Top 8 Plants Attract Hummingbirds

The way hummingbirds fly through the air from one plant to another is a wonder of nature. Hummingbirds look like tiny flying daredevils that have won our hearts with their beautiful bright colors and fascinating habits. How can we attract them to our gardens?

It takes a lot of trial and research to find plants that seem to like hummingbirds, but fortunately we made the effort and it was worth it!

Use the GardeningCalendar plant selection tool to quickly find native plants that meet the selection criteria, such as hummingbirds. In this article we will talk about 8 different plants that hummingbirds like, going into details about their origin, life cycle and appearance.

What are the characteristics of Plants that Attract hummingbirds?

Hummingbirds can be particularly picky when it comes to flora, but they have preferences.

1. Color

You can attract hummingbirds with a color. They rely a lot on the view to find food. Due to their weak sense of smell, these small birds rely on bright colors to identify plants from a distance. The flowers pollinated by hummingbirds have warm and vibrant hues such as red, yellow and orange. It also seems that these shades hide these flowers from pollinators to reduce competition.

Although it has not been proven that hummingbirds have special color preferences, the color red seems to stimulate their interest. They are often noticed when inspecting red feeders, red plant labels and even crimson gardener’s clothes.

2. Nectar

Hummingbirds can eat up to 3 times their weight per day, so they are attracted to plants that produce a lot of nectar. North American hummingbirds flap their wings on average about 53 times per second, which means that they need the sugar contained in the nectar to maintain their high-energy lifestyle. This explains why, for example, hummingbird-pollinated flowers secrete more nectar than their insect-pollinated counterparts.

3. Formed

Hummingbirds are attracted by the long tube-shaped flowers, which are ideal for their long beak and tongue. They also like plants that fall or hang down, and also have modified leaves or petals that allow them to float during feeding. Hummingbirds do not seem to complain about plants with large planting areas or elongated structures.

8 Plants That Attract Hummingbirds

Perennial sierra (Delphinium glaucum)

Also known as mountain snapper and sapphire snapper, the delphinium flower grows in western North America, from Arizona to Alaska. You can find this wildflower growing in humid mountain conditions such as meadows and river banks.

The perennial Sierra blooms in early summer, an ideal time to observe hummingbirds and sometimes again in after summer and early autumn. This plant can reach one to several green erect stems and, depending on its variety, can reach an average height of 2 to 8 feet. At the top of the stem, you can see a large inflorescence containing more than 50 widely spaced flowers. Their petals and sepals have a striking dark sapphire or dark purple color.

Life cycle: Perennial plant

Flowering time: Early summer, maybe again in after or early autumn.
Family: Ranunculaceae

Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis)

Widespread throughout the country, the Cardinal flower is native to the Americas, from southeastern Canada to the eastern and southwestern United States, which means you can find it in almost all of the lower 48 states!

This herbaceous plant grows up to 3-4 feet tall, requires moist conditions and shaded areas, so you can often see it in damp places such as swamps and stream banks.

They bloom from mid to after summer, with a magnificent bright red color perfect for attracting hummingbirds. In fact, they mainly depend on small energy balls for pollination.

Life cycle: Perennial plant
Flowering period: Mid – after summer
Family: Belfry

Tubular vine (Campsis radicans)

The tubular vine flower, also known as the tubular liana, is a great place if you are hoping to meet hummingbirds. In fact, in North America, the tubular liana is known as the Hummingbird vine.

This flower is native to the eastern United States, but it is quite easy to grow and you can find it naturalized in the western United States. When I say “grow up”, I mean seriously grow up! These plants are notorious for their insane height, in many matters reaching 40 feet.

It is a deciduous liana that is usually found in forests and on the banks of rivers. Their distinctive feature that makes them attractive to hummingbirds are the elegant trumpet-shaped flowers of bright red and orange colors.

Life cycle: Perennial plant
Flowering period: July to September
Family: Bignoniaceae

Tubular honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens)

Another plant native to the eastern United States is tubular honeysuckle, also known as coral honeysuckle or scarlet honeysuckle. It is often confused with the Tubular vine and, although they have some similar qualities, the tubular honeysuckle is less vigorous.

This vine is also getting a little smaller, reaching 20 feet in height. The bright clusters of red flowers attract hummingbirds very much, to the point that they are a natural favorite of ruby-throated hummingbirds. The orange-red flower blooms in after spring.

Life cycle: Perennial plant
Flowering time: June
Family: Caprifoliaceae

Bee balm (monarda didyma)

Bee Balm grows in eastern North America and reaches quite small sizes – up to 3 feet wide and 3 to 4 feet high. Obviously, it is not as big as the other plants on our list, but it is undoubtedly as attractive to hummingbirds as any other.

This flower blooms in the middle to after summer, with the possibility of remaining in bloom in early autumn. Its petals are thorns, but they come in an awesome variety of colors like white, pink, red and purple.

Bee Balm is also commonly known as Raspberry bee balm, Scarlet bee balm, Scarlet Monard, Oswego tea or bergamot. This flower likes to be in the sun, it needs moist soil to grow.

Life cycle: Perennial plant
Flowering period: July to September
Family: Lamiaceae

Digitalis purpurea (Digitalis purpurea)

Considered one of the most beautiful plants on the planet (I think so too!digitalis perfectly attracts hummingbirds thanks to its brightly colored tubular flowers.

The flowers of the foxglove bloom in the middle of summer and can be red, pink, yellow, white or purple, depending on the variety. These flowers sit on a long stem covered with leaves up to 6 feet high. However, the flower itself can be so easily worn on one of your fingers!

Purple foxglove grows in Western and Southwestern Europe, Western and Central Asia, as well as in North-west Africa. It can usually be seen in a wide variety of habitats such as sea cliffs, open forests and rocky slopes.

You should keep in mind that digitalis is an invasive plant. All parts of the plant are toxic to humans, domestic animals and livestock. So be careful when dealing with him!

Life cycle: Perennial plant
Flowering time: mid-summer
Family: Plantaginaceae

Flowering tobacco (Nicotiana alata)

Nicotiana Aleta is a type of tobacco known by other names such as jasmine tobacco, sweet tobacco, winged tobacco and Persian tobacco. It grows from southern Brazil to northeastern Argentina.

It has an elegant appearance and a delicious aroma, which is probably why it is mainly grown as an ornamental plant. This type of flowering tobacco plant reaches more than 25 inches in height. They bear branched flower stalks forming flowers that open only at night.

The flowers come in a wide variety of colors, including white, pink, crimson, lime green, yellow and crimson. Flowering begins in early summer and continues until autumn.

Life cycle: Perennial plant
Flowering period: July to September
Family: Solanaceae

Columbina (Aquilegia canadensis)

Colombina flowers belong to one of the many species of the genus Aquilegia. However, we will talk in particular about the Red Columbine, also known as the Canadian Columbine and the Wild Columbine.

This plant is native to eastern North America, where it can usually be seen in forests and on rocky slopes. It grows up to 35 feet tall. The wildflowers of Colombina have such a unique shape, with bright yellow and red flowers. They bloom early, usually in after spring, in May, which is such a happy coincidence for hummingbirds when they return north from their winter dwellings.

Each flower reaches a maximum of 3 inches long and carries its nectar with rounded ends, which makes it very difficult for insects to access, but for hummingbirds, it’s easier!