Attract Hummingbirds to Your Garden

    • Cage or stake tomatoes while still small so that you can train them as they grow.
    • Roses bloom all summer with their abundant flowers in so many different colors. Choose some now when you can see their lovely flowers.
    • Feed rhododendrons, azaleas and camellias with an acid plant food to encourage lush growth. Pinch or prune to promote full, dense growth.
    • Petunias, in bright pink, red and purple, will add beauty and color to sunny borders all through the summer.
    • Fragrant star jasmine is in full bloom right now. Plant one in a semi-shaded spot where you can enjoy its lovely perfume.

Attract Hummingbirds to Your Garden

Hummingbirds are some of the most interesting and colorful birds that visit our gardens. The best way to attract hummingbirds to your backyard is by hanging up feeders, planting nectar-rich flowering plants and even putting up water features that hummingbirds love.

Hummingbird feeders provide hummingbirds with nectar critical to their survival, especially during fall and spring migration. Fill the feeders with sugar water and be sure to change the water regularly to keep it fresh. Hang the feeders where you can enjoy watching them drink and dart about.

But it’s even more interesting to watch them sipping from the flowers in your own garden. They are extremely active birds and will visit hundreds of flowers each day to meet their nutrition requirements. Sugary nectar makes up 90 percent of a hummingbird’s diet and supplies fast energy for the tiny birds.

Many flowers are dependent upon hummingbirds for pollination. Red, a color which is invisible to bees, attracts hummingbirds’ attention, but they also visit orange and pink flowers. The flowers that they pollinate are often tubular, rich in nectar and usually lacking in fragrance.

Some of the annual flowers that hummingbirds like the most are red salvia, snapdragons, petunias and nicotiana. They love fuchsias whose drooping flowers they can reach while hovering beneath them. They also enjoy the flowers of morning glory vines, impatiens and zinnias.

There are many perennials that attract them. In spring they feed on columbines, foxgloves and lupines. In summer there are many good nectar sources for them: lilies, penstemon, summer phlox, cardinal flower, Lily of the Nile, bee balm, hollyhocks, coral bells and daylilies. In late summer they will visit California fuchsias and rose of Sharon.

The orange trumpet vine, Campsis radicans, which blooms most of the summer, is very popular with hummingbirds. Honeysuckle vines are also well liked as are red hot poker plants, which send up tall spikes of tubular orange flowers, gladiolus blossoms, and the unusual red or pink flowers of Grevillea.

The silk tree or mimosa with its fuzzy pink blossoms is a regular stop on the hummingbird’s flight. Butterfly bush and Weigela are also favorites. Choose plants with different blooming periods so that there will be a steady supply of flowers throughout the growing season.

The hummingbird garden should have enough open space for hummingbirds to put on their aerial displays. About one fourth of the yard should be shaded, one fourth partially shaded and the rest open to the sun. Choose plants that will provide blossoms throughout the season. Hummingbirds do not use traditional types of birdbaths, but prefer ones that spray a fountain so they can fly in and out of the spray of water. Or set up a mister and watch them enjoy flying through the mist.

Hummingbirds have good memories and will return year after year to an attractive garden. The more plants you have that the hummingbirds like, the more you will be able to enjoy them all season.

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