How to Attract Hummingbirds: The Right Plants & Settings

After their long trip across the Gulf, hummingbirds appreciate these natural fueling stations.

Grow a Hummingbird Haven

Grow plants that hummingbirds love to feast on and you'll have not just a colorful garden but a home for these beautiful creatures. You'll likely attract other wildlife too, like butterflies, bees and songbirds. In just a few steps, learn how to cultivate a yard that hummingbirds will call home.

Hummingbirds and Water

Like any bird, hummingbirds need water, food and shelter to survive. But unlike some garden visitors, hummingbirds prefer rain and mist for drinking and bathing rather than bird baths.

Keep the Nectar Coming

Most hummingbirds show up in the spring after having traveled enormous distances.

Because of their long, thin beaks, they are most attracted to trumpet-shaped blossoms. They're particularly drawn to the color red but also seek out orange, pink and yellow blossoms. Greet them with the big, red blooms of red buckeye trees. In the Southwest, try your luck with ocotillo for blooms that last from April through August. Out West, manzanitas make great hummingbird magnets. In the Midwest and Northeast, coral honeysuckle, bee balm and cardinal flower are excellent choices.

Provide Shelter

When it comes to shelter, your best bets are flowering shrubs that reach to about 20 feet high, such as buckeyes and camellias. The birds will hide away in the thick foliage when resting and zoom down for frequent feedings. If you live in the East, you'll find hummingbirds will stay into September if provided enough food. After that, they're headed south to the Caribbean and beyond.