Probably one of the most frequently asked questions we get this time of year is what plants do the hummingbirds like. Fortunately, there are lots to choose from and nothing is more rewarding then sharing your flowers with them. Plus most of their favorites are so easy to grow and can be worked into patio pots and hanging baskets For review, hummingbirds like tubular shaped flowers, are attracted to red and orange colors but will feed on all colors of flowers.
In short, Hummingbirds need nectar, but their primary food source is protein provided by insects. So providing a healthy habitat for them helps maintain them long term and keeps them in your yard. This means avoid using any pesticides and herbicides in your yard so that there are insects for them to feed on and they aren’t exposed to harmful chemicals. Hummingbird feeders are a good substitute for flowers, but they will always select flowers over a feeder. For more info on species that visit us, see our blog Hummingbirds.
Some of the most favored plants:
Cuphea ‘Vermillionaire’ –the Firecracker Plant - this one always makes the top of the list. It’s got cute little cigar shaped orange flowers and this plant will flower all summer. Last year we used this plant to lure hummingbirds that got 'trapped' in the greenhouse back outside by placing them in the doorway. They then figured out the whole door concept and made visits to these everyday in the greenhouse.
Salvias – There are annual and perennial varieties, but the annual ones flower all summer and keep the hummers happy. These are deer resistant and a favorite of Butterflies as well. Proven Winners has the Rockin series that are vigorous growers, they flower non-stop and make great ‘thrillers’ in a pot. The most preferred varieties (based on our ‘test’ gardens, ie my house) are the Rockin Fuchsia and the Rockin Deep Purple, followed by the Rockin Blue Suede Shoes. All of these are winners, easy to grow and pack a colorful punch. One of each color at least!
Agastache or the Hummingbird Mint – You can tell by the name that this must be a great plant to attract Hummingbirds. This plant also has an annual and perennial version, they both will flower most of the summer but the perennials tend to not bloom until later in the summer. I like to add both varieties so that there is something always in continual bloom.
Check out our blog on what Hummingbirds we have in Colorado Springs and how to care for their feeders: Hummingbirds!