Category Archives: Hummingbirds

Hummingbirds Have a Broad Palette

Guest Post by Jean Ann Van Krevelen of Gardener to Farmer

I have always loved hummingbirds. Last year, I more than doubled the flowers in containers on my patio. As a result, I saw the two small Rufous hummingbirds that call my yard home, more than any year prior. Don’t let the diminutive size of these guys fool you; they are very territorial and rather cheeky. If I happen to be out watering and one of them wants to feed, they’ll hover in front of me, engaging in a very intense staring contest.

The most I’ve ever known about what flowers attract hummingbirds, is that they like the color red and prefer tubular type flowers (think penstemon). This year, I’ve discovered that list is much broader than I previously thought. I had a very narrow definition of the color red. I’ve discovered that “red” also includes hot pink, vivid violet, bright corals…in other words, variations within a continuum of color. My understanding of the physical characteristics of the flowers was similarly narrow. “Tubular” includes fuchsias, petunias, and nasturtiums.

Planting a hummingbird friendly garden is super easy to do…and Bayview Farm and Garden has plenty of plants at the ready! Try grouping hot pink, red or bright orange colors together to draw the birds in. Then, make sure there are enough nectar flowers from which to feed. Keep an eye out, especially in early morning and late afternoon, for the hummingbirds to buzz in for a snack!

Other humming bird friendly plants include:
• penstemon
• lobelia
• honeysuckle
columbines
• salvia
• hollyhocks
• nicotiana
• four o’ clocks
• foxglove
• hostas
• lantana
• snapdragon

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