ESMcLane
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hummingbirds

what kind of plants or flowers attract hummingbirds? i know having a feeder with nectar is helpful in a garden- but are there actually flowers that they are drawn to?

thanks :)

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rainbowgardener
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flowers for hummingbirds

Of course! What did the hummingbirds do before there were feeders?

Some of their favorites are flowering vines:

trumpet creeper is a native hardy perennial vine. Takes a couple years to get established, then gets huge. Do NOT make the mistake I did and plant it growing up the downspout of your house. I'm constantly battling mine now to keep it from swallowing the house whole. But hummingbirds love the flowers.

honeysuckle trumpet vine is a better behaved perennial vine.

Cardinal climber vine (aka cypress vine) is an annual vine, very pretty delicate leaves with the red trumpet shaped flowers the hummingbirds like.

For non-vining perennials some of the best are cardinal flower, red bee balm, red penstemon. For annuals they really like the red salvia.

Be sure there is fresh, clean water available as well.

In my garden most of the season they prefer the flowers to the feeders. At the end of the season when they really need to stock up before the big migration, they concentrate on the feeders more for efficiency, but still visit the flowers some.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

cynthia_h
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Why are hummingbird feeders red, with deep-throated feeding stations? :?:

Look for flowers whose structure the feeders are imitating; those will attract the hummingbirds. I've seen hummers feed on deep flowers in colors from bright orange through red through brilliant purple, and that's only in California. I think my college schedule was too weird for me to see them in Atlanta. :(

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

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tomf
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If you go out side with a bright shirt on they some times will buzz you.
My wife has some flower shirts and she gets buzzed when she has them on.

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applestar
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Don't forget Scarlet Runner Beans. They also liked my Purple Podded Pole bean flowers and tomato flowers. They like Rose of Sharon shrubs, though they can be invasive with all their seedlings (I consider them fodder for my compost pile). They love jewelweed too, though now I have jewelweed seedlings all over the place to deal with.

NJ Audubon states that there are so many honeysuckle in the woods that the hummingbirds won't visit the feeders while they're in bloom. But my native honeysuckle (Lonicera Sempervirens) has been growing well for the past couple of years now and I can expect fly through visitors now that it's starting to bloom.

ESMcLane
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Location: Western Massachusetts

all of this information is so helpful! this is so exciting : )...i've never been a member of one of these forums before & my boyfriend is a member of a lawn forum- i didn't understand why he got so excited about it...now i get it- i really enjoy gardening & there is so much to learn...so thanks to all of you : )

I will have to figure out what i could put in our area- its not big, so i'll start some planning.

thanks again :)

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rainbowgardener
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applestar wrote: NJ Audubon states that there are so many honeysuckle in the woods that the hummingbirds won't visit the feeders while they're in bloom. .
Thanks Applestar! I had figured that out on my own, but never seen it written anywhere. Took me awhile of wondering when all the migration maps were showing hummingbirds in our area, but it would still be a month or two until they would show up at our feeders/flowers. It finally did occur to me that the honeysuckle were in bloom and when they quit blooming was when the hummingbirds showed up. But that was some years ago.

Since then I have eradicated enough honeysuckle on our property and increased the plantings of hummingbird flowers enough that it seems each year they show up a little sooner (but haven't spotted one yet and I know they are in the area, so it's still true... )
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

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