Wondering which red flowers to plant to bring more hummingbirds to your garden?
You’re in the right place!
This article is going to explain 8 red flowers that attract hummingbirds like magnets, as well as other color flowers and plant types hummingbirds love—plus how to arrange your garden to make a hummingbird paradise.
- Planting red flowers like cardinal flower and red salvia will attract lots of hungry hummingbirds
- Having variety in plant species and blooming times increases your garden’s appeal to hummingbirds
- Consider regional and climate factors when choosing red flowers for your hummingbird garden
Red Flowers That Attract Hummingbirds
Hummingbirds are drawn to brightly colored flowers, with red being particularly appealing to these tiny winged wonders. The following red flowers are highly attractive to hummingbirds and can be a great addition to your garden.
Read Next: Do Hummingbirds Like Lavender?
1. Bee Balm
Bee Balm, scientifically known as Monarda, is a perennial flower that produces striking red blooms, making it an excellent choice for attracting hummingbirds. This plant can grow up to 3 to 4 feet tall, creating a vibrant display in your garden.
It prefers full sun to part shade, and well-drained soil. Be aware, Bee Balm benefits from regular pruning to promote optimal growth.
Bonus: It gives off a lovely fragrance that adds to the overall appeal of your garden.
2. Cardinal Flower
The Cardinal Flower is a herbaceous perennial with bright red tubular flowers that are perfectly designed for hummingbirds’ long bills. Blooming in late summer, the flowers appear on terminal spikes.
Note, this plant requires moist soil and does not tolerate drought conditions well.
Columbine is another red-flowered, hummingbird-friendly plant. Growing in a variety of vivid hues, the plant’s elongated, tubular shape makes it an ideal choice for these nectar-loving birds.
Columbines thrive in well-drained soil and partially shaded areas, making them suitable for several garden arrangements.
4. Red Salvia
Salvia is a versatile red flower popular among both gardeners and hummingbirds. This easy-to-grow plant comes in various shades, and the fact is that hummingbirds will also come to salvia plants of other colors besides red.
This flower prefers well-drained soil and full sun, and fortunately, it serves as an excellent low-maintenance addition to your garden.
Hibiscus comes in different varieties, but this gorgeous perennial shrub is a nectar-rich favorite among hummingbirds. The Hardy Hibiscus plant known as Hibiscus moscheutos is native to North America and can be found in bold red colors.
Growing up to about 7 feet tall, it requires full sun or light shade, and you can’t let the soil dry out.
As for blooming times, it blooms profusely from mid-summer through early autumn.
6. Coral Bells
Coral Bells, or Heuchera, is an evergreen perennial with small, red, bell-shaped flowers that dangle from tall stems. Though the flowers are smaller, their vibrant color and nectar-rich properties are highly attractive to hummingbirds.
Coral Bells prefer well-drained soil and partial shade, making them an excellent companion plant in your hummingbird garden.
7. Red Daylilies
Hummingbirds are big fans of daylilies, especially the red kind.
The depth and trumpet shape of the flower are just right for the hummingbird’s long bill. And the deep red color, often accented by vivid yellow (another color hummingbirds like), is like a target for this little bird.
Plus, daylilies are low-maintenance, so they’re a nice addition to your hummingbird garden.
Big payoff, little effort.
Another prized flower for luring hummingbirds, the red Mandevilla’s shape is well-adapted to provide pollinators like hummingbirds with sips of sweet nectar.
Mandevilla is a tropical vine, native to South and Central America.
You’ll need the right conditions to grow it, but with the proper care and considerations, it can be planted in the ground or grown in containers and brought inside in colder seasons, depending on where you live.
Flowers in Other Colors That Hummingbirds Love
Besides red flowers, hummingbirds are also attracted to vibrant orange flowers. Some popular choices include trumpet vine, with its trumpet-shaped blossoms, and California fuchsia, which flaunts tubular orange flowers.
These bright blooms not only add great visual appeal to your garden but also serve as irresistible sources of nectar for the hummingbirds.
Pink flowers can act as beautiful magnets for hummingbirds too. Salvia, for instance, comes in various shades of pink and produces spiky inflorescences that hummingbirds adore.
Another great option is the pink-flowering foxglove, which boasts tall stalks adorned with tubular, bell-shaped blossoms that create an inviting environment for the tiny birds.
While not as eye-catching as red, orange, or pink, white flowers can still hold considerable allure for hummingbirds.
Jasmine, for example, is a versatile white-flowering plant that emits a sweet fragrance, drawing hummingbirds to its star-shaped blossoms.
Similarly, white bee balm produces unique, crown-shaped flowers that add elegance to your garden while providing a nectar source for the feathered visitors.
Lastly, purple flowers offer yet another attractive option for hummingbirds. One standout choice is the purple coneflower, with its prominent central cone and large, petal-like rays.
Another popular purple flower among hummingbirds is the butterfly bush, which showcases elongated, cone-shaped inflorescences that produce a sweet nectar these small birds can’t resist.
Mixing up a variety of different colored blossoms in your garden is a good idea if you want to attract hummingbirds.
Plant Types for Hummingbirds
Annuals vs Perennials
Both annuals and perennials can play a significant role in creating a hummingbird-friendly garden.
- Annuals, such as some honeysuckle varieties, can provide a colorful burst of nectar-rich flowers throughout the growing season. Trumpet honeysuckle, or Lonicera sempervirens, is an example of an annual that attracts hummingbirds. For more annuals that attract hummingbirds, check out this article.
- On the other hand, perennials like the cardinal flower, Lobelia cardinalis, offer long-lasting, bright red tubular flowers that are specifically designed for hummingbirds’ long bills and bloom in late summer. If you want more ideas for perennials that attract hummingbirds, read this article.
- Both types of plants can greatly contribute to the overall appeal of a hummingbird garden, providing color, variety, and much-needed nectar sources.
Trees and Shrubs
- In addition to flowers, the presence of trees and bushes can provide a lush habitat for hummingbirds, offering protective cover, perching spots, and nesting sites.
- While they may not directly produce nectar, they serve as a crucial component of a well-rounded hummingbird garden.
- Deciduous and evergreen trees, as well as flowering shrubs, all contribute to a thriving ecosystem for these extraordinary birds.
- Vines can serve as a valuable addition to any hummingbird garden, as they often provide nectar-rich flowers and an attractive structure for the birds to perch and nest.
- Honeysuckle vines are a popular choice, as these fast-growing plants can quickly cover a trellis, fence, or wall with their vibrant flowers.
- Ensuring these vines are well-maintained and pruned regularly will keep them healthy and looking their best for the enjoyment of both hummingbirds and garden visitors alike.
Best Practices for Attracting Hummingbirds
- To attract hummingbirds, it’s important to plant a variety of flowers in your garden. Focus on red, tubular flowers, as these are known to be especially attractive to these pollinators. (However, hummingbirds also enjoy nectar-rich flowers of all colors, so don’t limit yourself to only red plants!)
- Not to mention, red flowers have a great chance of attracting not just hummingbirds, but also pollinators like butterflies and bees.
- If you plant a diverse array of red flowers with different shapes, sizes, and bloom times, you’ll create a space for various pollinators, benefiting both your garden and the local ecosystem.
- In addition to planting a diverse range of flowers, you can also supplement their natural nectar intake by providing hummingbird feeders.
- These feeders should be filled with a sugar-water mixture, mimicking the nectar found in flowers.
- Be sure to clean and refill the feeders regularly to keep them safe and enticing for the hummingbirds.
Shelter and Nesting
- Providing shelter and nesting opportunities is another essential aspect of attracting hummingbirds to your garden.
- Having trees and shrubs into your landscape creates secure places for them to rest and nest.
- Furthermore, consider placing nesting materials, such as small twigs or plant fibers, throughout your garden to encourage nesting activity.
Full Sun vs Partial Shade
- When planning a garden to attract hummingbirds, it’s essential to consider the amount of sunlight that the area gets. Many red flowers favored by hummingbirds thrive in full sun, while others prefer partial shade.
- Full sun plants generally need at least 6 hours of direct sunlight each day, while partial shade plants require a mix of sun and shade.
Pro Tip: Selecting an assortment of red flowers that can adapt to different sunlight conditions will increase your chances of attracting these beautiful creatures.
- Just like any other garden, the soil in your hummingbird haven plays a critical role in the plants’ health and growth.
- So many flower species hummingbirds enjoy do prefer well-drained soil, enriched with organic matter like compost or aged manure.
- However, it’s essential to research the specific soil requirements for each type of red flower you choose to ensure optimal growth.
Remember, a thriving garden will be more likely to attract hummingbirds, so provide plants with their ideal soil conditions.
Water and Moisture
- A key aspect of creating a hummingbird-friendly garden is maintaining proper moisture levels for the plants.
- Some red flowers, like red coreopsis that attract hummingbirds, prefer moderately moist soil, while others need consistent moisture to thrive.
- It’s crucial to water the plants according to their individual needs and be mindful of their water preferences when grouping them together.
Spacing and Planting
- When planting your flowers, take into account the space needed for each type of plant to grow and spread.
- Proper spacing allows for better air circulation, reducing the risk of diseases and pests.
- Some blooms may require more room to grow, while others thrive in closer proximity.
- As a general rule of thumb, plant your red flowers in clusters or drifts to create a more significant visual impact for hummingbirds.
Border and Container Options
- Lastly, consider incorporating border and container plantings in your hummingbird garden, creating an inviting and varied space for the birds to explore.
- Borders and containers can include plants of various sizes and growth habits, from tall perennials like the cardinal flower to colorful smaller annuals.
- Container options allow for versatile and flexible placement of plants, ideal for gardens with limited space or specific design requirements.
Native and Invasive Plant Species
Invasive Plant Choices
Invasive plant species can often be found growing rapidly and dominating landscapes, crowding out native vegetation. One such plant that is known to attract hummingbirds is the trumpet vine.
This fast-growing vine, although beautiful with its vibrant red flowers, can become problematic if not managed carefully. Its growth can be aggressive and may damage nearby structures or choke out other plants.
While it does attract hummingbirds, it’s essential to consider the potential consequences of planting an invasive species in your garden.
Native Plant Options
On the other hand, there are many native plant options that can effectively attract hummingbirds while also being responsible choices for your local environment.
These native plants are well-suited to their respective plant hardiness zones and can add beautiful colors and textures to your garden.
Some great native plants for attracting hummingbirds are:
- Lobelia cardinalis: Known for its red, pink, and white flowers, this perennial plant grows well in rich, moist soil. It can thrive in full sun to partial shade and reaches a height of 2 to 4 feet with a spread of 1 to 2 feet. This plant’s tubular flowers are especially attractive to hummingbirds.
- Red daylilies: These flowers bloom all summer long and can thrive in a variety of shades, from full sun to partial shade. Reaching a height of 10 inches to 4 feet, red daylilies can create a colorful and inviting space for hummingbirds to visit.
- Foxglove: Often found in woodlands, these shade-tolerant plants produce tall stems with many bell-shaped blossoms that hummingbirds can easily reach into with their long bills and tongues.
- Anise hyssop: Fragrant and attractive, this plant has long-lasting purple flowers that are known to draw in both butterflies and hummingbirds. As a member of the mint family, its fragrant leaves also help deter browsing deer.
Maintaining Your Hummingbird Garden
Pruning and Deadheading
To keep your hummingbird garden thriving, regular pruning and deadheading of plants are essential.
Pruning helps promote healthy growth and flowering, while deadheading removes spent blooms to encourage new flowers. During the growing season, monitor and trim any overgrown or dead branches to maintain an open and inviting space for hummingbirds.
Support Structures and Garden Accessories
Adding support structures like trellises and arbors will provide additional space for vines and climbing plants that attract hummingbirds.
Place hummingbird feeders strategically near nectar-rich plants to supplement their food sources. Ensure these feeders have a clean and safe environment by regularly refilling them with sugar water and cleaning them thoroughly to prevent mold growth.
Cleaning and Refreshing Water Sources
Hummingbirds are attracted to clean, fresh water sources for bathing and drinking. Set up a shallow bird bath or a slow-dripping water source to entice these tiny visitors.
To maintain a healthy environment, clean the water sources at least once a week, or more often if dirt and debris accumulate, and remember to refresh the water frequently to provide an inviting drinking spot for the hummingbirds.
Pests can disrupt a hummingbird garden’s balance and limit the availability of nectar-rich flowers. Implement organic pest management techniques like introducing beneficial insects, practicing crop rotation, and opting for disease-resistant plants.
Providing well-draining soil and afternoon shade will help maintain plant health and reduce the risk of diseases and pests.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why are red flowers attractive to hummingbirds?
Hummingbirds are drawn to red flowers because of their sense of color.
Their retina has a dense concentration of cones containing red and yellow pigments, which are believed to act as filters, heightening their sensitivity to red hues and signaling high-energy nectar sources for their active lifestyle source.
Which red perennials draw hummingbirds?
- Red Daylilies (Hemorocallis, Zones 3 to 10) are easy to grow and bloom all summer, providing a continuous source of nectar for hummingbirds source.
- Cardinal Flowers (Lobelia cardinalis) are herbaceous perennials that produce bright red tubular flowers in late summer. They are well-suited for hummingbirds’ long bills and prefer moist soil source.
Read Also: Perennials for Attracting Hummingbirds
What potted red flowers are best for luring hummingbirds?
Some potted red flowers ideal for attracting hummingbirds include:
- Salvia (Salvia sp.)
- Red Hot Poker (Kniphofia uvaria)
- Fuchsia (Fuchsia sp.)
- Red Mandevilla (Mandevilla sp.)
These potted flowers typically tolerate various growing conditions and offer vibrant red flower displays that hummingbirds find irresistible.
What trees have red flowers that appeal to hummingbirds?
Several trees produce red flowers that attract hummingbirds. Some examples are:
- Red Buckeye (Aesculus pavia)
- Red Horse Chestnut (Aesculus × carnea)
- Red Maple (Acer rubrum)
- Red-flowering Currant (Ribes sanguineum)
These trees not only offer gorgeous blooms but also provide habitat and perching spots for hummingbirds.
Read Also: Trees That Attract Hummingbirds
Do hummingbirds prefer red flowers over other colors?
While hummingbirds have an innate attraction to red flowers, they are not solely attracted to this color. They can process and be drawn to other bright flower colors such as orange, pink, and purple.
Nevertheless, red flowers have a stronger appeal due to their natural sensitivity to the color red source.
What are some native red flowers that hummingbirds enjoy?
Native red flowers not only attract hummingbirds but also promote healthy ecosystems by supporting local wildlife.
Some examples of native red flowers that hummingbirds enjoy are:
- Red Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis)
- Scarlet Beebalm (Monarda didyma)
- Red Coral Honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens)
- Indian Paintbrush (Castilleja sp.)
By planting native red flowers in your garden, you can create a visually appealing landscape while providing a nectar-rich environment for hummingbirds.