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Hummingbird Gardens


HummingbirdThe magic that hummingbirds create in the garden never fails to enchant young and old alike. From the mountains to the plains, you can attract “hummers” when they migrate to and from their nesting grounds.

Some good hummingbird plants are included in the following table. Use a combination of annuals, perennials, vines, shrubs and trees for an effective flowering food source from spring to fall. Hummers learn quickly which yards in the neighborhood cater to their needs, and will continue to return from year to year.

While you wait for your living hummer magnets to grow and bloom, you may want to use other methods to bring those winged jewels into your yard. Hummingbird feeders will help get things going. They supply the type of energy source needed to fuel these flying machines. Their metabolic rate is so high that they must feed almost constantly during the day. A feeder with red on it helps flag them down, and you can add red ribbons to the feeder to attract more attention from the air.

One part sugar and four parts water makes an excellent nectar solution, which should be changed every few days. Do not add red food coloring to your recipe—the red on the feeder is enough. Place the feeder in the open where the hummers can find it because they fly 30-50 feet overhead. If the feeder is under a tree or patio, they may miss it.

Place your feeder in late April for the spring migration in the foothills, and by July 15 for the fall retreat. It is not true that hummers will forget to fly south if you leave the feeder out too late in the fall. Hummers migrate based on internal hormones, and the length of the day (not food availability).

Providing for these simple needs will invite hummers to share our landscape where they can entertain us with their fascinating antics and beautiful colors.

Flowers that Attract Hummingbirds

Hummingbird Border

Annuals (for flowers all season long)                      Height               Color

Dahlia                                                               2-5 feet             various

Larkspur                                                           3-6 feet             white, pink, blue, purple

Four-o’clocks                                                    2-4 feet             red, pink, yellow, white

Fuchsia                                                             1-3 feet             red, pink, purple, white

Gladiolus                                                           2-5 feet             various

Nasturtium                                                        10-12 inches      red, yellow, orange

Petunia                                                             8-12 inches       various

Salvia                                                               1-2 feet             red

Snapdragon                                                       1-4 feet             red, pink, yellow, white

Spider flower                                                    3-5 feet             pink, purple, white

Flowering tobacco                                             1-6 feet             red, pink, white, green

Zinnia                                                               1-4 feet             various


Perennials (for early blooms)

Bleeding heart                                                   3 feet                pink, white

Carpet bugle (ajuga)                                          6 inches            blue, pink

Columbine                                                         1-3 feet             red, yellow, blue, pink

Coral bells                                                         1-2 feet             pink, red, white


Perennials (for midseason blooms)

Bee balm                                                          2-3 feet             red, pink, purple, white

Blue salvia                                                        2-3 feet             blue

Cardinal flower                                                 3-4 feet             red

Columbine                                                         1-3 feet             red, yellow, blue, pink

Coral bells                                                         1-2 feet             pink, red, white

Delphinium                                                        3-6 feet             blue, purple, pink, white

Foxglove                                                           2-6 feet             pink, yellow, purple

Lavender                                                          1-2 feet             lavender

Lupine                                                              2-3 feet             blue, purple, pink, red

Penstemon                                                        1-3 feet             various

Red hot poker                                                   3-4 feet             red, yellow

Tall garden phlox                                               2-3 feet             pink, red, purple, white

Veronica                                                           1-3 feet             red, blue, pink, white


Perennials (for late blooms)

Butterfly weed                                                  3 feet                red-orange

Penstemon                                                        1-3 feet             various

Russian sage                                                      2-4 feet             blue-violet

Foxglove                                                           2-6 feet             pink, yellow, purple

Hollyhock                                                         3-6 feet             red, yellow, white, pink

Zauschneria                                                      1-2 feet             orangeTrumpet Honeysuckle





Honeysuckle, Japanese                                      perennial           white, yellow

Honeysuckle, trumpet                                        perennial           yellow, red

Trumpet creeper                                               perennial           red-orange

Morning glory                                                    annual               various

Scarlet runner bean                                           annual               red


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