Trees & Shrubs
Abelia, Azalea, Bottle Brush, Butterfly Bush (Buddleia), Cape Honeysuckle, Catoneaster, Hibiscus, Flame Acanthus, Flowering Current, Flowering Quince, Lantana, Lilac, Manzanita, Mimosa, Red Buckeye, Tree Tobacco, Turk's Cap, Weigela.
Bougainvillea, Coral Honeysuckle, Cypress Vine, Morning Glory, Rosary Vines, Scarlet Runner Bean, Trumpet Creeper, Trumpet Vines.
Perennials: Bee Balm (Monarda), Canna, Cardinal Flower, Columbine, Coral Bells, Gladiolus, Four-O-Clocks, Foxglove, Iris, Hosta, Hummingbird Mint (Agastache), Little Cigar, Lupine, Penstemon, Yucca
Annuals: Beard tongue, Firespike, Fuchsia, Impatiens, Jacobiana, Jewelweed, Nasturtium, Petunia, Salvia, Shrimp Plant, Spider Flower, Zinnia.
Ideally, feeders should be hung near windows-close enough to watch the action. Cutouts of predatory birds or partially closed vertical blinds will prevent bird strikes on windows, although that seldom seems to be a concern with hummingbirds. It isn't uncommon for hungry hummers to empty feeders quickly so check them daily. Also, be aware that in some areas (parts of the southwest), sugar loving bats also like hummingbird feeders and may empty them overnight. These bats are important pollinators to desert plants, so don't harm them, just bring your feeder indoors for the night.
Recipe for artificial nectar:
Boiling this syrup is not necessary. Fermentation problems are caused by organisms on the bird's own beaks, not by the water. Unused syrup can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Syrup will spoil quickly in warm weather so discard any unused portions after a few days and refill with fresh syrup.
Do not use Jell-O, honey, brown sugar, or fruit in your feeder. These can harm, and in some cases even kill hummingbirds. Do not use distilled water (it lacks important trace minerals) or red dye to color the water in your feeder (the base of most feeders are colored and if not, hummingbirds are smart enough to figure it out anyway).
By Ellen Brown
For several days, I pondered how much hummingbirds like "four o' clocks," then a hummingbird showed me the answer.
Four o'clocks open in the morning, then close, then open later on again.
The four o'clocks were half-closed, and the hummer went to them, to white, yellow, pink, not even bothering with the red flowers, and showed me, "how can it bother with nectar from these flowers, when the flowers are closed most of the day?"
That's when I realized that hummingbirds love flowers and their nectar so much, that they prefer flowers whose long tubed petals stay open all day, so they can keep getting the nectar from them.
Four o' clocks open, then close, then open again. They are a fussier flower.
That's what the hummingbird showed me the other day.
By Carol from SouthBend, IN
Hanging baskets are a great way to attract hummingbirds to your garden. Once they find your flowers, they will return again and again, to dine on them all season long.
Hummingbirds feed often - about every 10 minutes. In fact, in a single day they typically eat many times their body weight in sugar. When selecting flowers for your hummingbird baskets, look for nectar-rich, tubular or trumpet-shaped blooms, which the birds will be able access easily with their long, trough-like tongues.
Aim for a variety of different flowers, and be careful about using too many hybrids, as they tend to produce less nectar than their "wilder" cousins. Regardless of which types of flowers you choose, make sure that all of the plants in each basket share similar food, water, and light requirements. Here are some other important points to consider:
Northern gardeners will still want to offer nectar in traditional hummingbird feeders for hummers that return to breed in the spring before the growing season has gotten fully underway.
Hummingbirds are not at all picky about what type of basket you use, although wire baskets lined with sphagnum moss are a nice choice, as lichen and moss are their preferred nesting materials. A basket 12 inches or more in diameter will be easiest to maintain and will be more visually appealing because it can hold more plants.
When hanging your hummingbird basket, choose a sunny location that is sheltered from the wind. Ideally, it will be near enough to a patio or deck to allow you to closely watch their activities. Male hummingbirds can be quite territorial. Hanging a second basket out of view of the first (e.g. one in the backyard and one in the front yard) can help reduce competition among birds.
If you are using a pole system or Shepard's hook to support your basket, seal the pipe seams with a small amount of clear silicone gel. There have been reports of birds injuring their tiny feet by accidentally getting them stuck in between the seams of the poles.
Try to hang your basket in the same place each year. Hummingbirds have very reliable memories and will look for hanging baskets in the same location year after year.
Vines & Climbers:
By Ellen Brown
Over the years, as my garden grew, I added more and more plants for my little visitors. One day a hummer flew over to the feeder, but then saw the Scarlet Runner Bean, a few feet away and quickly decided she liked the real thing much better. Once I saw her preference, I took the feeder down. My garden is filled with sweet delights for her to choose from. Hopefully I can help you attract these little marvels to your backyard. By feeder or flowers, you'll enjoy the company.
You don't have to buy the nectar, it's very easy to make. 1 part sugar to 4 parts water. Boil 1 cup of water, stir in 1/4 cup of sugar until dissolved. Let cool. Pour half of your mixture into feeder, store the rest in the frig.
You'll need to clean the feeder every 3 days to avoid any fungus or bacteria, it could kill the birds. (I used vinegar to clean it) Hang the feeder for good viewing, but not too close to where you might be sitting. 15 feet away is good.
For attracting the hummers with flowers:
(These are the flowers I found to be their favorites in my garden in New Jersey.)There are many more flowers that attract the hummingbird. I find these to be their favorites. Although they are attracted to red, they do go to other colors.
By Deb H. from East Brunswick, NJ
When are the best times during the year and during the day to put a hummingbird feeder out?
By Elliot M from Cleveland, OH
I plan to put out a feeder in about two weeks and I am in east central Indiana. Leave the feeder out until at least two weeks after you see the last hummer. Leave them out all day and night, but do keep them clean and DO NOT USE food coloring. Hummers are curious and they will find the feeder.
Use just plain water and sugar, about 3 to 4 cups of water for each cup of sugar. Hummers like it sweeter, but this mix is better for them. You do not need to buy the mixes, but it must be real sugar as they need it for energy. There are many sites about hummers.