Spring Flowers for Attracting Hummingbirds
Updated: Nov 1, 2020
There is nothing more exciting than seeing the first flowers of Spring and finally getting your first Hummingbird to come to your feeder. Nectar from flowers and feeders is important to Hummers, but did you know they also need protein from small insects like spiders, aphids, mosquitoes and gnats? So, how can we help supply these protein filled insects for our jeweled Hummingbirds? The easiest way is to provide flowering plants for nectar that also attract small insects and spiders for the protein component of the bird's diet. The photo to the left is a very easy and popular tubular flowering plant of the Salvia family.called "Summer Jewel". These are easy to grow in plant beds and reseed themselves, plus they are adaptable to pots for balconies and porches. These are not frost tolerant but they do survive a variety of summer conditions and Hummingbirds seem to prefer them over other types of flowers. Popular varieties include "Flame", "Saucy Red" or "Scarlet". Be sure to check your local and online nurseries and hardware stores for varieties best suited to your local growing zone.
Other tubular flower varieties to try are the Mexican Cardinal Flower (lobelia laxiflora) , left (also know as Mexican Lobelia), Beardtongue, (pestemon) bottom right, Foxglove, (digitalis purpurea), Hollyhocks (alcea rosea), Petunias (petunioideae), Lupines (fabaceae), Fuchsia and many many others. For more info, see the Hummingbird.org website: https://www.hummingbirdsociety.org/hummingbird-flowers/, and for information specifically on Fuchsia see this link: https://happydiyhome.com/how-to-grow-fuchsia/
Fuchsia is one of my favorites and the Hummingbirds love the flowers, plus, there are so many varieties, colors that you may want to plant several.
Considerations for flowers will depend on the growing zone of your area, space, time, season, watering requirements, soil and other factors. To check your USDA growing zone, see this website: https://garden.org/nga/zipzone/
Once you have decided on the flowers, sit back and watch the Hummingbirds as they return to eat and, hopefully, stick around for the summer.
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