The Q&A Archives: Humming Bird

Question: Howe can i make the best of an small area about 4x8 to create a hummingbird friandly as well as long lesting blooming site any advice is appritiated thank you.

Answer: Hummingbirds are attracted to spaces that offer shelter, food, and water. Shelter can be provided by a shrub or overhanging vine along with lower growing flowers, water by a dripping hose or mister, and nectar by flowers with funnel shaped blooms. (They do not have to be red.)

Some favorite hummingbird plants would include the perennial vines Lonicera sempervirens (a native honeysuckle) and Campsis radicans (trumpet creeper), shrubs such as Catawba Rhododendron, Butterfly bush and Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus), perennials such as Monarda (beebalm), Aquilegia (columbine), Lobelia cardinalis, Foxglove, Heuchera, and Hosta, and annuals such as Lantana, Pineapple sage, and other annual salvias, and cardinal vine (Ipomoea quamoclit). Most of these plants need full sun, although the hosta will handle shade and the heuchera and columbine and foxglove can do well in dappled light as would the rhododendron.

In a small space you might be able to grow a vine on a trellis at the north side of the patch, along with one of the shrubs toward the center and nestle the perennials and annuals below them. The longest bloomers would be the Butterfly bush, the lantana, annual salvias such as the traditional red ones, and the trumpet vine. It can be useful though to have early, mid, and late season bloomers so the hummingbirds are accustomed to the habit of stopping by your garden for nectar.

Enjoy your little hummingbird garden -- I'm sure it will also attract many butterflies as well.

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