Ditch the messy refills & attract stunning hummingbirds! Discover 10 easy-to-grow hummingbird flowers they can’t resist, turning your yard into a buzzing oasis of nectar & vibrant life. Read on to learn how to create a hummingbird haven in your backyard!

Do you want to avoid the sugary mess of refillable feeders and watch your yard come alive with a captivating dance of iridescent wings? Planting these 10 irresistible hummingbird flowers is all it takes to transform your green space into a vibrant haven buzzing with feathered jewels.

Get ready to witness nature’s most stunning aerial show as these tiny acrobats dive and dart between blossoms, their jewel-toned plumage flashing in the sunlight. No more sticky spills or empty reservoirs – your garden will become a living feast, brimming with nectar and blooming with endless surprises for these aerial acrobats.

So, trade the store-bought for the homegrown, and let’s create a hummingbird haven that will have you smiling in awe and your neighbors green with envy!

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Hummingbird Garden Ideas for Gardening Zone 6b

Hummingbirds are such beautiful creatures, aren’t they? I love to watch them zip about among my New Jersey garden flowers.

When I first designed my front yard cottage garden, I researched hummingbird and butterfly-attracting plants so that I could entice lots of pollinators to the yard. Thankfully, there are lots of plants that attract both!

Once my hummingbird plant list was honed, I considered what plants are more deer-resistant than others. Because we get a lot of deer in my gardening zone. While I don’t mind adding plants that have a low deer resistance rating because I spray them with deer repellent, I prefer to focus more on plants that they tend to avoid.

And there are lots of plants that attract hummingbirds that deer prefer not to eat!

sedum autumn joy, superbells, angelonia and supertunia in late summer with zinnias

But What is So Special About Hummingbirds?

There really is no other bird quite like the hummingbird. Hummingbirds are amazing fliers.

Did you know they can fly forward, backward, and upside down? Yes! Beating up to 80x per second, hummingbird wings make a unique and zipping-like sound.

There are several different species of hummingbirds. And hummingbirds need a lot of food to survive. So creating a garden that helps them eat is a huge attraction to hummingbirds.

What Does It Mean When a Hummingbird Visits You?

So there’s lots of symbolism and meaning behind hummingbird visits. Hummingbirds bring joy with good news! They teach us to appreciate the small things and life. And that sometimes, you just have to stop and smell the flowers.

purple coneflowers (echinacea)

How Hummingbirds Benefit the Garden

These little creatures bring not only joy and beauty to our outdoor spaces but also provide some incredible benefits to our plants and ecosystem. Here’s what you need to know.

They are Pollination Powerhouses

Hummingbirds are nature’s little pollination experts. As they flit from flower to flower, their long beaks and tongues allow them to reach the nectar hidden deep within the blooms.

While they’re feeding, they unintentionally transfer pollen from one flower to another, aiding in cross-pollination. This process is crucial for the reproduction and genetic diversity of many plant species in your garden.

Plant Hummingbird Flowers

Certain plant species have evolved to develop a unique relationship with hummingbirds. These plants have bright and tubular flowers that perfectly match the birds’ feeding preferences. By attracting hummingbirds, these plants ensure their survival and successful reproduction.

We’ll chat more about what types of flowers hummingbirds love below.

Gorgeous garden that attracts hummingbirds with buckeye, false indigo and alliums on beautiful sunny day

Pest Control Assistants

Hummingbirds are not just pollinators; they also contribute to natural pest control in your garden. While they may be tiny, they have a big appetite for insects, including aphids, gnats, and small spiders. By snacking on these pests, hummingbirds help keep their populations in check, reducing the need for chemical insecticides and promoting a healthier, more balanced garden ecosystem.

Joyful Creatures

Having hummingbirds in your garden adds an enchanting touch to your outdoor space. They are so fun to watch too. Their vibrant colors, incredible aerial acrobatics, and unique chirping sounds create a captivating atmosphere.

Imagine sitting on your porch or patio, surrounded by blooming flowers, while these delightful creatures dart and hover around, bringing life and a sense of harmony to your garden.

close up of lonicera flower
Lonicera Flowers (Honeysuckle)
lonicera in the potager garden overlooking the front pond

Ideas for Designing a Garden With Hummingbird Flowers

Attracting hummingbirds to your garden can be a fun and rewarding experience. Here are some tips to help you attract these beautiful and fascinating birds to your yard:

Hummingbirds are attracted to nectar-rich flowers, so planting a variety of flowering plants is a great way to attract them.

While you can also provide a hummingbird feeder filled with a solution of four parts water to one part white sugar. It’s added maintenance because you have to clean the feeder regularly and refill it as needed. (BTW, since most supplemental feeders are brightly colored, it is not necessary to add dye to the solution).

Hummingbirds need a place to rest between feedings, so providing perches such as twigs or branches can be helpful. A shallow dish filled with water can also attract hummingbirds to your garden. The birds will use the water for drinking and bathing.

Hummingbirds will also appreciate having a shaded area in which to rest and hide from predators. You can provide this by planting native shrubs or trees, or by installing a birdhouse.

Hummingbirds are attracted to brightly-colored objects, so adding brightly-colored flowers, feeders, and birdhouses to your garden can help attract them.

In my flower gardens, hummingbirds, love to sample Catmint, Bee Balm, Echinacea, Cleome, Columbines, Impatiens, Petunias, and Hardy Hibiscus. But I’ve also seen them drop by my Weigelas, Buckeye Tree, and Mandevilla vines too.

pink hardy hibiscus in the front yard garden
Hardy Hibiscus

Garden Design Tips: Choosing Hummingbird Flowers

Designing a hummingbird garden is a great way to attract these beautiful birds to your yard. Here are some tips to help you create an inviting and functional hummingbird garden.

Choosing Hummingbird Plants

  • Choose hummingbird flowers that bloom at different times throughout the year to ensure a constant food source. This can include native wildflowers, shrubs, and trees.
  • Choose nectar-rich plants. Hummingbirds are attracted to flowers with high sugar content, so select plants that produce a lot of nectar, such as bee balm, cardinal flower, columbine, and fuchsia.
  • Hummingbirds are attracted to bright, bold colors, so consider adding brightly-colored flowers, birdhouses, and feeders to your garden to attract them.
  • Hummingbirds love bright-colored, tubular flowers because they hold more nectar and are particularly drawn to red, orange, pink, and yellow hues.
  • Attract them to the garden with early blooming varieties so they learn where they want to stop and shop early in the growing season.
  • Grow similar flowers together in a large group so that hummingbirds can spot them more easily while flying.
Pink rhododendron in zen garden with staddle stone in full bloom
Rhododendron, azalea and mountain laurel flowers

Must-Have Hummingbird Garden Design Features

  • Create a focal point. Adding a hummingbird feeder as a focal point in your garden can help attract the birds and give them a convenient place to feed.
  • Hummingbirds need a place to rest between feedings, so include perching areas, such as twigs or branches, throughout your garden.
  • Plant a variety of flowers and shrubs at varying heights to provide shade, shelter, food, and water.
  • Providing water in a shallow dish filled with water can also attract hummingbirds to your garden. The birds will use the water for drinking and bathing.

In my flower gardens, I design in odd-numbered groupings, so depending on the mature size of a plant, I generally plant in 1, 3, 5, 7, or 9’s. In larger gardens, I lean towards 5-7 plants in a grouping to plant en masse so hummingbirds can see the blooms when flying from above.

blazing star, monarda and zinnias close up along a green fence

Additional Hummingbird Feeders

In addition to planting different types of hummingbird flowers, they also appreciate artificial feeders to supplement flower nectar. While I have a ton of flowers, I do not have hummingbird feeders in my garden and see lots of these beautiful creatures all season long.

So to me, the feeders aren’t necessary for attracting them if you have an abundance of hummingbird blooms.

It’s not that I don’t want the extra hummingbird feeders, but they need to be meticulously maintained to keep them clean. It’s really important to keep them free of mold and bacteria so the birds don’t get sick. For me and my garden, it’s easier to provide more flowers that they enjoy instead of artificial feeders.

When to Put Out Hummingbird Feeders

If you choose to use hummingbird feeders, the timing for putting them out varies depending on several factors, including:

  • Location: Hummingbirds migrate based on temperature and food availability. Their arrival and departure dates will differ significantly depending on your location. North-south positioning plays a major role, with southern regions seeing earlier arrivals and later departures compared to northern areas.
  • Elevation: Higher elevations experience colder temperatures earlier and retain them longer, so hummingbird arrival will be delayed compared to lower-lying areas in the same region.
  • Local weather: Unusually warm or cold spells can influence hummingbird arrival and departure times. Be observant of your local weather patterns and adjust your feeder deployment accordingly.
  • Hummingbird species: Different hummingbird species have their own migration patterns. If you know the specific species you want to attract, research their specific arrival and departure times for your area.
close up of bee balm (monarda) flowers in the garden - perennial flowers list that bloom in midsummer
Monarda
General Guidelines:
  • Spring: In most areas, late April to early May is the usual timeframe to put out feeders. You can go 1-2 weeks earlier to catch early arrivers.
  • Summer: Keep feeders filled and clean throughout the summer months when hummingbirds are most active.
  • Fall: By early October, most hummingbirds will have migrated south. You can take down your feeders at this point, but consider keeping them up until mid-October for any latecomers.
Helpful Resources:
  • Migration maps: Websites like Journey North (https://maps.journeynorth.org/) provide interactive maps showcasing hummingbird migration patterns across North America.
  • Local birding groups: Connecting with your local Audubon chapter or birding group can offer specific insights about hummingbird sightings and best practices for feeding them in your area.

To me, it’s better to be early than late so that when they do migrate to your locality, they know there’s a food source. Therefore, I recommend putting out your feeders a few weeks before the expected arrival dates to ensure hummingbirds don’t miss out on your sweet nectar offering!

close up of echinacea plants in the garden
Coneflowers

10 Favorite Low-Maintenance Hummingbird Flowers

Forget the sticky feeders and sterile sugar water! Let’s create a vibrant garden that buzzes with life, attracting hummingbirds with the irresistible fragrance and nectar-rich blooms of these 10 of my favorite low-maintenance plants that hummingbirds love.

  1. Nepeta: Imagine a soft blue cloud billowing in the breeze, dotted with buzzing bees and hovering hummingbirds. Catmint is a fragrant mint that attracts these feathered friends with its long-blooming tubular flowers and easygoing nature, thriving in both sun and partial shade.
  2. Petunias: These cheerful splashes of color come in a kaleidoscope of shades, each one an irresistible beacon for hummingbirds. Their trumpet-shaped blooms offer a generous pool of nectar, keeping these tiny acrobats coming back for more throughout the summer.
  3. Coneflowers: Tall and proud, these fiery blooms stand like sentinels in your garden, their domed centers overflowing with sweet nectar. Hummingbirds adore coneflower sturdy, long-lasting blooms, and the contrasting colors of red, orange, and purple create a dazzling visual feast.
  4. Monarda (Bee Balm): A magnet for pollinators of all kinds, Monarda’s vibrant clusters of tubular flowers burst with honeyed fragrance. Hummingbirds can’t resist their sweet nectar, flitting between shades of crimson, lavender, and pink – a vibrant ballet in your garden.
  5. Rhododendron: Create a shaded haven for hummingbirds with the delicate beauty of Rhododendrons. Their bell-shaped blooms, in shades of white, pink, and purple, offer a hidden treasure trove of nectar, attracting these jewels of the sky while casting cool shade under your trees.
  6. Buckeye Tree: Hummingbirds love a towering treat, and the Buckeye’s showy clusters of scarlet flowers rise high above the rest. Their long, curved tubes offer a deep dive for hungry hummingbirds, while the rich foliage provides a cool retreat on hot days.
  7. Bottlebrush Buckeye: Not to be outdone by its cousin, the Bottlebrush Buckeye boasts scarlet blossoms in a unique, spiky formation. These dense bundles of nectar-rich tubes are irresistible to hummingbirds, creating a vibrant spectacle as they dart and maneuver through the fiery red brushstrokes.
  8. Hardy Hibiscus: Imagine dinner-plate-sized blooms reaching for the sun, each one a vibrant promise of nectar. Hardy Hibiscus offers a tropical touch to your garden, attracting hummingbirds with its large, trumpet-shaped flowers and endless variety of colors, from delicate pinks to fiery oranges.
  9. Columbines: These delicate dancers flutter in the breeze, their long spurs and open faces a welcome invitation for hummingbirds. Their colorful petals, in shades of purple, yellow, and white, create a whimsical ballet ground, as these tiny guests dive into the nectar-filled chalices.
  10. Lonicera (non-invasive only): For a fragrance that steals the show, non-invasive Lonicera varieties offer a symphony of sweet scents alongside clusters of tubular blooms. Hummingbirds flock to their honeyed nectar while you bask in the intoxicating aroma, creating a multi-sensory garden paradise.

With these 10 irresistible blooms, your garden will become a vibrant hummingbird haven, buzzing with life and echoing with the joyful hum of these feathered jewels. So ditch the feeders and let nature paint your own masterpiece, one sip of nectar at a time!

close up of nepeta 'walkers low' - catmint are great flowers for deadheading when the blooms fade
Nepeta ‘Walker’s Low’

Don’t Have Room For a Garden?

No problem! You can garden for hummingbirds in outdoor planters too! Try this container garden idea with hummingbird flowers to help attract more of these beautiful creatures to your garden.

More About Hummingbird Flowers for the Garden

Do you get a lot of hummingbirds to your garden? What are your best tips for attracting them? I would love to know more in the comments below.

And don’t miss joining my Gardening DIY and Decorating Community on Facebook for more chatter. And follow along there and on Instagram as well. There are behind the scenes daily things that I share on Instagram that don’t make it on the blog. Would love to see you there too!

If you prefer to binge watch Bricks ’n Blooms on TV, we go more in-depth with tours and posts on my YouTube channel. Would love to hang out with you there!

Fall garden in front of vintage farmhouse with rudbeckia, hostas, sedum autumn joy and hardy hibiscus on a sunny day

Garden Supplies I Use

Since I’ve been gardening for well over twenty-five years, I’m often asked about the garden supplies and tools that I use most. From pruners to deer repellents, here are some of my favorites that I use in no particular order.

close up of creme caramel coreopsis
Stacy Ling with her book the bricks n blooms guide to a beauitful and easy care flower garden

If you’ve always dreamed of bringing country charm to your home while creating a beautiful, relaxing space, I got you! Learn how to grow flowers in even the smallest of spaces with my easy-care, low-maintenance approach.

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02/19/2024 06:08 am GMT

Looking for More Flower Garden Ideas?

If you love flowers and want to grow more in your garden, here are some posts that will get you on your way.

From tucking in flowering plants that are deer-resistant or ones that attract more butterflies and hummingbirds, to shade-loving flowers like the lenten rose, these posts will get you on your way to growing a garden that will bring joy for years to come.

Here are more cut flower and cottage garden growing tips, tricks, and design inspiration.

view of the front porch cottage garden with sugar pumpkins, sedum autumn joy, rudbeckia, celosia and snapdragons
Click here to shop my vintage farmhouse with close up of the front porch with flowers

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late summer cottage garden in bloom

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Gardening for Hummingbirds
June Garden Tour (2021)

Since writing this post, we moved. To see my new gardens, check out my easy-care cottage garden tour here and fall garden tour here.

(This tour is from my former home in June 2021)

Since I started blogging and joining Instagram, I’ve met some pretty cool gardeners. We all live in different parts of the United States and Canada, so each of our gardens are totally different.

I’ve learned so much from them and am joining one of my faves, Kim, who gardens in the Pacific Northwest, to bring you a virtual garden tour.

There is much to be learned walking around the garden and I love touring other gardener’s borders.

So follow along with her tour at the end of this post to see her garden – it is amazing!

Gardening For Hummingbirds
Gardening for Hummingbirds
Tour my Spring Flower Garden in the Front Yard

Welcome to my suburban New Jersey gardens!

There’s a lot happening in the garden this month and there is much to see. Since last month’s tour, the gardens have been filling in and blooming.

I tucked in some annuals to add season-long color and everything looks so pretty now.

Gardening for Hummingbirds
View of the house from the well garden.
Gardening For Hummingbirds

As you walk up the pathway from the driveway, there is an everblooming perennial garden that greets friends, family and visitors.

Right now, the catmint, salvia, aliums, dahlias, pansies, bearded irises, calibroca, zinnias, and euphorbia are all in bloom.

The knock-out roses have had buds on them for a few weeks now.

They look like they will bloom any day now.

Gardening for Hummingbirds
Gardening for Hummingbirds

While working in this garden, I’ve seen lots of hummingbirds enjoy the catmint.

I have quite a few plants so they stop by often to grab some nectar.

One of which are these pretty dahlias that I picked up at the nursery recently.

I saw them and had to have them!

Gardening for Hummingbirds
Gardening for Hummingbirds

As this garden fills in, I’m realizing how much the coneflowers took over this bed.

I’m going to leave them for now, but will dig and divide them in fall so I can get more variety in this garden.

As you walk along the front walkway garden, it leads to the woodland garden on one side of the house.

This border contains cranesbill, ferns, bleeding hearts, rhododendrum, oak leaf hydrangea, joe pye weed, and siberian iris.

A few weeks ago, New Jersey was hit with a deep freeze for a few nights and some of my plants were damaged. The ferns took a hit but seem to be rebounding nicely.

Gardening for Hummingbirds

The well and cutting garden is doing well.

I added a cutting garden to the well garden a few months ago so I had more room to add cutting flowers for arrangements.

Gardening for Hummingbirds
Gardening for Hummingbirds

The new plants I added are doing really well!

Blooming in this garden now are pincushion flower, lupines, dianthus, bearded irises, calibrocas, and zinnias.

Gardening for Hummingbirds

The peonies are waiting in the wings to start flowering.

In the meantime, the foliage of smoketree and evergreens add to the visual interest in this bed.

Gardening for Hummingbirds
Gardening for Hummingbirds

The mailbox garden is filled with a mix of annuals and perennials.

Jackmanii Clematis is climbing up and around the mailbox.

It also houses daylillies, sedum autumn joy, calibrocas, euphorbia and marigolds.

Gardening for Hummingbirds
Gardening for Hummingbirds
Gardening for Hummingbirds
Spring in the Backyard

As we head into the backyard, I am really loving the garden shed makeover.

The neutral paint colors allow the garden to be the main focus and do not distract the eye from the blooms.

In this garden, the bearded irises, siberian iris, double flowering impatiens, zinnias, marigolds and calibrocas are all blooming.

The vegetable garden sits in front of the garden shed and is currently growing spinach, celery, sweet peas, a few tomato varieties, peppers, cucumbers and zucchini as well as basil, cilantro, parsley, sage, thyme and rosemary.

Gardening for Hummingbirds
Gardening for Hummingbirds
The fire pit is part of the garden shed garden. We sit out here every weekend and enjoy a cozy fire.
Gardening for Hummingbirds

In addition to the backyard borders, I also have lots of container gardens on the backyard deck.

This garden contains a few hummingbird loving plants such as mandevillas, petunias and hibiscus.

This is one of our favorite spots to hang and we are out here all the time.

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5 Comments

  1. Pingback: My June Cottage Garden - Shiplap and Shells
  2. Your garden is so beautiful Stacy! I love all the different areas you have and how each one has its own character! You are such an inspiration – I’m full of ideas for fixing up my yard this weekend! ????

  3. Your garden is looking so beautiful Stacy! I loved learning more about hummingbirds. We even have the same red bike!

  4. Thanks for this post. My daughter wants some butterfly and humming birds plants and bushes attract them. This will help me help her. We are near you so it makes it exta easy.