Hummingbirds And Trumpet Vines – Attracting Hummingbirds With Trumpet Vines

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By Mary H. Dyer, Master Naturalist and Master Gardener

It’s no mystery why trumpet vine (Capsis radicans) is sometimes known as hummingbird vine, as hummingbirds and trumpet vine are an irresistible combination of nonstop color and movement. Trumpet vines are so incredibly easy to grow that attracting hummingbirds with trumpet vines is about as easy as it gets.

Why Hummingbirds Like Trumpet Vines

You might think that hummingbirds are attracted to trumpet vines because of the high nectar content and the color – generally shades of red, orange or yellow, but you would be only partially right.

The other huge reason why hummingbirds like trumpet vines is the shape of the blooms, which accommodate the birds’ long tongues. Scientists have long been mystified about how the process works but, in recent years, they have determined that the tongues operate much like tiny, very effective pumping mechanisms.

Planting Trumpet Flowers for Hummingbirds

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Place your trumpet vine where you can observe the hummingbirds, but beware of planting the vines too near your house, as the plant can become unruly. A site next to a fence, trellis or arbor is ideal, and a spring or fall pruning will help keep growth in check.

Plant trumpet vines in the vicinity of trees or shrubs, which will provide shelter and a safe place for breeding and nesting.

Never use pesticides, which can kill the tiny birds and will also kill gnats, mosquitoes and other flying bugs that provide necessary protein for the hummingbirds. Similarly, avoid herbicides and fungicides, which can sicken or kill the birds.

Provide a water source for the hummingbirds. A bird bath is too deep, but a concave rock or shallow plate works well. Better yet, use a bird bath with a dripper or mister, which hummers absolutely love.

Be sure to deadhead wilted blooms regularly to promote continued blooming throughout the season.

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