Plant nectar-rich flowers and let nature feed the hummingbirds
Hummingbirds prefer natural nectar. Pam Piombino, president of the Boulder County, CO Audubon club and habitat gardener notes that the many hummingbirds who visit her garden prefer the natural nectar they find in flowers to the sugar solution she also provides in feeders. She keeps feeders available for those times when migration is underway. Then, she finds, the hummingbirds will use the sugar feeders to store up energy for their travel.
Make sure your habitat garden is full of a season’s worth of hummingbird favorite plants. They will keep your garden humming with jewel-like color. Here are 5 Tips to attract and support hummingbirds in your garden:
A soft orange-flowered selection of pineleaf beardtongue, SteppeSuns® Sunset Glow Penstemon (Penstemon pinifolius) is a native cultivar that starts flowering in late spring and attracts numerous pollinators and hummingbirds. Reminiscent of Colorado summer sunsets, its long-lasting blooms add a warm glow to dry area gardens. Finely textured evergreen foliage forms a compact mound for year-round interest.
Buzz® 'Hot Raspberry' Butterfly Bush (Buddleia davidii) wakes up summer’s doldrums with splendid raspberry-pink flowers. Blooming from early summer to late fall, the sweetly scented shrub is a magnet for many pollinators, especially butterflies. This compact habit is perfect for smaller spaces, a lovely addition to a perennial bed or large container planting. The flowers and foliage make lovely bouquets.
Buzz® 'Midnight' Butterfly Bush (Buddleia davidii) is an exciting compact butterfly bush with magnificent jewel-tones of rich purple and blue flowers that shower the garden with color and a sweet honey scent from early summer to late fall. A powerful attractor of butterflies and hummingbirds, it’s also deer and rabbit resistant. A perfect easy-to-grow upgrade for the perennial bed, container, hedge, or border.
FlowerKisser™ Everpink Desert Willow (Chilopsis linearis) is a seedless desert willow with large, fragrant pink flowers that cover the plant all summer long. This wide-growing native tree loves heat and full sun, making it a versatile addition to hot, dry gardens. Nectar-rich blooms are highly attractive to hummingbirds. A High Country Gardens Introduction.
'Mars Magic' Single Hollyhock (Alcea rosea) brings classic style and architectural form to the summer garden. The tall stems are covered with scarlet-red single flowers with lemon throats. Flowers rise above the garden from mid-to-late summer, casting a colorful red sunset glow over the garden. Hummingbirds love these bright red flowers, as do butterflies. This cultivar is a true cold-hardy perennial, blooming every year.
A stunning early spring-blooming shrub with pendulous clusters of pink flowers, 'Claremont' Flowering Currant (Ribes sanguineum) is an essential nectar source for bees and migrating hummingbirds. In fall, foliage shifts to a warm apricot hue. Also known as Winter Currant, this California native displays edible inky black berries that attract birds. This fragrant, showy shrub is a great choice for small yards and patio gardens.
A dazzling selection of this California native wildflower species, 'Marian Sampson' (commonly known as Scarlet Monardella) has clusters of brilliant red, tubular flowers held over low mats of dark green, shiny leaves. Blooming in late spring it is certain to attract hummingbirds. Drought resistant/drought tolerant plant (xeric).
Blue Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis ssp. aristadus) is one of the very best Old World plants for attracting and feeding bees and bumble bees. A medicinal herb, its aromatic foliage, and bright blue flowers are a highlight of the mid-summer garden. Drought resistant/drought tolerant plant (xeric).
High Country Gardens is proud to have been one of the original sponsors of The Hummingbird Society. To learn more about how to keep hummingbirds buzzing in your garden all season long, visitThe Hummingbird Society.