The Q&A Archives: Hardy Plants That Attract Hummingbirds

Question: I am looking for a annual or perennial that will attract hummingbirds in northern Minnesota. I have heard that the cardinal climber or the cypress vine may attract the hummingbirds. Is this true and will they survive in northern Minnesota? Is there a better plant to look for? The soil is on the sandy side.

Answer: Cardinal climber (Ipomea multifida) and Cypress Vine (Ipomea quamoclit) are both members of morning glory. Their red blossoms are a magnet for hummingbirds. Both can be grown as annuals in cold climates, and if you start your seeds indoors for transplant by the middle of next month, they should bloom all summer. It's best to start these vines in individual peat pots for easy handling. A couple of hardy perennial plants loved by hummers are Monarda and 'Dropmore Scarlet' Honeysuckle Vine (Lonicera x brownii). As long as your soil usually supports the growth of annuals like zinnias and cosmos, the annual vines should do fine. Just make sure to water them during dry spells, and provide mulch to maintain moisture, especially if it's very windy. The perennials will appreciate some compost added to the soil prior to planting.

Although it's not winter hardy, Fuchsia (usually sold in hanging baskets at garden centeres), is also a favorite of hummingbirds. Hang a couple near a window or on your porch, and they'll come to visit. Enjoy!

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