Hummingbird Central

How to Attract Hummingbirds

How to attract hummingbirds to your home landscape: hummingbird gardening!

We love watching hummingbirds at our home in Texas, and wherever our travels take us across the country.

We also enjoy hummingbird gardening, and designing our landscape to provide food and shelter for a variety of hummingbirds.

The Needs of the Hummingbird

Hummingbirds, like other birds and other animals, need food, water, and shelter, the basic necessities of life.

Hummingbird Shelter

Food and water seem obvious requirements, but shelter and protection are also important to attracting hummingbirds.

The dense foliage of trees provides not only protection but also a source of insects and the protein they provide. Trees and large shrubs provide a resting place between meals at the feeder or flowers.

Shown below is part of the Hummingbird Central garden, providing not only food for hummingbirds, but also important shelter.

The Hummingbird Central garden, providing valuable food, water and shelter for hummingbirds


Hummingbird Food in Nature

The hummingbird's diet consists of nectar from flowers (red is the favorite color), small insects such as aphids and spiders, and sometimes even pollen and sap.

Hummingbirds feed in many small meals, consuming small invertebrates and up to twelve times their own body weight in nectar each day.

Many plant species rely on hummingbirds for pollination and provide nectar and tiny insects in exchange. Hummingbirds staunchly and aggressively defend a feeding area, or feeder, even when not feeding.


Water Features

How to attract hummingbirds to your home landscape: hummingbird gardening!

Most birds in the wild appreciate a bird bath, either for drinking water or for bathing. Hummingbirds enjoy a "cool dip in the pool" on a warm morning or hot afternoon.

They enjoy shallow water, preferably with movement, like a small waterfall or gently flowing water. Many different brands, models and sizes of water features are available in the marketplace.

Some nature lovers use a small solar-powered pump to convert a standard birdbath to one with movement and sound. No wires! Flexible ... move it around your yard.

Landscape and Flower Selections That Work Well

And a wonderful by-product of gardening for hummingbirds: Butterflies!

If you provide gardens for hummingbirds, you likely will also have butterflies ... click to visit for species, photographs and more!

Favorite flowers of hummingbirds are often red in color, and tubular in shape, so we include many plants with these features.

We plant flowers, shrubs and trees that help the hummingbirds acquire the nectar and food they need to thrive. Our landscape features a number of different ecological environments. It is in the country, and backs up to hundreds of acres of forest, with nearby fields and pastures.

We often have over 40 Ruby-Throated hummingbirds on our feeders at one time during the fall migration southward through Texas. At times we are also blessed with several brightly colored Baltimore Orioles on our feeders!


Orange and Gold Lantana
Easy to grow, heat tolerate: Lantana

We love lantana, as evidenced by the fact that we have over 45 plants growing now, consisting of several varieties, from yellow to white to red to orange.

Lantanas are perennials in much of the South, and will flower in full sun or light shade, preferably in well-drained soil. As semi-desert natives, they bloom best when not overfed or over watered.

They are winter-tolerate in much of the South, and even in areas where they freeze to near ground-level, they readily sprout again in the early days of spring.


Other Favorites of Hummingbirds

In addition to Lantana, our landscape often includes Zinnias, Pentas, Salvia, Batface Cuphea, Hot Lips, Fire Bush, Nasturtiums, Coreopsis, and other hummingbird-friendly plants, annuals and perennials.

Batface Cuphea
Another popular hummingbird plant: Batface Cuphea

But we also plant other blooms that, while they may not be hummingbird favorites, provide additional color in the landscape: Gladiolas, Geraniums, Hydrangeas, Impatiens, Verbena and roses. All deliver bright colors, and hummingbirds love color!

Other landing and feeding spots include (depending on the season) dozens of Azaleas, Pansies, Impatiens, Knockout Roses, Creeping Phlox, Daffodils, Hydrangeas, Portulaca and Gladiolas.

A Final Ingredient: The Hummingbird Feeder

Planting the right flowers is an important element in establishing the right environment for attracting hummingbirds.

But you need another key attractant: the hummingbird feeder! As the Texas migration peaks here in late August and early September, the hummingbirds start to share feeders, an action unheard of during the summer when defending a feeder is the norm.

As sharing continues, we will see 6-8-10 hummingbirds on a feeder at a time.

Read more about hummingbird feeders on this website

Feeders in the Hummingbird Garden

Shown below are a few photos of features of an effective butterfly garden, including shelter, a variety of flowers and hummingbird feeders!

Hummingbird garden with low-hanging feeder.

This is a great solution if you have no pets or raccoons! Put the feeders at eye-level for the enjoyment of the hummingbirds, and you!

And if needed, just bring the feeders in at night, or hang them from the eave overnight. That's what we do.

Low hanging hummingbird feeder surrounded by Batface Cuphea, Periwinkles, and Firebush

Hummingbird feeder nestled with flowers... the hummers love it!

And ants hate it ... the built-in ant moats keeps them off the feeder.

Hummingbird feeder nestled in flowers ... the hummers love it!

Photos of Hummingbird Garden Plants

Shown below are photos of several of the flowers that are popular and easy to grow in home gardens ... all favorites of hummingbirds!

Pink Zinnia
Orange Marigold
Orange Marigold
Hot Lips Salvia
Hot Lips Salvia
White Lantana
White Lantana
White Pentas
White Pentas
Pink Pentas about to bloom
Pink Pentas about to bloom

Fire Bush

Fire Bush produces clusters of tubular, orange-red flowers. Attracts hummingbirds, and butterflies.

Other Plants for the Landscape to Help Attract Hummingbirds

Other plants and flowers might not be hummingbird favorites, but we use these plants for additional color in the landscape ... hummers love color, and are attracted to it! And the hummingbirds try all kinds of flowers!

Deep Orange Day Lily
Deep Orange Day Lily
Orange Bouganveila
Orange Bougainvillea
Purple Verbena
Purple Verbena
Mexican Heather
Mexican Heather

Red Geraniums
Red Geraniums

Ornamental Peppers
Ornamental Peppers
Pink Hydrangea
Pink Hydrangea

White Periwinkle
White Periwinkle