Hummingbirds are such amazing creatures, with their exquisite jewel-like colors and swift darting flight. When we see them, we are irresistibly reminded of fairies, and their presence in our yards always seems like a kind of blessing. And it turns out to be easier to attract them than you think.
Here is a listing of some of the hummingbird’s favorite flowers and shrubs, plus a description of an easy-to-make hummingbird feeder that really works. Find out how to make your yard a hummingbird heaven, right here:
Some favored cultivated flowers and flowering trees and shrubs:
Acacia, apple, crabapple, azalea, begonia, bird of paradise, bleeding heart, blood-red trumpet vine, bougainvillea, camellia, catnip, Chinese lantern, columbine, crape myrtle, dahlia, daylily, delphinium, eucalyptus, evening primrose, flame vine, foxglove, fuchsia, geranium, gladiolus, globe thistle, ground ivy, hibiscus, hollyhock, honeysuckle, hosta, hummingbird bush, impatiens, iris, jasmine, lavender, lilac, lily, lobelia, lupine, mint, morning glory, nasturtium, periwinkle, petunia, phlox, pink, primrose, rhododendron, rose of Sharon, sage, snapdragon, sweet William, verbena, weigela, wisteria, zinnia.
Some favored wildflowers:
Bee balm, wild bergamot, bluebells, bluebonnet, bouncing bet, scarlet Bavaria, butterfly weed, columbine, currant, desert bell, figwort, firecracker flower, fireweed, honeysuckle, jewelweed, black locust, mountain laurel, paintbrush, penstemon, redbud, snowberry, Solomon’s seal, thistle, trumpet flower, wallflower, wood betony.
An easy hummingbird feeder:
A small glass bottle with a rubber stopper that fits snugly into the bottle’s mouth; a narrow curved glass tube that is placed in a hole in the center of the rubber stopper; a red plastic tip with a small hole in the center of it that covers the end of the plastic tube.
Fill this feeder with:
Four parts water to 1 part granulated sugar. Boil the mixture for a couple of minutes to dissolve the sugar and destroy harmful microorganisms. (Add a little extra water to your solution so it doesn’t get too concentrated in boiling. Too-sweet solution is harmful to hummingbirds.)
Excess solution may be safely stored in the refrigerator for about a week.
AVOID honey, artificial sweeteners, or any food coloring in your sugar-water. And please be sure to clean and refill your feeders at least once a week, and more often if feeders are placed in direct sunlight– to prevent the growth of molds and bacteria which could be fatal to your hummingbirds.
Hang the feeders among the plants or trees in your yard.
Adapted from The Hummingbird Garden, by Matthew Tekulsky (Harvard Common Press, 1990).