Need Advice On Plants That Attract Hummingbirds To The Garden

Today’s post, I will admit, is wishful thinking on my part. I am researching plants that attract hummingbirds to the garden. So far, my efforts in attracting these flighty little birds have been epic failuries. I need advice from you expert gardeners on this topic.

I purchased a hummingbird tube late last summer along with the liquid nectar mixture. I confidently hung it on a stake near in a garden where there is a nice variety of flowers. No hummingbirds stopped by to partake. It turned rancid. I dumped it out and tried again.

In October, Hurricane Matthew blew through my area. In securing all the yard ornaments, I had forgotten to put the feeder away. It was smashed to pieces as the full force of Matthew hit Bertie County. As many of my neighbors flooded and lost their homes, my broken hummingbird feeder was forgotten.

“Maybe next spring,” I had thought to myself. But spring has come and it’s now June and 90 degrees outside.

One helpful friend suggested that while I do have plants near the bird-feeding area, that they may not be the correct kind of flowers to attract the little hummingbirds.

Given that I live in a hot climate with high humidy but spells of drought I’ve researched the  flowers that I think I will try. I’d love to have some input from other gardeners on these plants. Any advice is greatly appreciated!

BUTTERFLY BUSH:

Apparently, the butterfly bush is like a bonus planting…it attracts both hummingbirds and butterflies. By all reports, this will grow in partial shade to full sun and doesn’t mind the heat. I’ve never tried this one, but I’m willing to give it a go. I do know that they smell absolutely fragrant. I really wouldn’t mind attracting butterflies.

butterfly bush
The butterfly bush is known to attract both butterflies and hummingbirds. | Photo: http://www.amazon.com

SALVIA:

These tall flowers look majestic.  I like the selection of colors. And, they will add a nice vibrant color to the area.  Since they appear to be in the “sage” family, they should do well here, I would think. One of the area’s top agricultural plants is clary sage which thrives in our heat. Maybe I’ll give it a go.

clary sage Bertie County NC
The sun sets over a field of Clary Sage in Bertie County, North Carolina

BEE BALM:

Bee balm looks interesting to me. It appears to be a perennial and the flowers are gorgeous. It is actually an herb which can become shrub-sized. It looks easy to care for. My concern is this: Will it overtake my whole garden? It’s in the mint family, notorious for being aggressive growers.

COLUMBINE:

My mother always ahd columbine at my childhood home in Pennsylvania. The humminbirds were always attracted to this particular plant. I do have a shady area where I can plant it. I am wondering if it will withstand our heat. We usually have a period of summer drought which is interrupted by torrential downpours if we get tropical storms.

DAY LILIES:

I have access to hundreds of day lilies if I get off my tail and go dig them.  A relative has offered to give them to me for free, just the sweat equity. I haven’t found the time. Day lilies flourish in this area. I have had success with them, but I’ve never planted the bulbs since I’ve moved to this home. Do hummingbirds like them as well?


I’d love to get advice. I really am more of a veggie gardener than a flower gardener. It’s not that I don’t love planting flowers, it’s just that I prefer vegetable gardens.

Now that I have my raised bed gardens in place and my vegetables flourishing, I’d like to turn my attention to the rest of the yard. It’s been a work in progress over the past three years and now I’m ready to beautify with flowers.

If you have any advice on heat-tolerant plants that attract hummingbirds, please do share! I’d love to hear in the comments how I can get those little hummingbirds buzzing around my yard soon!

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7 thoughts on “Need Advice On Plants That Attract Hummingbirds To The Garden

  1. I’m from up north, however they love all the red, cone-shaped flowers I have: trumpet flower, Maltese cross, beardtounge… also, put your feeder out as soon as you know they are there. If too late, they will ‘bond’ to another feeder.

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