Attracting Hummingbirds to the Garden

If you plant them, they will come—the hummingbirds that is. One of the most frequently asked garden question is: How do I attract more hummingbirds to my garden? You may be surprised to learn that many plants with which you are familiar do a wonderful job attracting hummingbirds.

The key is to plant them in large stands. When selecting plants to attract wildlife, such as hummingbirds, you want to provide them with an ample food supply, not just one or two plants. The more substantial your plant offering, the more likely the hummingbirds will visits, and visit often. Here are five plants we love for attracting hummingbirds to our gardens.

Horticulture magazine beebalm





Bee balm (Monarda didyma)
Blooms July to August
Available in a variety of colors
Crowded plants are susceptible to powdery mildew and rust


Mexican Bush Sage (Salvia leucantha)
Grows 3-4 feet tall and wide
Fuzzy purple and white flowers are truly unique in the garden setting
Blooms summer through fall
Prefers sun and light shade; tolerates drought

Horticulture magazine Beardtongue

Beardtongue (Penstemon digitalis)
Grows 3-5 tall and about 2 feet wide
Blooms with white flowers April – June
Taller varieties can flop, so provide support or opt for shorter varieties
Tolerates dry soil, clay and deer

Horticulture magazine red-hot pocker

Red-hot poker (Kniphofia uvaria)
Reaches 3-4 feet tall and 2-3 feet
Blooms May to June with top flowers red and lower flowers yellow
Loves the full sun and well-drained soil; prefers rich, humusy soil


Cigar plant (Cuphea ‘David Verity’)
Height and spread is 1.5 – 2.5 feet
Blooms freely all summer and into fall in our garden in Cincinnati, with reddish orange flowers tipped with yellow
Prefers full sun in average soil and moisture.
This plant looks best when planted in groups of 3 to 5.
The foliage is glossy green and the mass of orange/yellow flowers is stunning in thick stands.


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