Are you looking for annual flowers to draw in hummingbirds?
We’ve gathered 10 popular, eye-catching, nectar-rich annuals that attract hummingbirds without fail.
Keep reading for annuals you need in your garden and planters, plus crucial tips to design a hummingbird paradise.
- Nectar-rich annuals like salvia, impatiens, and petunias keep hummingbirds happy
- Opt for flowers in your garden that have long and varied bloom periods to keep feeding hungry hummingbirds
- Plus, find out what a good hummingbird garden design looks like in this article
Popular Annuals That Attract Hummingbirds
The popularity of hummingbird-friendly annuals is growing among gardeners, and for a good reason. These plants can easily be added into various garden designs and can be found in a wide range of colors and sizes.
Whether you’re planting them in containers, flowerbeds or even hanging baskets, these annuals can become a vital part of your hummingbird garden.
Not to mention, offer endless opportunities to observe these fascinating birds up close.
Read Next: Perennial Flowers That Attract Hummingbirds
Salvia is a hummingbird favorite due to its tube-shaped flowers, perfect for their long bills and tongues. They come in a variety of colors, including red, purple, and white.
Plant your salvia in full sun or partial shade and enjoy not only the presence of hummingbirds but also their vibrant appearance.
Technically, petunias (like many other plants referred to as annual flowers) are “tender perennials” and don’t do well with frost, so most folks grow them as annuals.
Petunias are attractive annuals that offer a delightful nectar source for hummingbirds. They thrive in full sun and well-draining soil, with colorful blooms in shades of purple, pink, white, and yellow.
Hang petunias in containers or baskets for an eye-catching display to attract hummingbirds.
Another tender perennial frequently treated as an annual, impatiens bring a palette of colors to your garden.
These low-maintenance flowers are known for their shade tolerance and, rather generously, sustain hummingbird visits without the need for deadheading.
Disease-resistant options like Beacon Impatiens and New Guinea Impatiens are highly recommended.
Calibrachoa often gets mixed up with petunias, but they are different plants. The key to telling the difference is that calibrachoa flowers are smaller and the leaves are not sticky like petunia leaves.
The great thing about calibrachoa is that it does not require deadheading, though you can pinch back the tips to spur new growth, leading to more flowers for the hummingbirds to feast on.
5. Flowering Tobacco
Flowering tobacco, or Nicotiana, makes a lovely addition to your hummingbird garden with its tubular flowers and nocturnal scent.
They come in various colors, such as white, pink, and green. Plant them in a location with well-draining soil, and they’ll be irresistible to hummingbirds.
Offering drooping, bell-shaped flowers, fuchsia is an attractive plant for both gardeners and hummingbirds.
Fuchsia thrives in partial shade and well-draining soil, making it an excellent choice for hanging baskets or containers. Their unique, vibrant blooms will attract hummingbirds seeking nectar.
Zinnias make a colorful addition to your garden, with varieties that showcase red, orange, pink, and yellow hues. They prefer full sun and well-draining soil.
These annuals are not only beautiful but also attract hummingbirds for their sweet nectar.
Cleome, or spider flowers, offers an intriguing, spiky bloom structure that appeals to hummingbirds. They come in various colors, including pink, purple, and white.
Plant cleome in full sun and well-draining soil for an eye-catching, hummingbird-friendly display.
Nasturtiums boast bold, trumpet-shaped flowers that make a beautiful addition to your garden, while providing plenty of nectar for hummingbirds.
Not only that, but did you know you can eat nasturtiums? It’s true! They have an ever-so-slightly mild spice to them, and they make an eye-catching addition to salads and other dishes.
The flowers come in shades of yellow, orange, and red. Plant nasturtiums in full sun or partial shade to attract hummingbirds with their vibrant, tubular blooms.
10. Morning Glory
The ever-popular morning glory is a fast-growing vine with heart-shaped leaves and telltale trumpet-shaped flowers.
Its blue, pink, white, and purple blooms provide a superb nectar source for hummingbirds.
Plant these climbers in full sun and well-draining soil for an enchanting display throughout the season.
What Types of Flowers Attract Hummingbirds?
When aiming to attract hummingbirds to your garden, there are a few key factors to consider.
- Nectar-producing plants: Firstly, these tiny birds are primarily attracted to plants that produce nectar, as it’s their main food source.
- Flower color: The color of the flower plays a pivotal role too, with the most popular colors being red, orange, and blue. Selecting flowers with these colors in your garden will make it more inviting for hummingbirds.
- Flower shape: Additionally, providing plants with tubular-shaped flowers can make it easier for hummingbirds to access nectar. Some examples include honeysuckle and trumpet creeper.
If you’re interested in a guide on how to attract hummingbirds, read this guide.
How to Choose the Right Plants for Your Garden
When selecting annuals to attract hummingbirds, you’ll need to consider a variety of factors. We know, it can feel overwhelming—but not to worry.
We’ve put together a list of crucial tips that will help you create a garden that’s not only easy to maintain, but also drought-resistant and in constant bloom to cater to the needs of the high-energy hummingbird.
Plant Plenty of Tubular and Trumpet-Shaped Blooms
One crucial aspect is choosing plants with tubular flowers, whether they’re annuals or perennials, as these are preferred by hummingbirds for their nectar.
While it’s true that red flowers are highly attractive to hummingbirds, it’s more important that you choose the right shape of flower for this bird’s long, thin beak to access the nectar inside.
Go for Quick-Growing Annuals
Fast-growing annuals are a great choice for drawing in hummingbirds quickly.
One example is the calibrachoa, which produces small petunia-like flowers throughout the season. This plant reaches about 8 inches tall and is perfect for beds and containers alike.
Choosing annuals that produce quickly can help ensure that you don’t miss out on your chance to invite more hungry hummingbirds in search of sustenance.
Consider Soil and Sun Requirements
Frequently, plants that thrive in full sun or partial shade are ideal for attracting these flying beauties. However, you’ll need to consider your growing zone and environmental conditions to ensure your garden thrives.
In addition to sunlight requirements, take into account the soil conditions your plants will need. Opt for annuals that can thrive in well-drained or well-draining soil.
This ensures that your plants remain healthy and continue to produce the nectar that hummingbirds love.
Make Your Garden Drought-Tolerant
Moreover, designing your garden with drought-tolerant plants will guarantee that it remains attractive to hummingbirds, even with less frequent watering.
One such plant is the Cape fuchsia, which is a semi-evergreen shrub that can grow from 3 to 5 feet.
Building a non-fussy garden with flowers that can handle dry times can really come in handy depending on where you live and what your schedule is like.
Don’t forget to include compact plants for gardeners working with smaller spaces. With the right mix of compact plants, even a tiny garden can provide a feast for hummingbirds.
The bee balm, a member of the mint family, is an excellent choice, as it reaches a maximum size of 3 feet tall and 2 feet wide.
Also, choose plants with clusters of tiny flowers, like calibrachoa, as they are more accessible for hummingbirds to feed on.
Opt for a Long Blooming Period
Opting for annual flowers with a long blooming period is another effective strategy for attracting hummingbirds. It ensures that there will be a consistent food source for these birds throughout the season.
Cape Fuchsia is a great example of a long-blooming plant. Depending on the variety, it can have yellow, peach, coral, magenta, or red flowers and can bloom from May to November.
Some long-blooming flowers for hummingbirds:
- Cape Fuchsia (a perennial)
- Cleome (Spider Flower)
Mix Up Bloom Times
Growing plants that bloom at different times, such as the evening blooming varieties, will extend the availability of nectar to your hummingbird visitors.
Mexican sunflower and nicotiana are both known to bloom in the evening, providing a continuous food source throughout the day.
Try Native Plants
Native plants can be particularly beneficial as they are more likely to thrive in your region’s climate and soil conditions.
And, they often require less maintenance since they are adapted to the local environment.
These plants also play a crucial role in supporting various pollinators, including different bird species like songbirds. You can also consult a native plants database for a more customized list.
Designing Your Hummingbird Garden
Need tips to design your garden space for hummingbird visitors?
Here you go!
- Provide hanging baskets: Utilizing hanging baskets and containers filled with colorful flowers is another fantastic way to draw hummingbirds to your outdoor space. This is especially useful for those with limited garden areas or small patios. Mixing in a variety of nectar-rich blooms will ensure that these tiny flyers have a constant source of food.
- Layer plants: When designing your hummingbird garden, it’s important to consider borders and beds. Layering plants with different heights and bloom times will create a vibrant and diverse look, which is visually appealing to both humans and hummingbirds.
- Optimize your space: For those with limited space or looking for vertical interest, consider climbers. The cypress vine is a fantastic option, as its star-shaped red flowers stand out, making it irresistible to hummingbirds.
- Vary Your Garden: In addition to annuals, don’t forget to add flowering vines, shrubs, and trees to your garden. These plants not only provide a food source but also give hummingbirds an area to build their nests and rest between feeding sessions. Variety is the key to creating a successful hummingbird garden and helping to maintain a healthy ecosystem in your backyard.
- Build in walkable pathways: Finally, carving out trails or pathways throughout your garden can make it more accessible for you to observe these beautiful creatures up close. Be sure to include edges and perches near the flowers, as hummingbirds often like to rest between feedings.
Tips to Care for Your Hummingbird Garden
- Moisture needs: Watering is important for a healthy hummingbird garden. Keep the soil evenly moist, but avoid over-watering to prevent root rot. In addition, mulch can be used to conserve moisture and maintain a consistent temperature around the plants’ roots.
- Deadheading: Regularly deadhead your flowers to promote continued blooming. Removing spent blooms from plants like zinnias and petunias will encourage new growth and an extended blooming season. This not only helps keep your garden looking its best but also ensures a steady supply of nectar-rich flowers for visiting hummingbirds.
- Allow some seed heads: As autumn approaches, allow some plants to develop seed heads, which can provide food for other birds in your garden. For instance, consider leaving a few spent flowers on your honeysuckle plants and other perennials to support your local bird population. Birdertopia is a practical resource for how to attract all types of beautiful birds to your garden. The National Audubon Society is another great one.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the top annual flowers to attract hummingbirds?
Impatiens, Cape Fuchsia, Petunias, and Zinnias are some of the top annual flowers that can help attract hummingbirds to your garden.
These flowers come in a variety of colors and can liven up your outdoor space while providing a valuable food source for these beautiful little birds.
Are there specific colors of annuals that appeal to hummingbirds more?
Hummingbirds are attracted to bright colors, particularly red, orange, and pink. These colors remind them of the natural food sources they rely on for sustenance.
Including vibrant-colored annuals in your garden will make it more inviting for hummingbirds to visit and stay.
Can container-grown annuals effectively attract hummingbirds?
Yes, container-grown annuals can be an effective way to attract hummingbirds, especially for those with limited garden space.
Potted annuals like Petunias, Zinnias, and Lantana can provide color, nectar, and a comfortable environment for hummingbirds. Ensure that you position the containers in sunny or partially shaded areas to help the flowers thrive and attract these birds.
How do annuals compare to perennials for attracting hummingbirds?
While annuals and perennials can both attract hummingbirds, annuals tend to produce more blooms and nectar consistently throughout their single-season life cycle. This constant bloom is appealing to hummingbirds, as it provides a continuous food source.
On the other hand, perennials might offer a more varied-bloom schedule, making it prudent to plant different species with diverse flowering periods to attract hummingbirds throughout the growing season.
What combination of annuals can provide a continuous bloom to attract hummingbirds?
Combining several annuals that offer a variety of colors and bloom times will create a hummingbird-friendly garden with continuous nectar availability.
You can achieve this by planting Impatiens, Lantana, Bee Balm, and Columbine together, for example.
This combination ensures that as one annual’s blooms begin to fade, another will take its place, providing a steady source of food and attraction for hummingbirds.