Attracting Hummingbirds

Today I viewed a video made by Merrifield Garden Center on attracting hummingbirds to your garden.

According to the video, there are a number of ways to do this. You can grow flowers, shrubs and trees they like, hang flowering baskets, or put out hummingbird feeders.

The first way is to plant flowers because hummingbirds are attracted to flowers. In our particular area, we only have the Ruby Throated Hummingbird species. They get their name because the male has bright ruby red plumage on his throat.

Why Do Hummingbirds Migrate?

Hummingbird migrate from the south to the north because they are driven by food. They also eat small insects and gnats. Hummingbirds need a constant food source.

This reminds me of my childhood when we had a couple of wild California tobacco trees in our yard. These trees never failed to attract a lot of hummingbirds. The trees have masses of long yellow-tube like flowers.

One year my sister actually caught a hummingbird in her two hands near a Tobacco tree. She gently release it after we all got a close look at it. She never could figure out why it allowed her to catch it as that is not a wild bird’s natural behavior.

Birds Fly South in the Winter

Attracting Hummingbirds – Flowers, Shrubs, and Trees

So now back to attracting hummingbirds. Hummingbirds look for plants with flowers that they can get their beak and tongue into. They need plants which, also, have a good sugar content.

These native plants and trees attract hummingbirds:

  1. Red Buckeye Trees
  2. Clover Currant
  3. Wild Columbine
  4. Milkweeds – These plants are often planted to attract butterflies but they will also attract hummingbirds.

Garden Perennials Plants to Attract Hummingbirds: Garden Phlox, Bee Balm, Cone Flowers, Fireweed, Salvia, Coral Honeysuckle, *Trumpet Vine, and Rhododendrons.

(*Please note as lovely as the orange flower Trumpet Vine is, the vine can become quite invasive in a yard.

I had three large Trumpet Vines which grew on my split rail fence. They overtook the fence and began to grow all over the sidewalk. I had to remove them by digging the roots up. However, I am still, to this day, trying to rid myself of all their roots and new growths).

Garden Annuals Plants to attract Hummingbirds: Shrimp Plants, Lantana, and Fire Cracker Plants.

Trees to Attract Hummingbirds: Redbud Trees and Flowering Dogwoods.

White Dogwood Tree in Bloom

Gardening Tip: If you don’t have space for a garden, you can always plants some of the above hummingbird favorites in a planter and hang it up.

Planning Your Blooming Schedule

To attract hummingbirds you will need to stagger your flowers’ blooming schedules so you have plants in bloom in April, May, June, July, etc.

This will give the hummingbirds a steady source of food.

Hummingbird Feeders and Homemade Nectar

There is some controversy about what is better for the hummingbird, that is, clear or red tinted nectar. If you are not sure which way to go on this, go with the safe way and use clear nectar in your feeder.

You can also buy hummingbird feeders which have a red tinted glass base.

Glass hummingbird feeders need frequent cleaning and refilling with fresh nectar. The sun’s heat causes bacteria to grow in the sugar mixture. This is bad for the hummingbirds. Depending on the temperature, the feeder’s solution might need to be changed up to every five to six days.

Male hummingbirds are, also, quite territorial and will chase other males away, so you might find you need to put up a second hummingbird feeder to alleviate the situation.

Ending Notes on Attracting Hummingbirds Blog

It takes a winning combination of flowers, trees, and feeders to attract those fascinating hummingbirds.

Also, remember hummingbirds have good memories and will often return to gardens with food sources.

A Special Thank You to Andy Johnson of Merrifield Garden Center for his informative program on Attracting Hummingbirds to your Garden.

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