Hummingbirds are a delight to watch as they dart and dash around the garden. To attract hummingbirds to the garden, consider planting a perennial garden for hummingbirds. If you're asking yourself, “How can I attract a hummingbird to my garden,” or you wonder about gathering hummingbird garden ideas for creating your own perennial garden for hummingbirds, simply continue reading to learn more.
How Can I Attract a Hummingbird to my Garden?
When attracting hummers to your garden, you should keep in mind that hummingbirds prefer to feed in shady areas and they need plenty of open space for flying. Adding appropriate feeders and flowers will also help to welcome these creatures to the area.
An easy method of attracting hummingbirds to the garden is to hang hummingbird feeders. Hummingbird feeders can provide the amount of nectar found in 2,000 to 5,000 flowers. Hang the feeders at varying heights between 3 and 5 feet (1-1.5 m.) off the ground and fill them with a mixture of 4 cups of water and 1 cup of sugar. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally. Change the mixture in the feeders every three days and scrub the feeders every week with hot, soapy water.
Some of the best flowers for attracting hummingbirds to the garden include those that are orange or red in color and tube shaped. Some native American wildflowers that naturally attract hummingbirds include:
Hummingbirds also visit many other flowers in the garden, such as various types of lilies. Many perennial plants and trees make the best flowers for attracting hummingbirds and include:
- Scarlet sage
- Bouncing bet
- Silk tree
- Spider flower
- Morning glories
Hummingbird Garden Ideas
Here are some additional ideas to entice hummingbirds into your garden:
- Provide trees and shrubs near the feeding area to give the hummingbirds a place to rest and shelter from predators and weather.
- Ripe fruit left near the feeding area makes the site more attractive to hummingbirds and it attracts gnats—an important source of protein for hummingbirds.
- Hummingbirds also need water. A bird bath no more than 1 1/2 inches (4 cm.) deep provides plenty of water for hummingbirds. If the bath is too deep, fill the bottom with coarse gravel.
- Nectar provides only a part of a hummingbird's nutritional needs. Many species eat large quantities of small bugs for the protein they provide. You can attract bugs to your garden with a small weedy patch or wildflower area. Never use insecticides in gardens where hummingbirds feed.
- The best flowers for attracting hummingbirds are those with long throats that hang in clusters beyond the foliage. Flowers that are too close to the foliage force a hummingbird to beat his wings against the leaves as they feed. The plants should have several open blossoms at a time.
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Jackie Carroll has written over 500 articles for Gardening Know How on a wide range of topics.