Photo by: Megan Bonham / Shutterstock.

Is there anything more magical than watching a hummingbird, seemingly suspended in midair, dip its long beak into a flower? Sometimes you’ll hear these tiny birds before you see them, their wings making a distinctive whirring sound. When two or more appear together, you may hear the sharp “chattering” as they swoop and dive in a series of aggressive, aerial maneuvers. It’s no wonder that gardeners love to encourage these remarkable acrobats into their gardens.

What flowers do hummingbirds like?

Hummingbirds are primarily attracted to long tubular flowers that are red, but are frequently seen visiting flowers that are orange, yellow, purple, or even blue, giving you plenty to choose from. Keep in mind that many double-flowered forms aren't accessible to pollinators.

Here are some of our favorite flowers that attract hummingbirds:

On this page: Annuals | Perennials | Shrubs and Vines |

ANNUAL FLOWERS FOR HUMMINGBIRDS

Supertunia® Vista Bubblegum. Photo by Proven Winners.

PETUNIA

Perhaps the most popular annual with gardeners, these are also a favorite of hummingbirds and bees with their large, trumpet-shaped blooms. The flowers are available in every color from white to black, including speckled, spotted, and striped varieties, as well as both single and double-flowered forms.

Zones:

Annual

Height/Spread:

6 to 10 inches tall and 10 to 30 inches wide

Plants to Try:

Supertunia® Vista Bubblegum (pictured), Crazytunia Mandeville, Surfinia Red

Learn more about growing petunias.

Superbells® Lemon Slice®. Photo by Proven Winners.

CALIBRACHOA

If you want the vibrant color punch of a petunia with even less maintenance, Calibrachoa, also called Superbells® and Million Bells®, may be the answer. Like their larger cousins, these are available in every color of the rainbow with both single and double flower forms. Choose from compact or trailing varieties.

Zones:

Annual

Height/Spread:

3 to 8 inches tall and 10 to 30 inches wide.

Plants to Try:

Superbells® Lemon Slice (pictured), Cruze Yellow Red Eye, Million Bells Trailing Blue

Read more about how to grow Calibrachoa.

Tiny Mice® cuphea. Photo by Proven Winners.

ANNUAL CUPHEA

Include cuphea in all your summer designs if only to amuse children of all ages! Visiting hummingbirds will certainly add to the fun factor! Flower shapes include varieties that resemble the faces of tiny mice, as well as more traditional forms and elongated tubes. Tuck into hanging baskets, window boxes, and containers.

Zones:

Annual

Height/Spread:

8 to 28 inches tall and 12 to 24 inches wide

Plants to Try:

Tiny Mice® (pictured), ‘Flamenco Samba’, Vermillionaire®, Bat Face

Learn more about growing cuphea plants.

PERENNIALS THAT ATTRACT HUMMINGBIRDS

‘Cat’s Meow’. Photo by Proven Winners

CATMINT

Catmint (Nepeta spp.) has much to offer the gardener including long-lasting blooms, drought tolerance, and deer resistance, as well as aromatic foliage. Hummingbirds are also attracted to the tiny tubular lavender-blue flowers and enjoy the sheer abundance of blooms on each long flower spike.

Zones:

3-8

Height/Spread:

12 inches to 3 feet tall, 18 to 24 inches wide

Plants to Try:

‘Cat’s Meow’ (pictured), ‘Little Titch’, ‘Walker’s Low’

Read more about growing catmint.

Proven Accents® Rockin® Golden Delicious. Photo by Proven Winners.

SAGE, SALVIA

With both hardy and tender varieties of sage (Salvia spp.) available in shades of purple, blue, pink, and white, there are plenty of options. There is even a fabulous golden leaved pineapple sage, Proven Accents® Rockin® ‘Golden Delicious’ (pictured), that blooms late in the season with tubular red flowers.

Zones:

3-11

Height/Spread:

1-1/2 to 4 feet tall and 1-1/2 to 3 feet wid

Plants to Try:

Rockin® Fuchsia, Color Spires® ‘Indiglo Girl’, ‘Caradonna’

Learn more about growing salvia.

‘Midnight Masquerade’ penstemon. Photo by Proven Winners.

BEARDTONGUE, PENSTEMON

This long-blooming perennial is perfect for many design styles, including cottage garden, prairie, xeriscape, and rock gardens, with many shapes, sizes, and colors to choose from. There are even some varieties with deep purple foliage. Spikes of tubular flowers in red, orange, purple, or blue are favored by hummingbirds.

Zones:

3-9

Height/Spread:

1-1/2 to 4 feet tall and 1-1/2 to 3 feet wide

Plants to Try:

‘Midnight Masquerade’ (pictured), Firecracker, ‘Cha Cha Purple’

Read more about growing beardtongue.

‘Pardon My Cerise’. Photo by Proven Winners.

BEE BALM

Ignored by deer and rabbits, yet a favorite of hummingbirds and butterflies. The pom-pom flowers of bee balm (Monarda spp.) each offer an abundance red, pink, or purple blooms in summer.

Zones:

4-9

Height/Spread:

10 to 48 inches tall and 10 to 28 inches wide

Plants to Try:

’Pardon My Cerise’ (pictured), ‘Jacob Kline’, ’Leading Lady Orchid’

Learn more about growing bee balm.

Rainbow Rhythm ‘Ruby Spider’. Photo by Proven Winners.

DAYLILY

Whether you are a serious collector or simply love the showy trumpet-shaped blooms, the hummingbirds will thank you for including them. Each flower may only last for a single day, but they are borne in large numbers over many weeks.

Zones:

3-9

Height/Spread:

1 to 6 feet tall and 1-1/2 to 2 feet wide

Plants to Try:

Rainbow Rhythm® ‘Ruby Spider’ (pictured), Rainbow Rhythm® ‘Tiger Swirl’, 'Flasher'.

Learn more about growing daylilies.

Mango Tango. Photo by Proven Winners.

ANISE HYSSOP, HUMMINGBIRD MINT

Aromatic, drought tolerant, deer and rabbit resistant, the hyssop (Agastache ssp.) genus deserves a place in your sunny garden. Compact varieties work well in containers and hanging baskets, while mid-sized and taller selections mingle well in naturalistic, prairie-style designs. Flower colors include shades of red, orange, yellow, blue, and pink.

Zones:

5-9

Height/Spread:

8 to 54 inches tall and 8 to 30 inches to wide

Plants to Try:

Mango Tango (pictured), ‘Apache Sunset’, ‘Kudos Mandarin’

Opening Act Pink-a-Dot phlox. Photo by Proven Winners.

GARDEN PHLOX

A classic cottage garden perennial, garden phlox (Phlox paniculata) is also a favorite of hummingbirds. The tall stems of fragrant flowers are popular with florists, while more compact selections ensure they can be enjoyed even as a container plant.

Zones:

4-8

Height/Spread:

12 to 48 inches tall and 12 to 36 inches wide

Plants to Try:

’Opening Act Pink-a-Dot’ (pictured), ‘Starfire’, Pink Flame®, David

Read more about how to grow phlox.

Floristan Violet liatris. Photo by Walters Gardens Inc.

BLAZING STAR, GAYFEATHER

Bottle-brush flowers in violet or white are the hallmark of this popular deer-resistant perennial, their vertical form a welcome change from the more typical daisy shapes of the late summer border. The finely textured grassy foliage, ornamental in its own right, provides contrast to broader leaves.

Zones:

3-9

Height/Spread:

24 to 30 inches tall and 6 to 12 inches wide.

Plants to Try:

‘Floristan Violet’, ’Kobold’

Read more about growing liatris.

Fan Scarlet cardinal flower. Photo by Proven Winners

CARDINAL FLOWER

Cardinal flower (Lobelia spp.) is a moisture-loving perennial that thrives in full sun (in northern climates) or partial shade and is both deer and rabbit resistant. Hummingbirds will fight over the tubular scarlet flowers which look especially dramatic on selections that have dark foliage. Varieties are available with flowers in shades of red, pink, and also white, all of which also attract butterflies.

Zones:

3-9

Height/Spread:

2 to 4 feet tall and 1 to 2 feet wide

Plants to Try:

Fan® Scarlet (pictured), Starship Deep Rose

Raspberry Splash. Photo by Proven Winners

LUNGWORT

Plant several clumps of lungwort (Pulmonaria spp.) where you can see them from indoors, as they will be one of the earliest perennials to offer a source of nectar for your hummingbirds in spring. Sturdy stems hold small clusters of white, pink, or blue flowers high above the silver spotted leaves.

Zones:

3-8

Height/Spread:

8 to 12 inches tall and 15 to 18 inches wide.

Plants to Try:

Raspberry Splash (pictured), ‘Mrs. Moon’, ‘Diana Clare’.

Cape Fuchsia. Photo by: Sundry Photography / Shutterstock.

CAPE FUCHSIA

While deer may not be interested, hummingbirds will flock to the trumpet-shaped flowers that come in a range of colors from hot pink, vivid orange, and salmon, to creamy yellow and pure white. These grow well in average soil, are semi-evergreen in milder climates, and reasonably drought tolerant once established.

Zones:

7-9

Height/Spread:

2 to 3 feet tall and 1-1/2 to 2 feet wide

Plants to Try:

‘Moonraker’, ‘Sunshine’, ‘Magenta’

BUSHES AND VINES FOR HUMMINGBIRDS

Spilled Wine weigela. Photo by: Proven Winners.

WEIGELA

Early summer blooms cover the shrub in shades from palest pink to a true red, and foliage that may be variegated, green, gold, or a rich plum. Small spaces can take advantage of newer compact varieties, while larger landscapes will appreciate the many taller options available. Weigela thrive in full sun and average soil, are drought tolerant once established, and rarely bothered by deer.

Zones:

4-8

Height/Spread:

2 to 6 feet tall and 3 to 5 feet wide

Plants to Try:

Spilled Wine® (pictured), Czechmark Trilogy®, My Monet®, Tuxedo™, Maroon Swoon®

Learn more about growing weigela.

Oregon grape. Photo by: Karen Chapman.

OREGON GRAPE

Pacific Northwest homeowners are often delighted to discover Anna’s hummingbirds overwintering in their garden, when the blooms of Oregon grape (Mahonia spp.) are an important food source. This evergreen shrub has holly-like leaves and yellow shuttlecock-type flowers in winter, followed by edible blue berries. Preferring partial shade, these do well even in dry soil.

Zones:

5-ll

Height/Spread:

12 inches to 10 feet tall, 2 feet to 8 feet wide

Plants to Try:

‘Charity’, ‘Arthur Menzies’, ‘Soft Caress’, creeping mahonia, ‘Marvel’

‘Riccartonii’ hardy fuchsia. Photo by: Peter Turner Photography / Shutterstock.

HARDY FUCHSIA

This flowering shrub is an easy-care addition to your hummingbird garden. Most are frost hardy and add a bold splash of color to a woodland garden or shady courtyard, especially if you select one of the varieties with golden foliage. A cold winter may kill the shrub to the ground, but it will quickly emerge in spring from the base.

Zones:

6-10

Height/Spread:

2 to 6 feet tall and 2 to 6 feet wide. Mature size and hardiness vary with variety.

Plants to Try:

‘Genii’, ‘Riccartonii’, ‘Beacon’

Bloom-A-Thon® White azalea. Photo by: Proven Winners.

AZALEA

Few shrubs can rival azaleas for color in spring—a back-of-the-border showstopper or a compact reblooming evergreen foundation shrub. Azaleas thrive in acidic, moisture retentive, well-drained soil.

Zones:

3-10

Height/Spread:

3 to 6 feet tall and 3 to 5 feet wide.

Plants to Try:

Bloom -A-Thon® series, Encore® series, ‘Northern Lights’ series, ‘Girard’ series

Learn more about growing azaleas.

King Edward VII’ flowering currant. Photo by: Gabriela Beres / Shutterstock.

FLOWERING CURRANT

Possibly one of the easiest shrubs to grow, this drought tolerant, deer resistant, deciduous shrub is native to the western United States and Canada. They attract hummingbirds by the dozen, so be sure to place this large shrub where you can enjoy the early spring display of flowers. Suitable for open shade or sunnier locations.

Zones:

6-8

Height/Spread:

3 to 10 feet tall and 3 to 10 feet wide

Plants to Try:

‘King Edward VII’, ‘Elk River Red’, ‘Pokey’s Pink’

Double Take Orange flowering quince. Photo by: Proven Winners

FLOWERING QUINCE

Flowering quince (Chaenomeles speciosa) makes a bold statement in early spring, each branch studded with clusters of small rose-like blossoms. There are new, thornless, and more compact varieties available that could even be used in a container garden. Flower colors range from palest pink to deepest crimson.

Zones:

5-9

Height/Spread:

4 to 8 feet tall and 3 to 8 feet wide

Plants to Try:

Double Take Orange™, ‘Texas Scarlet’, ‘Toyo-Nishiki’

Learn more about flowering quince.

Orange Jubilee esperanza. Photo by: sarawut muensang / Shutterstock

YELLOW BELLS, ESPERANZA

A large shrub that can be used for screening or boundary planting, yellow bells (Tecoma stans) is native to the southern United States through South America. Many homeowners prefer the newer, more compact hybrids. Hummingbirds love the yellow, orange, or apricot blooms. These shrubs need regular water and full sun to thrive.

Zones:

8-11

Height/Spread:

3 to 25 feet tall and 3 to 20 feet wide

Plants to Try:

‘Orange Jubilee’ (pictured), ‘Gold Star’, ‘Sierra Apricot’

Trumpet Vine.
Photo by: Stephen Orsillo / Shutterstock

TRUMPET VINE

This fast-growing vine needs to be grown on a large, sturdy structure to support its considerable weight. The species may also sucker profusely, which in addition to its self-seeding tendencies has resulted in it being declared invasive in some areas (check with your local extension office before planting). Plant in full sun and average to lean soils.

Zones:

4-9

Height/Spread:

25 to 40 feet tall and 5 to 10 feet wide

Plants to Try:

Flava, Balboa Sunset®, ‘Atropurpurea’

‘Dropmore Scarlet’. Photo by: Tpt / Shutterstock

TRUMPET HONEYSUCKLE

Trumpet honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens) is native to the eastern U.S. and does not produce an abundance of seed, like Japanese honeysuckle. Easily grown in average soil with the best flower production in full sun. Fragrant flowers are followed by red berries that several birds enjoy. Primary bloom time is late spring with sporadic flowering until fall. Depending on the climate, may be deciduous, semi-evergreen, or evergreen.

Zones:

4-9

Height/Spread:

8 to 20 feet tall and 3 to 6 feet wide

Plants to Try:

‘Dropmore Scarlet’ (pictured), ‘Magnifica’

Cypress Vine. Photo by: Indochina Studio / Shutterstock

CYPRESS VINE

An annual in colder climates, a re-seeding perennial in more temperate regions, and considered an invasive weed in southeastern U.S., cypress vine (Ipomoea quamoclit) is a twining vine with delicate, feathery foliage and tubular, star-shaped red blossoms that hummingbirds love. Train up a trellis or similar stricture when young.

Check with your local extension office to see if this is invasive in your area.

Zones:

6-10, or enjoy as an annual

Height/Spread:

10 to 15 feet tall and 6 to 10 feet wide

What about using hummingbird feeders?

Many homeowners use feeders filled with sugar solution to encourage hummingbirds to visit, but the sugary drink also attracts ants, bees, and wasps. And, in warm conditions the solution can quickly become cloudy with bacteria which is harmful or even fatal to the birds. Rather than using feeders, consider adding some of the plants listed above to your landscape or containers.

Learn more about feeding hummingbirds from the Audubon Society.

RELATED:
Hummingbird Haven
Flowers for Bees
Best Flowering Shrubs

JOIN 95,000 GARDEN LOVERSSign up for weekly gardening inspiration and design tips

Get plant information, gardening solutions, design inspiration and more in our weekly newsletter.

* Required Fields
We will never sell or distribute your email to any other parties or organizations.

More about the newsletter

Follow Us Garden Design Magazine Facebook Garden Design Magazine Twitter Garden Design Magazine Pinterest Garden Design Magazine Instagram Garden Design Magazine Youtube

Shop Garden Products

From tools to furniture, these garden products are sure to delight

Discover unique garden products curated by the Garden Design editors, plus items you can use to solve problems in your garden right now, and best sellers from around the web.

Shop Garden Design!