Do Hummingbirds Like Hydrangeas? (Yes, But Only Certain Types)

Are you wondering, do hummingbirds like hydrangeas?

Answer: Yes…but hydrangeas are not a hummingbird’s favorite.

Hummingbirds love nectar-rich flowers. And while some hydrangea varieties may attract hummingbirds, they are not their top choice for nectar sources. That being said, planning a diverse garden with hydrangeas and hummingbird-friendly plants can help create an attractive environment for these delightful birds.

In this article, we’re going to explain which hydrangea varieties are best for hummingbirds and how to arrange your garden to attract these stunning visitors.

Key Takeaways

  • Hydrangeas can attract hummingbirds, but they are not their primary nectar source.
  • Choose the right hydrangea variety and pair it with other hummingbird-friendly plants.
  • Consider adding elements like feeders and landscaping features to make your garden more attractive to hummingbirds.

Why Do Hummingbirds Like Hydrangeas?

Hydrangea flowers growing alongside a stone staircase

Color Preferences

  • When it comes to attracting hummingbirds, one of the key factors to consider is their preference for bright colors.
  • These small birds are drawn to pinks, reds, and blues, which can be found in various hydrangea varieties.
  • While hydrangeas may not always be the top choice for pollinators, their vibrant hues can certainly be a visual treat for hummingbirds and contribute to their overall appeal.

Read Next: Do Hummingbirds Like Mandevilla?

Nectar-Rich Flowers

  • Another important factor that plays a role in attracting hummingbirds is the availability of nectar-rich flowers.
  • Hydrangeas have the potential to provide ample nectar for these birds, but that’s not the case with all hydrangea varieties, as some are sterile.
  • However, the nectar-producing hydrangeas can indeed bring these beautiful creatures to your garden as they seek out pollen and nectar-rich sources.

Best Hydrangea Varieties for Hummingbirds

When it comes to attracting hummingbirds to your garden, selecting the right hydrangea variety plays a crucial role.

Let’s talk about four popular hydrangea varieties – Mophead Hydrangeas, Lacecap Hydrangeas, Oakleaf Hydrangeas, and Paniculata Hydrangeas – and their suitability for attracting hummingbirds.

Mophead Hydrangeas

delicate blue mophead hydrangea bush

Mophead Hydrangeas, known for their large, round flower heads, are aesthetically pleasing but may not be the best option for attracting hummingbirds.

Unfortunately, some Mophead varieties are sterile and lack pollen or nectar. Hummingbirds will likely avoid these hydrangeas, so it’s better to choose other varieties if your priority is to attract these tiny birds.

Lacecap Hydrangeas

pink Lacecap Hydrangeas close up in a garden

Lacecap Hydrangeas, with their flat, delicate flower heads, can be an attractive option for hummingbirds thanks to their nectar-rich flowers.

The clusters of small flowers invite pollinators like hummingbirds and provide them with the necessary sustenance. As a result, Lacecap Hydrangeas can be a valuable addition to your garden when aiming to attract hummingbirds.

Oakleaf Hydrangeas

pink Oakleaf Hydrangeas close up

Unlike Mophead Hydrangeas, Oakleaf Hydrangeas are native to the United States and a popular choice for attracting hummingbirds. They produce showy blooms and ample nectar, making them an irresistible food source for these small birds.

Moreover, their stunning foliage and distinctive leaf shape offer additional visual interest to your garden.

Paniculata Hydrangeas

white Paniculata Hydrangeas in a garden

Paniculata Hydrangeas are another variety that may welcome hummingbirds to your garden. Their large, cone-shaped flowers provide nectar and pollen, ensuring a nutritious feast for the birds.

These hydrangeas are also known for their ability to withstand a variety of climates, making them a hardy, versatile option for gardeners aiming to attract hummingbirds.

Planting and Maintenance

Sunlight and Location

When planning your garden to attract hummingbirds, think about where you’ll plant your hydrangeas. These beautiful flowers prefer partial shade, so it’s ideal to plant them in a location that receives dappled sunlight throughout the day.

In the proper environment, hydrangeas can provide an excellent source of nectar for hummingbirds while offering shelter for them to watch for potential predators.

Soil and Acidity

Hydrangeas thrive in rich, well-draining soil with a slightly acidic pH. To ensure your hydrangeas grow healthy, keep the soil consistently moist and amend it with compost or an acid-producing fertilizer.

Gardeners who pay close attention to their hydrangeas’ soil and acidity can help create a robust and welcoming environment for hummingbirds to visit.


Proper watering is crucial for maintaining healthy hydrangeas. These plants require regular and consistent irrigation, so it’s important to monitor the soil moisture and water them when it begins to dry out.

Be sure not to overwater your hydrangeas, as this can lead to root rot or other problems detrimental to both the plant and the visiting hummingbirds.

Care and Pruning

To keep your hydrangeas attractive to hummingbirds, some care is necessary. Regularly remove any dead or damaged leaves, branches, or blooms to maintain the plant’s health and appearance.

Prune your hydrangeas annually, typically during late winter or early spring, to encourage new growth and to maintain their shape.

This careful attention will ensure your hydrangeas continue to flourish and attract hummingbirds throughout the blooming season.

Other Flowers and Plants to Attract Hummingbirds

hot pink bee balm flowers growing in a garden

In addition to hydrangeas, there are a variety of flowers and plants that can attract hummingbirds.

If you want to know how to attract hummingbirds, check out this how-to article.

Tubular Flowers

Tubular flowers, such as bee balm and salvia, are particularly appealing to hummingbirds because of their shape and nectar-rich content. These flowers make it easy for the birds to access the nectar within, providing an excellent food source.

Some other tubular flowers that attract hummingbirds include trumpet vines, honeysuckle, and red flowers, which have a vibrant color that catches their attention.

Native Plants and Shrubs

Consider using native plants like cardinal flowers and red columbines in your garden to attract hummingbirds. These plants offer the advantage of being adapted to your local area, providing benefits to the hummingbirds and other pollinators.

In addition, shrubs like butterfly bushes with nectar-rich flowers can also provide valuable food sources for these tiny birds.

Non-Invasive Vines

While some vines can become invasive, careful selection will help you add beautiful, non-invasive options to your garden.

Examples include trumpet vines and non-invasive honeysuckle varieties that offer nectar-rich flowers.

If you grow these vines on an arbor or trellis, you can create vertical structures hummingbirds love to explore while enhancing your garden’s beauty.

Container Gardening

Even if you don’t have a large garden area, you can still attract hummingbirds using smaller container plants. Select flowers and plants that are well-suited to your area’s hardiness zone, ensuring they will thrive in the local climate conditions.

Planting containers with a mix of tubular flowers, such as salvia or bee balm, and native plants will create a welcoming space for hummingbirds, regardless of your garden’s size.

These options give you a variety of ways to create a hummingbird-friendly garden, providing food sources and shelter for these incredible creatures.

Hummingbird Feeders and Care

Types of Hummingbird Feeders

There are various types of hummingbird feeders available, designed specifically to cater to these fascinating birds’ needs.

Some common feeder styles include saucer feeders, bottle feeders, and window feeders. While different models may have their unique features, all hummingbird feeders should contain a nectar reservoir, feeding ports, and a perch for the birds to rest while feeding.

The feeding ports should ideally be strategically designed to resemble the tubular flowers these creatures are naturally attracted to, such as the ones favored by the ruby-throated hummingbird.

Providing Protein Sources

Although hummingbirds are known for their love of sugar water, you should also provide them with a well-rounded diet that includes a source of protein. Insects are a crucial part of their diet, supplying critical nutrients and energy.

You can attract insects by planting native flowers and vegetation around your feeding stations or supplying them with an insect feeder.

Additionally, avoid using pesticides in your garden, as they could inadvertently harm the hummingbirds or deplete their natural food sources.

It’s important to note that hygiene plays a significant role in hummingbird care. Regularly cleaning and refilling feeders with fresh sugar water helps keep them healthy and disease-free.

In hot weather, it’s recommended to clean the feeders twice a week, while in cooler weather, once a week should suffice.

Landscaping for Hummingbirds and Pollinators

When it comes to designing a garden that attracts hummingbirds and other pollinators such as butterflies and bees, selecting the right flowers and plants is crucial.

Hummingbirds are drawn to colorful blooms where they can easily hover and drink nectar.

Hydrangeas are known to be a favorite among butterflies, particularly the Pink Diamond and Lacecap variations source. Though there is anecdotal evidence that hummingbirds are attracted to hydrangeas as well, it’s important to include other flowers to create a well-rounded landscape for these tiny creatures.

The following blooms are ideal for attracting hummingbirds:

  • Red Columbine: This North American wildflower contains nectar with high sugar content, which is especially nutritious for hummingbirds source.
  • Beebalm: Varieties like Lemon, Scarlet, and Spotted beebalm are native to various parts of the United States and are known for their vibrant colors and fragrant nectar source.

When landscaping for hummingbirds and pollinators, remember that a diverse garden will appeal to a variety of species. In addition to planting colorful, nectar-rich blooms, consider planting:

  • Trellises, trees, or other structures to support climbing vines source
  • Window boxes and containers for a terraced effect
  • Native plants to support the local ecosystem

Taking the time to thoughtfully plan a garden with flowers and plants that attract hummingbirds and other pollinators will not only enhance the beauty of your landscape but also create a thriving environment for these important species.


Hummingbirds indeed have an affinity for hydrangeas. These nectar-rich flowers provide an abundant food source for the tiny birds and offer ample shelter, making it possible for them to keep an eye out for potential predators ^1^. The colorful blooms of hydrangeas attract these creatures, serving as a daily source of sustenance ^2^.

Although hydrangeas may not be widely recognized as a favorite among hummingbirds, they still provide important nourishment through their nectar production ^3^. Factors such as bright colors, nectar, and accessible blooms make hydrangeas alluring to hummingbirds. If your hydrangeas possess these qualities, it is likely that you’ll see these remarkable birds visiting your garden regularly ^4^.

Frequently Asked Questions

What plants are best for attracting hummingbirds?

The best plants for attracting hummingbirds are those with brightly colored, tubular flowers that provide nectar as a food source. Some examples include trumpet vine, bee balm, honeysuckle, salvia, and fuchsia.

Are hydrangeas a good choice for a hummingbird garden?

Hydrangeas can be a good choice for a hummingbird garden as they do provide nectar for hummingbirds, giving them a daily food source. The colorful flowers can also be attractive to them. However, there might be better options with more tubular flowers that are specifically designed for hummingbird feeding.

What flowers are similar to hydrangeas that hummingbirds love?

Flowers similar to hydrangeas that are more appealing to hummingbirds include verbena, petunias, and begonias. These flowers offer tubular shapes, bright colors, and nectar-rich sources that hummingbirds are attracted to.

Do hydrangeas provide nectar for hummingbirds?

Yes, hydrangeas produce nectar, which is a key food source for hummingbirds. Their colorful flowers can also be attractive.

How to create a hummingbird friendly garden with hydrangeas?

To create a hummingbird friendly garden with hydrangeas, plant your hydrangeas in well-drained soil with partial sun, along with other brightly colored, tubular flowers. Additionally, provide a water source, such as a birdbath, and a few perching areas for the birds to rest.

What other flowers can I pair with hydrangeas to attract more hummingbirds?

To attract more hummingbirds, pair your hydrangeas with other nectar-rich flowers, such as trumpet vine, bee balm, honeysuckle, salvia, fuchsia, verbena, petunias, and begonias. These flowers not only offer complementary colors and can thrive in similar conditions, they also provide an ample nectar source for hummingbirds, making your garden a popular stop for these delightful birds.

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