If you’re wondering, do hummingbirds like geraniums? The short answer is, not as much as others.
These minuscule birds, known for their furious wing speed and vibrant colors, are predominantly attracted to flowers that provide rich nectar sources. Geraniums, while lovely, don’t fall into this category mainly due to their shape and nectar accessibility.
In this article, we’ll go into detail about why hummingbirds may reject geraniums as a food source, and what to plant instead if you want these tiny flyers in your garden.
- Geraniums aren’t the ideal choice for attracting hummingbirds to your garden.
- Hummingbirds are attracted to flowers with a nectar-rich and easily accessible shape.
- To create a hummingbird-friendly garden, opt for other nectar-rich flowers like bee balms and agastache.
Do Hummingbirds Like Geraniums?
- Geraniums are popular flowering plants known for their vibrant colors and hearty nature. However, when it comes to hummingbird attraction, they may not be the most suitable choice in your garden.
- The primary issue lies in the geranium’s flower shape. It doesn’t fit the flower profile that hummingbirds look for when hunting down nectar. The shape of geraniums simply isn’t ideal for these tiny birds to access the nectar within.
- Furthermore, geraniums aren’t known for being particularly rich in nectar, which makes them less appealing to hummingbirds in search of a reliable food source.
- Despite these limitations, geraniums still hold a place in many gardens due to their beauty, and pollinators like bees and butterflies may still be attracted to them. Just don’t expect to see a flurry of hummingbird activity around your geranium plants.
Read Next: Do Hummingbirds Like Hydrangeas?
What Flowers Do Hummingbirds Like?
Hummingbirds are highly attracted to flowers that produce an abundant amount of nectar. These nectar-rich blooms serve as a primary food source for these little birds, providing them with the energy they need for their high-speed airborne acrobatics.
Some flowers, like geraniums, are not ideal choices for attracting hummingbirds due to their lower nectar content and shape which is not suitable for hummingbirds to seek nectar from source.
To attract hummingbirds to your garden, choose flowers that are rich in nectar. These flowers often have specific characteristics that make them more appealing to hummingbirds:
- Tubular shape
- Bright colors
- Abundant blooms (large clusters of flowers)
Hummingbirds are drawn to flowers with high nectar content, as this is their primary source of nutrition. A variety of flowers are known for being nectar-rich and can be used to attract these small birds to your garden.
Some examples include:
- coral honeysuckle
- agastache (hyssop)
Tubular-shaped flowers are particularly attractive to hummingbirds, as their long bills and tongues can easily access the nectar inside the blooms.
Some tubular flowers that hummingbirds enjoy are:
- trumpet vine
The colors of the flowers you plant can also play a role in attracting hummingbirds. These small birds have excellent color vision, so they’re especially drawn to bright colors like reds, oranges, and pinks.
A few bright, nectar-rich flowers to grow in your garden are:
- bee balm (scarlet bee balm being a favorite)
When planting flowers to attract hummingbirds, consider creating a mix of annuals and perennials, as this will ensure a continuous supply of nectar throughout the blooming seasons.
If you’re looking for perennial flowers that attract hummingbirds, check out this article on this topic.
Key Flowers for Attracting Hummingbirds to Your Garden
Hummingbirds are attracted to a variety of flowering plants. While geraniums may offer some appeal initially for their color, there are other plants that hummingbirds gravitate toward more enthusiastically.
These flowering plants are excellent choices to bring hummingbirds to your garden space:
- Red Columbine: This early spring North American wildflower offers a particularly nutritious nectar source for hummingbirds, with the red-flowered varieties containing twice the sugar content of other native columbines.
- Snapdragons: Snapdragons are not only lovely to look at, but they also provide an excellent nectar source for hummingbirds.
- Bee Balm: This perennial comes in various shades, including red and orange, which are the colors hummingbirds tend to be drawn to most. With its tubular shape, bee balms are perfect for accommodating the long, narrow bills of hummingbirds.
- Impatiens: Known for their colorful blooms, impatiens are a favorite of both hummingbirds and garden enthusiasts.
- Lupines: With their cone-like shape and vibrant colors, lupines are another highly appealing plant for hummingbirds.
- Crocosmia: These fiery flowers are known to be irresistible to hummingbirds. Be sure to add them to your pollinator garden to increase the likelihood of hummingbird visits.
Adding a mix of these flowering plants into your garden will create a welcoming environment for hummingbirds while also contributing to the overall aesthetic of your outdoor space.
Just remember, providing a variety of tubular-shaped flowering plants rich in nectar will be most successful in attracting these beloved birds.
Hummingbird Feeder Options
In addition to selecting the right plants, providing a hummingbird feeder filled with a nectar solution can further entice these birds to visit your garden.
Here are some tips to consider when choosing a feeder:
- Opt for a feeder with bright colors, preferably red, as this will attract hummingbirds from afar.
- Ensure the feeder has a practical design that allows for easy cleaning and refilling, as cleanliness is crucial to prevent mold growth.
- To keep ants and other insects away, select a feeder with an ant moat or an insect guard.
- Place the feeder in a shady spot, away from direct sunlight, to help maintain the nectar’s freshness.
Garden Care and Maintenance
Just because geraniums aren’t hummingbirds’ favorite flowers doesn’t mean you can’t grow them in your garden. And they won’t drive any hummingbirds away, either, if you plant them alongside other flowers that hummingbirds do like.
If you want to grow geraniums, it’s actually quite straightforward, and these plants can thrive in various conditions. Follow our seasonal tips below to ensure a hummingbird-friendly garden all year round.
- Prepare the soil well before planting geraniums. These plants require moist, well-drained soil in order to grow healthy and strong. You can add organic matter like compost to improve the soil’s structure and drainage.
- Once the threat of frost has passed, plant your geraniums in an area that receives plenty of sunlight for at least six hours a day. Although geraniums can tolerate some shade, they prefer sunny spots for optimal growth.
- Water your geraniums regularly to keep the soil consistently moist, especially during hot and dry periods. However, avoid overwatering, as this can lead to root rot and other problems.
- Remove any pests you may come across, such as aphids or whiteflies, to prevent them from damaging your geraniums and discouraging hummingbirds from visiting.
- Deadhead spent flowers to encourage continuous blooming throughout the season.
- As temperatures drop, reduce the frequency of watering to prevent waterlogging and root rot.
- Trim back any leggy or overgrown branches to maintain a compact shape and prepare geraniums for winter dormancy.
- If you live in USDA plant hardiness zones below 9, consider moving potted geraniums indoors or taking cuttings to overwinter.
- In colder regions, protect the root system of your geraniums by applying a layer of mulch to keep the soil insulated.
- Periodically check your overwintering geraniums for any signs of pest infestation or disease, and address issues promptly.
- Water sparingly, just enough to prevent the soil from becoming completely dry.
Birds and Other Pollinators
- When it comes to attracting hummingbirds, not all flowers are created equal. Geraniums, for example, are not the top choice for these charming birds. The shape of geranium flowers makes it difficult for hummingbirds to access nectar, which ultimately causes them to look elsewhere for feeding opportunities1.
- Aside from hummingbirds, other pollinators play significant roles in the environment. Butterflies and insects are vital in transferring pollen between flowers, ensuring the continued beauty of our gardens and the essential plant reproduction process. Cardinal flowers (Lobelia cardinalis) and Columbine (Aquilegia spp.) are prime examples of plants that entice these incredible creatures, contributing to the ecosystem’s health and beauty2.
- While geraniums might not be the go-to choice for hummingbirds, other plants can vastly benefit your garden’s bird and pollinator communities. Some prime examples are bee balms, daylilies, lupines, foxgloves, hollyhocks, and petunias3. Use these vibrant blooms, and you’ll create an attractive environment that stimulates the senses of an array of birds and insects.
- Craft a garden filled with nectar-rich flowers and plants suitable for the unique feeding requirements of various pollinators. When planning a pollinator-friendly garden, opt for plants that will cater to the needs of various birds, butterflies, and insects4. This approach promotes overall biodiversity and creates a bustling, thriving, and visually stimulating space for both wildlife and humans to appreciate.
Frequently Asked Questions
What flowers are best to attract hummingbirds?
To attract hummingbirds, it’s important to choose nectar-rich flowers with bright colors, especially reds and oranges. Some of the best options tend to be trumpet vine, bee balm, salvia, and hummingbird sage.
Tubular-shaped flowers are particularly suitable, as they allow hummingbirds to easily feed on the nectar inside.
Do geraniums attract any birds?
Although geraniums are not on the top of the list for attracting hummingbirds, they do have some appeal to these birds due to their nectar content. However, the amount of nectar varies depending on the variety of geranium you choose to plant.
In general, geraniums may not be the most effective choice for attracting a large number of hummingbirds or other bird species.
Which plants are similar to geraniums for hummingbirds?
Some plants share similar characteristics with geraniums and may be more attractive to hummingbirds.
One example is fuchsia, which offers vibrant colors and a tubular flower shape, making it easy for these birds to access the nectar. Other options could be coral bells and penstemon, which also provide nectar-rich blossoms that hummingbirds favor.
Are there flowers that hummingbirds don’t prefer?
Yes, there are flowering plants that hummingbirds do not prefer, such as black-eyed Susans, purple coneflowers, and daylilies. Despite these flowers still offering some food sources, hummingbirds tend to avoid them in favor of more nectar-rich and vibrantly colored bloom options.
What makes a flower attractive to hummingbirds?
Hummingbirds are attracted to flowers that provide an ample source of nectar—this is critical for their energy-demanding lifestyle. They are also drawn to vibrant colors, specifically reds and oranges, which they can easily spot from a distance.
Flowers that have a tubular shape to accommodate the hummingbirds’ long bills while feeding are particularly attractive.
Do geraniums have any features appealing to hummingbirds?
Geraniums do produce nectar, but they do not produce it in excessive quantities compared to other flower types. As a result, geraniums are not on the top priority list for hummingbirds in search of food.
However, they may still find geraniums appealing due to their colorful flowers and mild fragrance.