Top 10 Purple Flowers That Attract Hummingbirds

Hummingbirds register the color red very well, which is why they are drawn to bright red flowers. But hummingbirds are just as likely to visit purple blooms.

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victoria blue salvia
Courtesy Todd Nelson

1. Salvia

Salvia spp., Zones 3 to 10

With as many as a thousand species, there’s an ideal salvia for nearly every garden out there. Also known as sage, salvia displays long thin flowers that attract hummingbirds. Choose native varieties or seek out spectacular selections like Rockin’ Deep Purple or Playin’ the Blues Salvia.

Why we love it: Pollinators go for salvias. You could plant an entire garden of salvia varieties, and it would hum with activity every day. Check out even more colorful flowers hummingbirds love.

2. Hummingbird Mint

Agastache foeniculum

Zones 4 to 8

Also known as anise hyssop, this wildflower releases a sweet licorice fragrance when you brush against the leaves. Hummingbird mint is drought tolerant and thrives in well-draining, moist soils, where it grows up to 4 feet tall.

Why we love it: It’s right there in the name! Hummingbirds visit the lavender flower spikes in droves. Butterflies also frequently indulge.

3. Bee Balm

Monarda spp., Zones 3 to 9

Bee balms come in a variety of shades, including the pleasing purples of cultivars like Pardon My Purple and Purple Rooster. It’s an excellent choice for moist, rich soils, but bee balm is susceptible to mildew. Look for newer varieties bred for resistance.

Why we love it: Bee balm, also called bergamot, has a lovely citrusy scent and flavor and can be used in tea or as a salad topping.

DM Larson/Shutterstock

4. Beardtongue

Penstemon spp., Zones 3 to 9

Tall spires of beardtongue, also called penstemon, are loaded with nectar-filled blooms that hummingbirds can’t resist. Most varieties prefer dry or well-draining soil and don’t tolerate soggy roots or clay. Give them plenty of sun to encourage strong, sturdy growth.

Why we love it: Beardtongue is native to North America, with many options for easy-to-grow species found in nearly every region. Discover the best purple flowers for your garden.

foxglove flowers
Courtesy Kyla Szelag

5. Foxglove

Digitalis purpurea, zones 4 to 8

Tall and sturdy spires full of blooms grow up to 5 feet tall from a central foliage rosette in spring. Keep foxglove consistently moist but in well-draining soil. Cut back wilted flower stalks to encourage a second flush in midsummer. All parts of this plant are poisonous, so take care around children and pets. Here’s more plants that are unsafe for dogs.

Why we love it: Foxglove’s regal spikes attract hummingbirds but repel deer and rabbits.

6. Aster

Symphyotrichum spp., Zones 3 to 10

Asters bear daisylike flowers that crowd the top of the stems, like those of New England aster, or branch out to the sides like the calico aster. Many bloom during hummingbird migration in late summer and fall. Asters usually like moist soil and plentiful sun.

Why we love it: Late season butterflies also love asters, especially when mixed with other plants, such as ironweed and goldenrod.

7. Columbine

Aquilegia vulgaris, Zones 3 to 8

Columbine flowers are uniquely lovely, and appear in spring around the same time as daffodils and tulips. The bell-shaped blossoms are backed by darker spurs that contain the nectar hummingbirds need. Columbines generally prefer partial shade.

Why we love it: Columbines thrive in woodland wildflower gardens. For another burst of green, cut the plant back to encourage new foliage. Psst—these easy-to-grow plants will add color to your shade garden.

Petunia flowers
Courtesy of Proven Winners -

8. Petunia

Petunia hybrids, Annual

All summer gardens should have a few easygoing petunias to fill the sunny spots. They’re available in a wide range of colors and patterns, some featuring impressive stripes and bicolored blooms. Cut petunias back in summer if they become leggy for improved flowering.

Why we love it: Petunias absolutely shine trailing from hanging baskets and bring visiting hummers up to eye level. Plant these annual flowers to attract hummingbirds.

Butterfly bush
Courtesy Clifford Ivy

9. Butterfly Bush

Buddleja davidii, Zones 5 to 9

Butterflies and hummers simply treasure the bright clusters of tiny florets on this small shrub. In cool climates, cut it back 4 to 6 inches from the ground in early spring. Gardeners in warmer areas should also cut back the bush to manage its size. Buddleja is invasive in some areas; check before planting.

Why we love it: The bush’s light and sweet fragrance will remind you of spring all season long. Check out fragrant flowers that pollinators love.

10. Rose of Sharon

Hibiscus syriacus, Zones 4 to 9

Whether you grow it as a luscious shrub or groom it into a tree, rose of Sharon boasts big blooms that last only a day. Fortunately, this popular performer flowers continuously from midsummer to fall when planted in full sun. Watch for Japanese beetles, which can cause serious foliage damage.

Why we love it: One cultivar, Blue Bird, has a contrasting deep burgundy center and bright white stamen.

Jill Staake
Jill Staake's lifelong love of nature turned into a career during the years she spent working with native Florida butterflies, caterpillars, and other wildlife at the Museum of Science & Industry in Tampa, Florida. During this time, she helped to maintain 30+ acres of gardens and backwoods, all carefully cultivated to support the more than 20 species of butterflies displayed indoors and out. She now writes for a variety of publications and sites on topics like gardening, birding, and education, among others.