Top 10 Hummingbird Flowers and Plants
We have a great plant recommendation in every color. Take a look at these nectar-rich hummingbird flowers and plants in a rainbow of gorgeous colors.
If you know anything about hummingbirds, it’s probably the fact that they can’t resist red. After all, there’s a reason hummer fans fill their gardens with crimson blooms and hang sugar-water feeders splashed with scarlet. But red isn’t the only hue that attracts them. Take a look at these nectar-rich hummingbird flowers in a rainbow of gorgeous colors (including one outstanding red choice). You might just find a new favorite!
Green – Flowering tobacco
Nicotiana spp., annual
Often flying under the radar, this might be one of the best-kept secrets among hummingbird plants. Yes, it is an annual, but once gardeners discover the power of this flower, they eagerly plant it again and again. You can find it in a whole spectrum of colors, including pink, white, red, lavender and the Lime Green cultivar pictured here.
Bonus tip: While it varies by cultivar, this plant is also known for its fragrance. If you like sweet-smelling blooms in the evening, make sure you pick a variety like the white-flowering Fragrant Cloud.
Orange – Red hot poker
Kniphofia, Zones 5 to 9
It’s one of the most dramatic and visually appealing flowers in the garden, pale yellow at the base and bold orange on top. Some varieties, like the First Sunrise cultivar pictured here, have an extra jolt of orange. The plants grow up to 4 feet high and are among the earlier summer bloomers.
Bonus tip: You really want to plant these in well-draining soil. They’re prone to rot in boggy or even moist soil.
Yellow – Trumpet honeysuckle
Lonicera sempervirens, Zones 4 to 9
We don’t always recommend honeysuckle—many types are invasive—but this one is an exception worth considering, especially this yellow John Clayton cultivar. It’s native to many areas, and hummingbirds will visit all summer for its nectar. The vine climbs up to 12 feet tall and thrives in full sun to partial shade.
Bonus tip: Make sure you’re buying the right kind of honeysuckle. There are several types; look for Lonicera sempervirens.
Blue – Delphinium
Delphinium, Zones 3 to 7
This towering treasure makes a statement at the back of a mixed border, as a vertical accent or in a container. With dozens of blooms on each stem, it gives hummingbirds plenty of nectar sources to share with butterflies and other bugs, too.
Bonus tip: Some varieties, like the Summer Blues pictured here, are a lot bluer than others. For heat tolerance, try the Blue Mirror cultivar.
Coral – Trumpet vine
Campsis radicans, Zones 4 to 9
We see dozens of photos each year of hummingbirds at trumpet vine, and there’s a good reason. They love this sweet beauty! A perennial favorite of both butterflies and hummingbirds, it grows up to 40 feet tall.
Bonus tip: When you plant this stunner, it pays to invest in a good trellis, or put it next to a tree, telephone pole or sturdy fence. If you can provide this vine with good support, it will last for years.
Red – Bee balm
Monarda, Zones 3 to 9
How do you choose just one red plant to recommend for hummingbirds? It was a tough decision, but bee balm came out on top. This beauty grows up to 4 feet tall in full sun and starts flowering in midsummer. You can even find several varieties on the market that are resistant to mildew.
Bonus tip: Cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis) came in a close second. It also grows well in Zones 3 to 9 and is about the same height as bee balm. Plant the two in your garden for a greater chance of success.
Black – Petunia
Petunia x hybrida, annual
If you love petunias but are on the lookout for something a little different, Black Velvet is perfect for you. Petunias have long been used in hanging baskets to attract hummingbirds, and this one will do that with a dash of drama.
Bonus tip: Pair black and red for instant flair. When you add red petunias to your Black Velvets, you’ll have a showstopper that’s also a hummingbird hot spot.
Purple – Salvia
Salvia spp., Zones 4 to 9
Annual salvia is a garden favorite, but don’t forget the power of the perennial variety. The blooms can reach 1 to 5 feet tall, flowering in bright shades of purple, indigo, maroon and even red. Grow in full sun, and you’ll probably want to add a few extra for the butterflies, too.
Bonus tip: Many gardeners grow it because it’s a good drought-tolerant option in summer. Don’t forget to grow it in well-draining soil for best results.
Pink – Coral bells
Heuchera, Zones 3 to 9
Don’t overlook the power of pink, a color available in many species that we normally think of as having red flowers. Coral bells are also valued for their foliage and shade tolerance. In late spring, the plant sends up attractive, long-lasting wands of tiny flowers that invite hummingbirds all summer long.
Bonus tip: Spend time getting to know the different cultivars, which have some of the garden’s most diverse and beautiful foliage options. It won’t be long until you have your own favorites.
White – Viburnum
Viburnum, Zones 2 to 9
Every good plant list needs a shrub on it, and these are some of the most versatile, resilient and wildlife-friendly ones available. They have flowers in spring and summer, great foliage in fall and berries from fall to winter.
Bonus tip: Look around to find the right type of viburnum for you. Autumn Jazz is pictured here (Viburnum dentatum ‘Ralph Senior’).
Since red is such a big draw for hummingbirds, we wanted to highlight a few more plants you might consider:
- Garden phlox