorite plant of butterflies, but it works equally well in attracting hummingbirds. With so many tubular flowers in one place, it’s the perfect buffet spot for a hummer!

The beautiful flowers last most of the summer, especially if you remove them when they have finished blooming.

Note: These bushes can be a little aggressive in some parts of the country, so you may want to check with your local nursery to make sure you want to plant them.

Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus)

Hummingbirds love hibiscus ©Steve Byland - stock.adobe.com
Hummingbirds love hibiscus ©Steve Byland – stock.adobe.com

Bloom time: Late summer or fall
Zones: 5 – 9
Light: Sun

Rose of Sharon is a rather large bush that attracts hummingbirds in droves!

Okay, that may be a bit dramatic. But I have almost all the plants on this list somewhere in my garden, and my Hibiscus bushes are definitely the most popular with the hummingbirds.

It’s a good thing I like them 🙂

Hummingbird Bush (Anisacanthus quadrifidus)

Hummingbird Bush By Scott [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Hummingbird Bush By Scott [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Bloom time: Summer to fall
Zones: 8 – 10
Light: Sun

In the southern part of the United States, Hummingbird Bush (also known as Flame Acanthus or Firebush) is a great option for attracting hummingbirds.

It is a drought-tolerant native plant of Texas with bright orange flowers. And as the name implies, it is one of the best flowers for hummingbirds!

It can also be grown as an annual in cooler regions where the bush will grow to about 2 feet tall.

Vines That Attract Hummingbirds

Coral Honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens)

Coral Honeysuckle is another plant that attracts hummingbirds ©Julianna Olah - stock.adobe.com
Coral Honeysuckle is another plant that attracts hummingbirds ©Julianna Olah – stock.adobe.com

Bloom Time: Spring
Zones: 4 – 10
Light: Sun

Coral Honeysuckle is a native to North America vine that has pretty red and yellow flowers that hummingbirds love.

This vine grows quite quickly but is not aggressive which makes it a good candidate for your garden if you have a large fence or wall you want to cover with hummingbird plants.

Note: Make sure you don’t buy the white Japanese honeysuckle. It is a very invasive plant and not worth the trouble to grow it.

Clematis

Clematis is a vine that attracts hummingbirds
Clematis is a vine that attracts hummingbirds

Bloom Time: Spring, summer or fall depending on the variety
Zones:
Light:

Anyone who has been around here for a while knows about my love affair with Clematis. I think they are just about the perfect garden plant.

The fact that Clematis is one of the vines that attract hummingbirds to your yard is just a bonus in my books!

But since they do…that’s one more reason I think every garden needs at least one Clematis…or 25 in my case 🙂

You might also like: Flowering Vines For Shade

Morning Glory

Hummingbird with Morning Glory
Hummingbird with Morning Glory

Bloom Time: Summer
Light: Full Sun

Morning glories are an annual vine that attracts hummingbirds with its beautiful tubular flowers. It grows quite fast, so even as an annual it can cover a section of fence quite easily.

These plants do self-seed so you may have to pull out some unwanted vines on occasion. Or plant them in a place where you won’t mind letting them go.

Trumpet Vine (or Hummingbird Vine)

Allen's hummingbird feeding on hummingbird vine flower. ©angeldibilio - stock.adobe.com
Allen’s hummingbird feeding on hummingbird vine flower. ©angeldibilio – stock.adobe.com

Bloom Time: Mid-summer to fall
Zones: 4 – 9
Light: Full Sun

The Trumpet Vine is a native plant to the Southeast U.S. that is so good at attracting hummers it has earned the nickname Hummingbird Vine.

Its bright orange-red tubular flowers and sweet nectar are a hummingbird magnet.

Hummingbird Vine is also VERY easy to grow…too easy in many cases. It gets very large, very fast so if you plant this one, be prepared to keep it in check. You may have to decide if having this one of the hummingbird plants in your garden is worth it. Growing it in a large container may be a good alternative.

That’s it for my list of hummingbird plants. I have had a lot of success getting hummingbirds to frequent my garden using these flowers so hopefully they will work for you as well.
For more tips on attracting hummingbirds to your garden, click HERE.

Do you have other suggestions for great hummingbird plants? Tell us in the section below.

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Hummingbird Plants: 25+ Of The Best Flowers That Attract Hummingbirds

Flowers that attract hummingbirds

 

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