Friday, May 28, 2010

Attracting Hummingbirds to Your Garden - Part 4

Top 5 shrubs to attract hummingbirds (plus one tree):

#1. Azalea - Azaleas make up part of the genus Rhododendron. Azaleas grow best in a cool, shady spot with acidic, well-drained soil. They are easily damaged by excessive soil moisture with a few exceptions - the swamp azalea, Rhododendron viscosum, which can grow in - you guessed it - swampy conditions, has fragrant flowers, and bright red fall foliage. (Pictured above.)

#2. Butterfly Bush (Buddleia)- Beautiful flowering shrub, makes good cut flowers. Butterfly bush flowers from June-July to fall and colors vary from white, pink, lavender, purple and to near red, depending on the variety. Butterfly bush prefers a well-drained, moist, loamy type soil and tolerates heat and drought after it becomes well established. Butterfly bush can grow 5 to 10 feet high and wide, but can be trimmed to 4 to 6 feet. The more you trim, the more it blooms. Cold hardy in zones 5 through 9.

#3. Honeysuckle shrub - A species of the genus Lonicera, there are more than one hundred varieties of honeysuckle shrub, which grow from three to six feet high and wide. Most of the varieties of honeysuckle shrub have very fragrant flowers that bloom throughout the entire summer, some well into autumn.

Honeysuckle prefer full sun to partial shade, and most types of honeysuckle prefer a moderate amount of moisture in order to thrive. Pruning encourages a bushier growth.

#4. Flowering Quince Chaenomeles

#5. Weigela - Cold hardy to zone 4 Weigela can be cut and used very effectively in floral arrangements. The colorful foliage of the burgundy varieties adds long lasting color to any garden.

Plus a tree suggestion: Red Buckeye (Aesculus pavia)- If ever a tree was a femme fatale, this one definitely is. Big, amazing upright blooms later in summer. A petite tree, growing only about 18' tall, cold hardy to zone 4, and poisonous if any of the plant is digested!

Attract Hummingbirds to Your Garden - Part 1

Attract Hummingbirds to Your Gardens - Part 2

Attract Hummingbirds to Your Garden - Part 3

Attract Hummingbirds to Your Garden - Part 4

Attract Hummingbirds to Your Garden - Part 3

Continuing our series on Attracting Hummingbirds to Your Garden, here are the top ten perennials to attract hummingbirds:

#1. Salvia, sage (Salvia spp.)This is a Victoria Gardens, deer-resistant, full sun favorite.

#2. Bee balm (Monarda spp.)Another deer-resistant, full sun perennial. Plant with air flow as a priority or these can get powdery mildew.

#3. Trumpet honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens)These are exotic looking, but very cold-hardy.

#4. Beardstongue (Penstemon spp.)"The most distinctive feature of the genus is the prominent staminode, an infertile stamen. The staminode takes a variety of forms in the different species; while typically a long straight filament extending to the mouth of the corolla, some are longer and extremely hairy, giving the general appearance of an open mouth with a fuzzy tongue protruding and inspiring the common name beardtongue." -Wikipedia

#5. Hollyhocks (Alcea rosea)These are best grown against a fence or the house, so that the tall stalks have some support.

#6. Foxglove (Digitalis Purpurea) Technically a biennial. Has two-year life cycle. Grows only leaves first season from seed. Then in second season, blooms, seeds and dies with first frost.

#7. Hardy hibiscus (Hibiscus moescheutos)There is no way the hummingbirds (or your neighbors) will overlook this showy bloom.

#8. Cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis)Two- to four-foot tall stems are laden with brilliant crimson flowers from July through September.

#9. Columbines - (Aquilegia spp.)Especially Aquilegia canadensis 'Little Lanterns' which is a great selection of wild Columbine that grows less than 1 foot tall. (Pictured below.)

#10 Lupines- beautiful and prolific (they reseed like nobody's business.)

Attract Hummingbirds to Your Garden - Part 1

Attract Hummingbirds to Your Gardens - Part 2

Attract Hummingbirds to Your Garden - Part 3

Attract Hummingbirds to Your Garden - Part 4