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How to Attract Hummingbirds to your Garden

Hummingbirds in the United States feed on flower nectar and many small insects. If you want to attract hummingbirds to your garden, it should contain a healthy supply of both small insects and flowering nectar plants.

Using a Hummingbird Feeder

  • Hummingbird feeders should be hung in the shade.
  • Hummingbird feeders should be cleaned and refilled every three to five days under normal circumstances.
  • Hummingbird feeders should be filled with a solution of one part table sugar to four parts water, brought to a boil and then cooled and stored in the refrigerator for future use.
  • Do not should fill your hummingbird feeder with honey solutions. Honey solutions may produce a fungal disease fatal to hummingbirds.
  • Prevent ants from visiting your hummingbird feeder by using an 'ant guard'. An a guard is a barrier between the ants and the nectar.
  • Hummingbird feeders must be changed at least once every 3 to 4 days. They should be changed more often in warmer climates.

Plants that Provide Nectar for Hummingbirds

If hummingbirds live in your area, you can attract them by planting red, tubular flowers.

Spread your hummingbird flowers and feeders throughout your entire garden to discourage dominance by any one bird. Hummingbird flowers are attractive to these birds whether in the sun or shade. Do not put pesticides into the hummingbird feeder. Pesticides, especially sprays, can be lethal to hummingbirds. Even if hummingbirds do not take in enough nectar dosed with pesticide to kill them directly, the number of small insects available to them in your garden will drop dramatically. If your garden does not have enough insects, the baby hummingbirds may starve

Plants to Attract and Feed Hummingbirds

Trees and Shrubs:

  • Azalea

  • Butterfly Bush (Buddleia)
  • Cape Honeysuckle
  • Flame Acanthus
  • Flowering Quince
  • Lantana
  • Manzanita
  • Mimosa
  • Red Buckeye
  • Tree Tobacco
  • Turk's Cap
  • Weigela
  • Coral Honeysuckle
  • Cypress Vine
  • Morning Glory
  • Scarlet Runner Bean
  • Trumpet Creeper
  • Bee Balm (Monarda)
  • Canna
  • Cardinal Flower
  • Columbine
  • Coral Bells
  • Four O'Clocks
  • Foxglove
  • Hosta
  • Hummingbird Mint (Agastache)
  • Little Cigar
  • Lupine
  • Penstemon
  • Yucca
  • Beard Tongue (and other penstemons)
  • Firespike
  • Fuchsia
  • Impatiens
  • Jacobiana
  • Jewelweed
  • Petunia
  • Various Salvia species
  • Shrimp Plant

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