Long-Blooming Flowers for Hummingbirds
These long-blooming flowers will keep hummingbirds fed for months!
When we started working on this year's hummingbird issue, we knew our Top 10 would be a challenge. We've done general stories in the past about hummingbirds' favorite plants, so we wanted something extra special.
Then we thought, Wouldn't everyone want to know which hummingbird plants have especially long bloom times? With these tiny fliers showing up in spring and hanging around through late summer or early fall, it would be good to know what you can really count on for months at a time.
So we checked with our gardening genius, Melinda Myers, and came up with this list. Its floral favorites should help you entice more hummingbirds than ever!
(Aquilegia, Zones 3 to 9)
This native wildlife magnet has striking blossoms that hummingbirds can't resist. It grows up to 3 feet high and blooms in many different colors. Need another reason to consider columbine? It's low maintenance, too.
Why we love it: Most blooms are a mix of shades, like white and red or white and purple, making a bold statement in the garden.
(Phlox, Zones 3 to 9)
Butterflies crave it, hummingbirds can't resist it, it smells delicious, the flowers are gorgeous—the list goes on and on. For upright phlox cultivars (garden phlox), choose disease-resistant Tiara or David. For a more sprawling ground cover and early bloomer, try creeping phlox.
Why we love it: A little bit of phlox goes a long way. It multiplies quickly, so you can divide and conquer other parts of your yard with this resilient bloomer.
(Monarda, Zones 3 to 9)
This flower is a staple in any hummingbird garden, and it has a fun shape to boot! Find it in its traditional red or in newer shades of purple, pink and white. It's also a native, another reason to give it a try.
Why we love it: It reseeds readily and smells great when you're weeding out excess plants in spring. Plus, it's easy to grow, especially if you choose mildew-resistant options like Marshall's Delight or Jacob Cline.
One of the most recognizable annuals around, fuchsia has dainty flowers that resemble ballerinas. Hummingbirds flock to the red, white, pink and purple blooms. You can find both dwarf and upright varieties, but most grow 6 to 24 inches. With more options on the market than ever before, it's time to plant this charmer.
Why we love it: It's made for the shade! If you want to hang a basket under an eave, fuchsia will thrive in it.
(Salvia, Zones 4 to 10)
You'll see a plethora of red salvia flats at the garden center in spring. These are annuals, and they're popular with hummers. But be sure to pick up a few salvias in the ?perennial department, too. The tubular flowers come in red, orange, white, pink, blue and purple. Grow in full sun or light shade and they'll bloom for months.
Why we love it: The Black and Blue Gargantica cultivar (pictured here) has deep, gorgeous blue blooms. They will last for months.
(Salvia elegans, annual)
Another annual in the salvia family, this sage is fairly new to the market. Proven Winners introduced this cultivar, Golden Delicious, which boasts lovely yellow foliage and bright-red blooms. It does very well in the heat, and it's a champ in containers.
Why we love it: The leaves really are pineapple scented, so you'll like them as much as the hummers do.
(Verbena x hybrid, annual)
You'll find dozens of new verbenas on the market, including the popular Superbena line by Proven Winners. The red verbena pictured here is the Aztec Dark Red cultivar from Ball Horticultural Co. Grow in a container or in an annual bed for endless summer blooms.
Why we love it: The color options are infinite, so it's easy to find one that will work for you.
(Lobelia cardinalis, Zones 3 to 9)
You can choose a sunny or partly shady spot with moist soil for this bold red flower. It grows up to 4 feet tall and has plenty of blooms to go around for all your hummingbird ?visitors. Plant it this year. You won't regret it.
Why we love it: It's an age-old favorite that never seems to fail to attract hummers. Plus, we love that "cardinal" is in the name.
(Cuphea ignea, Zones 10 to 11)
This plant is one of the gardening world's best-kept secrets, with long tubular blooms that shine from spring through autumn. Unless you're in Zone 10 or 11, think of it as an annual. Once you see the results you get, it'll become a staple in your garden every year.
Why we love it: It's a natural for hanging baskets. You can mingle it in with other plants, but it's a star on its own, too.
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(Pulmonaria, Zones 2 to 8)
Don't let the funky name keep you from adding it to your backyard. You can always count on lungwort, which emerges in early spring in shades of blue, pink, white or purple. Those pretty spring blooms are a good source of early nectar and the foliage lasts all season.
Why we love it: It's often grown for its foliage, so you get a plant with multiple attractions!