55 Best Plants for Hummingbirds
While it’s fun to set out a hummingbird feeder with sugar water, planting annuals and perennials hummingbirds are interested in is a great way to add to your hummingbird sightings with minimal effort. If you pick flowering plants with a range of bloom times from spring through fall, you’ll be able to watch these tiny birds visit for weeks without the hassle of cleaning and refilling feeders! So, what plants do hummingbirds like? Here’s the full list of the best plants for hummingbirds.
Full List of Plants for Hummingbirds
The best plants for hummingbirds are, naturally, flowering plants, bushes, and trees. While hummingbirds love just about anything with nectar, they have a slight preference for long, tubular flowers. Tube-shaped flowers are the perfect size for their long beaks and tongues to access. Hummingbirds also tend to prefer the color red, though they like any bright color. (Here’s how hummingbirds find food.)
The following flowers and flowering herbs all make great hummingbird plants. Many of them also bring in other pollinators, like butterflies and bees! I’ve included the USDA hardiness zones for each perennial. “And up” means it’s safe through at least zone 7, which is the warmest zone in the northeast.
Annual Plants for Hummingbirds
• Begonias – Both wax and tuberous begonias are prolific bloomers that draw in hummingbirds.
• Calibrachoa – Calibrachoa look similar to petunias, and are equally good at attracting hummingbirds.
• Cannas – Cannas make great hummingbird plants when grown as an annual.
• Cardinal Climber – This is a vining red flower that grows well in full sun.
• Cuphea – This is a unique annual that comes in red and tubular forms, along with many other colors and shapes.
• Flowering Tobacco – Similar to petunias, these flowers are an interesting addition to warm, sunny flower beds.
• Fuchsia – Fuchsias love partial shade and grow extremely well in hanging baskets. They are a particular favorite of hummingbirds.
• Geranium – While you might not expect geraniums to be rich in flower nectar, they’re still well-loved by hummingbirds. They make great potted and hanging plants, and they come in red along with many other bright colors.
• Impatiens – Impatiens are one of the best plants you can keep if you want to draw hummingbirds to your porch or deck. It’s one of the hummingbirds’ favorite flowers on our deck year after year, even though you wouldn’t think they’d have much nectar.
• Lantana – Lantana loves living in a sunny location and is particularly well-suited to pots and hanging baskets, which you can set near your windows for maximum hummingbird action.
• Mandevilla – Mandevilla is a colorful, vining annual.
• Morning Glories – Hummingbirds enjoy the petunia-like flowers on vining morning glories.
• Pentas – Hummingbirds enjoy the tiny flowers on this annual.
• Petchoa – A mix of calibrachoa and petunias, petchoa is another great annual for hummingbirds.
• Petunias – Petunias are perfect for porches and decks that you want to draw hummingbirds to. They have big, bright flowers for the hummingbirds to spot.
• Pride of Madeira – This is another plant with tall spikes and lots of sweet nectar that hummingbirds love. Although it can’t be grown as a perennial in-ground here in the northeast, it can be kept in pots and brought in during the winter.
• Salvia – Salvia is high in nectar. You can pick ones with red flowers that are perfect for hummingbirds.
• Snapdragons – Snapdragons are great container plants that hummingbirds love.
• Spider Flowers – Spider flowers, also known as cleome, are great nectar sources for hummingbirds.
• Sunflowers – Sunflowers are the perfect bird-attracting flower. Hummingbirds enjoy the tiny tubular yellow flowers at the center of a sunflower bloom, and other birds enjoy the sunflower seeds it provides once mature.
• Verbena – Tiny verbena blooms make great hummingbird flowers.
• Zinnia – The bright blooms of zinnias draw in all kinds of pollinators, including hummingbirds.
Best Perennials for Hummingbirds
• Azaleas – Azaleas produce beautiful blooms and love partial sun and acidic soils (making them a great blueberry bush companion, too). They grow in zones 3 and up.
• Bee Balm – Bee balm is the perfect pollinator magnet, attracting bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds in abundance for zones 3 and up.
• Blazing Stars – This is another perennial plant that grows tall and has many small flowers on it for hummingbirds to enjoy. It grows in zones 3 and up.
• Bleeding Hearts – Bleeding hearts are more nectar-rich flowers that hummingbirds flock to in zones 3 and up.
• Butterfly Bushes – Butterfly bushes are one of the best perennials for butterflies and hummingbirds. They grow very large and are hardy in zones 5 and up.
• Cardinal Flower – Another flower with red tubular-shaped flowers, cardinal flower makes a great hummingbird plant in zones 3 and up.
• Catmint – Catmint is a great herb to grow if you want to attract hummingbirds as well as entertain your cat – it creates a similar reaction to catnip. It grows in zones 3 and up.
• Columbine – Columbine, particularly red columbine, has lots of nectar for hungry hummings in zones 3 and up.
• Coral Bells – Coral bells, or heuchera, produce many tiny flowers that bring in hummingbirds in zones 4 and up.
• Crocosmia – Hummingbirds love the red, tube-shaped crocosmia flowers. One variety, Lucifer, is hardy in zones 4 and up.
• Daylilies – Daylilies are low-maintenance, come in many colors, and provide a decent source of nectar for zones 3 and up.
• Delphinium – Delphiniums are short-lived perennials that are tall and produce many flowers, making them a feast for hummingbirds. Depending on the variety, they can be grown in zones 3 and up.
• Flowering Quince – Flowering quince is a great early spring plant for zones 5 and up.
• Foxgloves – Foxgloves have a tubular shape that’s perfect for hummingbirds’ long bills. They grow in zones 4 and up.
• Hollyhocks – Hollyhocks are tall plants with many blooms for hummingbirds. They grow in zones 3 and up.
• Hostas – The tubular flowers on hostas make them a hummingbird magnet for zones 3 and up.
• Hummingbird Mint – Also known as anise hyssop, hummingbird mint is a resilient and low-maintenance herb for zones 5 and up.
• Iris – Irises are generally liked by hummingbirds, although there’s more debate about them than many of the other flowers on this list. Try one with bright red, yellow, or pink flowers for the most success. Some varieties are hardy to zone 3, but many thrive in zones 5 and up.
• Lilac – In addition to their fragrant, pollinator-loved white and purple flowers in late spring, hummingbirds enjoy lilacs even more for their leaves and branches, which make excellent perching spots. A hummingbird usually sets us shop in the bush nearest to our hummingbird feeder every summer to watch for any others who might try to visit! (Here’s why hummingbirds fight.) Grow this in zones 3 and up.
• Lungworts – Lungworts are early spring blooms that provide food for hummingbirds early on in zones 3 and up.
• Lupine – There are many varieties of lupine, like blue lupine, that are native plants and draw in hummingbirds – perfect for zones 3 and up.
• Penstemon – Penstemon has tubular flowers and blooms for an extended period in zones 3 and up.
• Phlox – Hummingbirds are as attracted to the strong scent phlox gives off as we are! These are very low-maintenance perennial flowers that can be grown in border areas of your lawn. They live in zones 4 and up.
• Pincushion Flowers – Pincushion flowers, or scabiosa, produce many little flowers attractive to hummingbirds in zones 3 and up.
• Red Hot Poker – These flowers look like something out a Dr. Seuss book – and hummingbirds love them! Some hardy varieties can grow in zones 5 and up.
• Rhododendrons – Rhododendrons are another large flower perfect for a hummingbird garden. Unlike many on this list, they do best in part shade in zones 4 and up.
• Rose of Sharon – Another very tall shrub, rose of Sharon grows well in full sun in zones 5 and up.
• Trumpet Honeysuckle – This is a nectar-rich perennial with red tubular flowers – in short, one of the best perennials for hummingbirds! It grows in zones 4 and up.
• Trumpet Vine – It’s also known as hummingbird vine, so it’s a natural choice for a hummingbird garden in zones 4 and up. It’s a native plant, but it’s known for taking over spaces, so keep it in a controlled area like a pot or keep it well pruned.
• Weigela – Weigela is a small shrub that flowers in summer in zones 4 and up.
• Wisteria – Wisteria, particularly American wisteria, is great for attracting hummingbirds in zones 5 and up – but it needs to be pruned back, or it can take over.
• Yarrow – Common yarrow is a native plant that blooms through summer and fall, making it ideal for hummingbirds. It grows in zones 3 and up.
• Yucca – Yuccas, especially red and pink ones, are attractive to hummingbirds and grow in zones 4 and up.
Potted and Hanging Plants for Hummingbirds
Many of the previous hummingbird favorites are fairly large perennials – which is perfect for low-maintenance pollinator gardens, but not ideal for a porch or deck. Some of the best potted plants for hummingbirds include petunias, begonias, impatiens, lantana, and snapdragons. These and others, including fuchsia, small varieties of hummingbird mint, and other vining annuals, work well in hanging baskets and window boxes.
FAQs About Plants Hummingbirds Like
Do hummingbirds like fuchsia plants?
Yes, hummingbirds love fuchsia plants.
What color of flower attracts hummingbirds the most?
Red is widely considered the most attractive to hummingbirds, but they love any bright color, including orange, pink, and yellow.
Do marigolds attract hummingbirds?
Hummingbirds are generally not interested in marigolds.
Enjoy Your Hummingbirds!
You now have a full list of the best plants for hummingbirds to choose from. Select plants that bloom at different times that will work best for your lifestyle and start planting!
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