Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Attract Hummingbirds to Your Garden - Part 1

We spotted the first little hummingbird in the nursery the other day sucking the nectar from a honeysuckle vine. Oh, he was soo skinny! Poor little guys are starving and searching out nectar where ever they can find it.

Attract humming birds to your garden with some of their favorites - and don't believe that old wives tale that humming birds will only feed from red flowers, they will drink from other brightly colored flowers as well. There's no reason to banish pink, purple and even yellow and orange from your garden!

Top ten annuals to attract hummingbirds:

#1. Fuchsia - Pink, purple, white, it doesn't matter, these are the hummingbirds favorites in our greenhouses.

#2. Agastache - Some varieties are perennial and some are not in our zone. Hummingbird favorites are the tender varieties like 'tutti fruity' and 'Mexican sunrise'.

#3. Nicotiana - Or the Flowering Tobacco plant. And every one should plant these fragrant annuals in their gardens, because they are spectacular ornamental additions as well as great hummingbird attractors. (We have these in 4-packs now, but once they're gone we won't be able to bring them in again this season.)

#4. Cleome - A great re-seeder, we also have these in 4-packs for a limited time.

#5. Calibrachoa - Also called Million Bells, these make fabulous hanging basket and container plants, because they form a cascade of millions of flowers (slight exaggeration - but they are indeed floriferous) and the spent blooms simply fall off on their own (no deadheading required)!

#6. Snapdragons - Also available in 4-packs for a limited time.

#7. Morning glories - (Ipomoea spp.)Already a garden staple for many, this vigorous annual vine is also a hummingbird enticement - even the blue variety of this flowering vine!

#8. Cardinal Climber - The Latin is ipomoea quamoclit, but this red flowering annual vine has many, many common names. It is a species of Morning Glory, but with smaller flowers.

#9. Salvia - Annual Salvia as well as perennial Salvia in any color are a good source of nectar.

#10. Good old fashioned Petunias - These classic container plants will lure hummingbirds with their big open blooms. (I think people either love petunias or hate them, and I think it's because they do need to be deadheaded. I have a friend who wanders through her containers and dead heads while she chats on the phone - she finds it soothing. If you don't find deadheading soothing, the Calibrachoa is a better choice for you.)

Attract Hummingbirds to Your Gardens - Part 2

Attract Hummingbirds to Your Garden - Part 3

Attract Hummingbirds to Your Garden - Part 4

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