Create a Hummingbird-Friendly Plant Combo
Mix annuals from White Flower Farm for a plant container hummingbirds can't resist.
The following content was produced in partnership with White Flower Farm.
Turn your backyard into a hummingbird haven by adding nectar-rich blooms in addition to sugar-water feeders. These busy birds zip, zoom and dart from one food source to another, burning tons of energy as they fly. To refuel, hummingbirds might make hundreds of flower pit stops in one day, which is why growing the plants they crave is so important.
Birds & Blooms has partnered with White Flower Farm to show you how to create a hummingbird-friendly plant combo for containers, using its Hummingbird Annual Collection. (Order it here in time for spring!) Each of the six plants in the collection has benefits that will attract hummingbirds to your yard.
As you plan out your hummingbird flower combo, here are four additional growing tips to keep in mind:
1. Annuals are the key to success. Whether hummingbirds are craving a sweet treat after spring migration or need a boost of energy before they head south in fall, long-blooming annuals have the nectar they need.
2. Keep the blooms coming. Plants last even longer when you snip away spent flowers to make room for fresh ones. That means the nectar buffet lasts even longer. Hummingbirds can’t resist!
3. Offer vibrant colors they love! Red is a favorite because their eyes see it vividly. But they also easily notice orange and yellow hues, too.
4. Arrange your garden like a stadium. Give shorter plants a front-row seat and place taller plants in the back. Visiting hummingbirds will have easy access to all the blooms. Plus, you’ll have an even better view of the way they zip and zag among the flowers.
The Hummingbird Annual Collection
Attract more hummingbirds to your garden with the Hummingbird Annual Collection from White Flower Farm. Pretty shades of pink, coral and red will immediately catch their attention. Hummingbirds search out nectar from many different-colored flowers, but they are especially drawn to red and pink blooms.
The six plants in this collection are:
- Dragon Wing® Pink begonia (x2)
- Billy Green fuchsia
- Campfire coleus
- Strawberry Drop coleus
- Margarita sweet potato
Dragon Wing® Pink begonia
Dragon Wing® Pink begonia attracts plenty of hummingbirds thanks to its lovely pink blooms. It works well as a companion plant in containers and hanging baskets. Plus, it’s heat-tolerant and has glossy green leaves.
Billy Green fuchsia
Make Billy Green fuchsia the star of the show! It’s the ideal centerpiece in containers and grows well in either part shade or full sun with moist soil. The tube-shaped blooms are two-toned in light and dark pink. Although it’s heat-tolerant, it’s not well-suited for the desert Southwest or Deep South.
This bold coleus shines bright in sun or shade thanks to its fiery orange leaves. It’s a showstopper on its own, but also buoys other plants when combined in large containers and borders. Most coleus varieties, including this one, tolerate full sun, but they truly thrive in shade.
Strawberry Drop coleus
This trailing coleus has a unique pattern. In the center of each green leaf is a strawberry-and-cream-colored patch. Its small, tightly arranged foliage pair well with other leafy plants, flowers, or both! Strawberry Drop coleus tolerates sun, but it truly shines in shade.
Margarita sweet potato
Heart-shaped leaves look gold in sun and pale green in partial shade. Although its sweet potato roots are edible, the real star here is the gorgeous leaves that cascade from containers. (This plant also looks great when used as a short-term ground cover or as skirts for upright plants.) With consistent moisture, Margarita sweet potato thrives in either full sun or part shade. It can reach up to 9 inches tall.
The Hummingbird Collection from White Flower Farm comes with a planting plan for your container. (To fit all six plants in the collection, White Flower Farm recommends using a container that’s at least 18 inches in diameter and 12 inches deep.) Make sure that the container you choose has drainage holes, too.
How to Plant the Hummingbird Collection:
- Add potting mix to container until it’s 3/4 full.
- Space plants close together, placing the tallest plants in the center and surrounding them with the shorter plants. Trailing plants should be placed along the edges.
- Add potting mix to bring the soil surface level to the container’s rim.
- Water thoroughly.