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Hummingbirds and Flowers – The Natural Partners

Hummingbirds and Flowers – The Natural Partners

It is in nature. Hummingbirds and Flowers have got a long-lasting relationship. They mutually depend on each other and benefit each other. In this process, they significantly boost the environment and human evolution.

This article is a complete guide to everything on hummingbirds and flowers.

I will cover in this article the entire relationship between hummingbirds and flowers, which flowers attract them, which flowers you need to plant in your backyard, and many other aspects. 

Below is the list of topics that I would cover.

  • Hummingbirds and Flowers – A lifetime relation
  • Flowers that attract hummingbirds
  • What are the flowers hummingbirds dislike
  • Flower Garden Landscape Planning for Hummingbirds
  • Hummingbird Plant Sellers in the USA
  • FAQ on Hummingbirds’ likes and dislikes of flowers
  • Videos of hummingbirds and their favorite flowers
  • Unknown Fun Facts about hummingbirds and flowers
  • Photo Gallery of Hummingbirds and Flowers
  • Another fun topic – Flower Shaped Feeders for Hummingbirds
  • Concluding Remarks

Hummingbirds and Flowers – A lifetime relation

The ecological subsystem is being maintained by all living beings. In that, plants play a significant part. Plants are pollinated by water, wind, self, and other species.

The most important pollination happens through keystone species – bees, butterflies, and birds. Hummingbirds play an important role in pollinating flower plants. In turn, the plants bear fruit, grow well and become food for many other birds, animals, and humans.

The entire pollination process is how the food chain and ecological balance are maintained.

Indeed, it is a lifetime and productive relationship between hummingbirds and flowers.

Nature is designed so that there is co-adaptation of flowers and hummingbirds. The hummers are attracted to specific flowers based on the climatic conditions and structure needed by the flower plants, breeding ranges, beak size, and other features of the birds.

Similarly, flowers, colors, and designs are magically designed to suit specific hummers and comfort them while they sip the nectar. 

There are multiple mapping between the likes and dislikes of hummingbirds and respective flowers. Mother Nature designs the mappings so well that they take care of several essential factors for that hummingbird and that flower.

First of all, let us see which flowers attract hummingbirds.

Flowers that attract hummingbirds

Before going deep into the flowers that attract hummingbirds let us see how the USA is divided into regions based on climate and gardening. The USA is divided into 13 zones which are also called USDA zones. USDA stands for United States Department of Agriculture.

All the plants are divided into zones they can grow natively and well. You often hear, “Plant A is hardy to zone 3”. It means that it can sustain those minimum temperatures specified by that zone. And whatever regions, cities, or states fall in that zone, that is where you can grow plant A.

Many flowers and flower plants all across the USA attract hummingbirds. The main attractions for a hummingbird are the color of the flowers, nectar, and tubular structures. I am picking the most popular ones available in most zones here.

Although you would see some advantages with annual flowers, and some benefits with perennial ones, it is always a good idea to grow your garden with a mix. It also depends on your individual goals for the longevity of the flower garden.

Below is a table with the most popular and abundant flowers that attract hummingbirds. Also present in columns are their color, USDA zones, and if the flower is perennial or annual.

Flower NameUSDA ZoneColor of flowersAnnual / Perennial
Columbine (Aquilegia spp.)3 to 8Blue, Purple, Red, Orange, White, Pink, YellowPerennial
Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis)3 to 9Scarlet Red, White, RosePerennial (Short-lived)
Bee Balm (Monarda didyma)4 to 9Red, Purple, OrangePerennial in Summer
Salvia (Salvia spp.)4 to 11Mauve, Pink, Purple, BluePerennial, Emerge in mid-summer and bloom through late summer
Zinnia (Zinnia Spp.)2 to 11All colors except blue and brownAnnual
Bleeding Heart (Lamprocapnos spectabilis)2 to 9White or pinkPerennial
Butterfly Bush (Buddleia davidii)5 to 10Pink, purple, blueMid-summer to Fall
Trumpet Creeper (Campsis radicans)4 to 10Orange, red, yellowAverage, well-drained soil
Lupine (Lupinus x hybridus)4 to 8Purple, White, blue, yellow, pinkAnnual
Petunia (Petunia Group)10 to 11Pink, white, red, purple, blue, and other hybrid colorsAnnual
Trumpet Vine (Campsis radicans)4 to 9Orange or reddish-orange to salmon
Magnifica honeysuckle3 to 9Scarlet
Delphinium2 to 9Blue, White, and Other colorsPerennial
Hollyhocks (Alcea)3Violet, White, PinkPerennial
Crocosmia Lucifer5 to 9Orange to Red Color Rage
Salvia (Salvia nemorosa)4 and 5Blue, PurplePerennial
Coral Bells (Heuchera spp.)4 to 9YellowPerennial
Phlox (Phlox paniculata)3 to 8WhitePerennial
Impatient Lucy (Impatiens)White, red, pink, violet, coral, or purpleAnnual
Butterfly Bush (Buddleia davidii)5 to 10Purple, pink, white, or red, with an orange throat-type structure in the centerPerennial
RhododendronBroadleaf4 to 8White, lavender, rose, red
Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus)5 to 9Red, pink, blue, white
Lantana (Lantana camara)8 to 10Gold and Orange/Pink colors co-existing, pinkPerennial, Annual in colder climates
Fuchsia (Fuchsia)10 or 11Pink, purple, red, white, or violet, some varieties are bi-colored
Snapdragon (Antirrhinum majus)8 to 9

There are many more flowers that attract hummingbirds.

Some of the above plants, such as Phlox, some cultivars, or variations such as Red Columbine, and Blue Lupine are native plants. Impatient Lucy is best suitable as a bedding plant. Plants such as Butterfly Bush are invasive and can take over your entire garden. You should choose non-invasive variants of them. 

Plants such as Rhododendron Broadleaf and Rose of Sharon are bushes. If you have colder climates and want some flowers in hanging baskets, you choose Lantana.

Of all these, if you want me to pick one best flower, that is Red Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis). First, red is the color available in this variety and is the favorite for hummingbirds. These flowers are almost available in 38 states in the USA. These are nectar-rich.

Another aspect of these flowers is that they are tubular. A tubular structure that holds rich nectar is another favorite for hummers.

The timing of these flowers is just on point. They bloom when hummingbirds return from their winter migrations and provide full energy to the hummers.

The flowers attract hummers in summer, and their bloom guides them to migrate north as far as Canada.

Check out this interesting article to know the hummingbirds and flower plants that attract the hummingbirds in your specific USDA zone or state

Check out this article I wrote to know the most famous red, purple, and tubular flowers that attract the hummers.

What are the flowers hummingbirds dislike?

Do you like a rose? But hummingbirds do not because roses do not have nectar. But you want rose-like flowers in your garden. You are covered here. 

The solution is to plant rose-like flowers that hummingbirds like, which is a win-win situation.

So, the question comes of which other flowers hummingbirds do not like.

The list of flowers that hummingbirds dislike are Roses, Sunflowers, Sweet Peas, Tulips, Crocuses, Dianthus, Daffodils, Gardenias, Forget-me-nots, and different other varieties of shrubs.

Although they dislike many flowers, you can still use those in the garden for other reasons. You can use some of the plants for an overall look. The garden might look attractive for yourself as well as birds.

Some plants give protection from predators. Some plants help maintain the soil quality. 

Flower Garden Landscape Planning for Hummingbirds

Now that you know which hummingbird flowers are the best and most attractive, let us discuss how to plan the garden landscape for hummingbirds.

Always divide the areas in your garden into different sections, such as below.

  • Spots where you want the hummingbirds to feed
  • Where you could keep optional feeders with your bird feed
  • How you are going to walk
  • Where you can record the video or sounds while watching the birds
  • Sections of extra plants to keep up the beautiful patterns
  • Plants for the gardening richness
  • Plants for protection from predators

So, as you can see, it is not just picking up the flowers that attract the hummingbirds, but it is always a mix of so many other things.

Even within the flower plants for the hummers, you should choose shrubs, taller ones, shorter ones, bushes, and hanging basket ones.

The list is a big one and for complete planning, check out my article titled “Flower Garden Landscape Planning for Hummingbirds”.

Hummingbird Plant Sellers in the USA

OK, now you are ready with all the knowledge on which flowers attract, which plants support your garden, and how to plan your beautiful garden.

Now, it is time for action, that is, to buy the plants. 

Below are some of the best resources to buy live flower plants for hummingbirds.

  1. Online Marketplace – Amazon: Amazon also sells live hummingbird plants, and you can directly order them online. The plants would directly reach your home, and you are good to go.
  2. Plant Delights Nursery has all the important hummingbird flowers picked up for you, and they provide them at a very reasonable price. Some show as Sold Out, and others as “Buy Now” on their online marketplace. You can contact them, ask them any doubts and also order online.
  3. You can also check in local nurseries in your state or region. The right way to search online in a search engine tool is to give a phrase such as “hummingbird flower nurseries <your region or state>”. You would see your local list of nurseries in the search results.

    The advantages of local nurseries are that you can see the flowers live, and check the quality by touch. These plants are already adapted to your local climate.

FAQ on Hummingbirds’ likes and dislikes of flowers

You have seen earlier which flower plants attract hummingbirds the most. But often, there are some common flowers you want to know if hummers may like or dislike. 

The table below will answer all those frequently asked questions on the likes and dislikes of hummingbirds towards certain flowers.

FlowerLike / Dislike
Roses, GeraniumsLike but reject after checking there is no nectar
HibiscusLike. Check out this article to know relationship between Hibiscus and Hummingbirds.
GrapevinesLike but may not sip nectar

Although, general roses are not attractive to hummingbirds, a special flower Rose of Sharon is liked by Hummingbirds. Also check this article to know if hummingbirds like Dianthus.

Videos of hummingbirds and their favorite flowers

Enough of theory now!!! 

These are some fascinating videos of how gardeners prepare their gardens with flowers for hummingbirds. Also, these are some excellent visual fun with hummingbirds attracted to flowers in live.

Check how a YouTuber shows his garden and explains how he has planned his garden. He also explains many aspects of the flowers, hummingbirds, and several other things.

Check out this video from a channel – “Hummingbird Spot” and have fun watching the hummers live on top of the flowers. 

Fun Facts about hummingbirds and flowers

There are the usual and known fun facts about hummingbirds. Check out my article on fun facts related to a ruby-throated hummingbird.

But what we are talking about are some strange unknown facts that have been found in the latest research. Below are some of those.

  1. The bill sizes of hummingbirds and the lengths of the flowers they feed in have a type of strange co-adaptation. Based on their bill sizes and lengths of flowers, hummingbirds get attracted to specific flowers as per research.
  2. Atypical hummingbirds flowers have less nectar, are not so red, and lack tubular structure. These flowers are considered non-attractive for hummingbirds. But research published in The American Naturalist volumes suggests the atypical ones are as good as typical ones. They can easily supply energy to the hummingbirds for one whole day.
  3. Unlike the famous myth, hummingbirds are most likely to rob the flowers with longer corolla, where they find it challenging to extract nectar.

There are several similar ones based on research. Check out yourself in scholarly literature such as Google Scholar.

Photo Gallery of Hummingbirds and Flowers

Another fun topic – Flower Shaped Feeders for Hummingbirds

Ok, this is not about Hummingbirds and actual Flowers. But there are hummingbird feeders that come in the shape of flowers, and it might be a fun idea for both you and the birds.

Not that these will attract the hummingbirds more than usual feeders, but it is a fun idea.

Check out yourself online for all the flower-shaped hummingbird feeders.

Concluding Remarks

I hope, you had a 360-degree comprehensive view of everything about hummingbirds and flowers. They are great small birds. If you know which flowers they like and all the aspects and angles of the concept, you can easily create the best flower garden for them using all the tips you learned in this article.