They flit! They zip! They hover! Blink, and you might miss them! Hummingbirds are one of the most exciting birds to see in the garden, but how do you get them to become a regular visitor in your garden? Horticulturist Sarah Dickert will discuss some of the key plants and garden features to attract these fun little birds. Be sure to join in so you can get your garden hummingbird ready for the summer.

List of Plants for Hummingbirds

Webinar Video

Gardening for Hummingbirds
Sarah Dickert, Horticulturist

 Plants for Hummingbirds

Aesculus pavia (Red Buckeye)

  • Native tree
  • Full sun to part shade
  • Blooms April/May – about the same time hummingbirds migrate north
  • Prefers moist soils
  • Small tree – only 12-15 ft tall & wide

 Rhododendron catawbiense (Catawba Rhododendron)

  • Native evergreen shrub
  • Part shade
  • Early spring blooms for migrating hummingbirds
  • Plant in areas with well-drained soil to prevent root rot

Campsis radicans (Trumpet Creeper)

  • Native climbing vine
  • Full sun
  • Blooms mid-summer
  • Does sucker from underground runners and self-seeds profusely

 Lonicera sempervirens (Trumpet Honeysuckle)

  • Native species (not to be confused with the non-native, highly invasive species – japonica & L. maackii)
  • Climbing vine if given support
  • Non-fragrant flowers
  • Blooms late spring
  • Produces berries enjoyed by birds

Lobelia cardinalis (Cardinal Flower)

  • Native perennial
  • Full sun but some light, afternoon shade in lower Midwest & South
  • Prefers moist/wet soil – great for around ponds or rain gardens
  • Perhaps ironically, it does not attract cardinals

Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm), M. fistulosa (Wild Bergamot), M. bradburiana (Eastern Beebalm)

  • Native perennial
  • Spreads by rhizomes (in the mint family) & self-seeds
  • Prone to powdery mildew in gardens with poor air circulation or if soil dries out
  • Deadhead to prolong bloom time

Agastache (Anise Hyssop)

  • Native perennial
  • Traditionally has purple flowers – select an Agastache hybrid with red, orange, or pink flowers to really attract hummers
  • Full sun to part shade
  • Blooms all summer – deadhead to promote additional blooms

 Liatris spicata (Blazing Star)

  • Native perennial
  • Full sun
  • Blooms mid-summer
  • Adds great texture to a garden

Aquilegia canadensis (Columbine)

  • Native perennial
  • Blooms April/May – about the same time hummingbirds migrate north
  • Full sun to part shade
  • Deadhead to prolong blooms
  • Specifically adapted for hummingbirds

Impatiens capensis (Jewelweed)

  • Native annual
  • Blooms all summer
  • Part to full shade
  • Prefers moist/wet soils
  • Self-seeds to form colonies
  • Specifically adapted for hummingbirds

Spigelia marilandica (Indian Pink)

  • Native perennial
  • Blooms in June
  • Part to full shade

Lilium canadense
(Canada Lily/Meadow Lily)

  • Native perennial (bulb)
  • Full sun to part shade
  • Prefers moist soil
  • Blooms mid-summer

Salvia coccinea (Texas Sage), S. greggii (Autumn Sage), S. guaranitica (Friendship Sage),

  1. splendens (Scarlet Sage)
  • Native-ish (Texas, Mexico, S. America)
  • Tender perennials or annuals
  • Full sun
  • Blooms all season

Zinnia elegans (Common Zinnia),
Z. angustifolia (Creeping Zinnia)

  • Native-ish (SE US & Mexico)
  • Annual
  • Full sun
  • Select single-flowering varieties so nectar & pollen is easily accessible to pollinators

Fuchsia (Lady’s Eardrops)

  • Native to Central & South America
  • Annual, maybe tender perennial in southern US
  • Part shade
  • Popular for containers and hanging baskets

Additional Resources

National Audubon Society –

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology –

Local extension agencies

Local Master Gardener groups