Ask a Question forum: Best perennials for hummingbirds

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Hillsborough, NC
Rcfjane
May 27, 2019 10:06 AM CST
What are the best perrennials to plant for hummingbirds? (Middle of North Carolina) We have lots of Ruby Throated Hummingbirds every summer and I'd like to put in more plants that they will enjoy. They like the blue/black salvia, but rarely visit other plants that local garden centers tell me they will like.
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
May 27, 2019 10:27 AM CST
Welcome!

The Hummers like flowers that are brightly colored and tube shaped. In my yard, that would be bee balm, lupines, daylilies, hardy hibiscus, foxgloves...
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

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Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
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BigBill
May 27, 2019 1:58 PM CST
I planted both red and purple Salvias and the hummers and butterflies love them. I have also heard bee balms are great. But I think any tubular red flowers would work. Cardinal flower?
Hollyhocks? Foxgloves?
Hillsborough, NC
Rcfjane
May 27, 2019 2:06 PM CST
I used to have foxglove and the hummers did like them. Thanks for the reminder. I also have some bee balm. Most of my flowers have to be in pots on the deck, so that's a consideration.

I've been looking for someone who knows about orchids! I have one that someone gave me a couple of years ago and it's surviving on benign neglect. It's blooming again after about 6 months off. It's sending out lots of roots and has adhered to the pot. What and how should I feed it? Do I need to repot it? What kind of potting mix should it have? It's in some sort of moss now. Thank you!
Name: Lin Vosbury
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)

Region: United States of America Deer Region: Florida Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
May 27, 2019 2:09 PM CST
A few hummingbird attracting plants that come to mind:
Anise Hyssop (Agastache foeniculum)
Anise Hyssops (Agastache)
Red Buckeye (Aesculus pavia)
Carolina Yellow Jasmine (Gelsemium sempervirens)
Trumpet Creeper (Campsis radicans)
Cross Vine (Bignonia capreolata)
Common Lantana (Lantana camara)
Salvia (Salvia coerulea 'Black and Blue')
~ I'm an old gal who still loves playing in the dirt!
~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot!


Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
Region: United States of America Critters Allowed Dahlias Echinacea Hostas Region: Michigan
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BigBill
May 27, 2019 2:16 PM CST
Suspect that your orchid is possibly a Phalaenopsis.
Please check our threads within our orchid forums particularly the one on Supermarket Orchids-Phalaenopsis!
I would be willing to help you after that! In fact many of the super people that hang out here have grown or are growing Phalaenopsis.
Name: Shawn S.
Hampton, Virginia (Zone 8b)
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ShawnSteve
May 27, 2019 2:26 PM CST
I used to grow a red Monarda, & a female would came back, every year, for about five years & it always visited the variety that may have been ''Cambridge Scarlet'. It was nearly red flowered, beebalm, in any case & should work well in at least a three gallon sized pot, to be adequate.
Once the top flowers are about done, trim them off near the top & have more flowers, from side shoots.
Name: Lin Vosbury
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)

Region: United States of America Deer Region: Florida Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
May 28, 2019 6:41 AM CST
Fcfjane, Welcome!

I agree, it sounds like your orchid may be a Moth Orchid (Phalaenopsis) , many times they are sold planted in sphagnum moss. Here's the link to our Orchid Forum, where you will find some great information on all types of orchids https://garden.org/forums/view...

Phalaenopsis culture sheets from the American Orchid Society:
http://www.aos.org/orchids/cul...
http://www.aos.org/orchids/cul...
~ I'm an old gal who still loves playing in the dirt!
~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot!


Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
Plant Identifier Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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stone
May 28, 2019 4:15 PM CST
Thumb of 2019-05-28/stone/c40d62
Uruguayan firecracker plant (dicliptera suberecta)

Thumb of 2019-05-28/stone/cab22e
rose of sharon...

Thumb of 2019-05-28/stone/129f5a
tithonia

Thumb of 2019-05-28/stone/67f876
cypress vine

Thumb of 2019-05-28/stone/67ba81
Coral Red honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens)

also....

Hyacinth bean, morning glory, canna, 4 oclock, eastern columbine...

At my house...
Name: Danita
GA (Zone 7b)
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Danita
May 28, 2019 5:20 PM CST
In general, you want avoid Old World species since there are no hummingbirds outside of the Americas (but there are some exceptions to this). Too often, the garden centers try to sell European species, like Salvia nemerosa, as hummingbird plants. It's a good bee plant, but the hummingbirds mostly ignore it.

Some of the plants that I mention may not be hardy in your zone.

Many Salvias native to the Americas are adapted for hummingbird pollination (but not all).

Here is a small sampling of readily available Salvias for Hummingbirds:
Scarlet Sage (Salvia coccinea) (many cultivars)
Blackcurrant Sage (Salvia microphylla 'Hot Lips') (& similar cultivars)
Sage (Salvia x jamensis Heatwave™ Blaze) (& similar cultivars)
Salvia Ember's Wish
Salvia 'Wendy's Wish'
Salvia Rockin'® Deep Purple
Salvia Rockin'® Fuchsia
Blue Anise Sage (Salvia coerulea) (many cultivars)
Autumn Sage (Salvia greggii) (many cultivars)

There are many more and many cultivars of some of the above species/hybrids.

Some types of Cuphea are a big hit.
Large Firecracker Plant (Cuphea Vermillionaire®)
Cuphea 'David Verity'
Schumann’s Cuphea (Cuphea schumannii)
Candy Corn Plant (Cuphea micropetala)
(C. micropetala starts blooming in the fall)

Some Sinningias are favorites:
Hardy Red Gloxinia (Sinningia sellovii)
Hybrid Sinningia (Sinningia 'Apricot Bouquet')
Sinningia 'Bananas Foster'
Check out varieties from Plant Delights. (The S.tubiflora isn't good for them, though.)
https://www.plantdelights.com/...

They like the western Agastaches with longer flowers. They are usually in shades of orange, yellow, and pink. Just a few examples:
Threadleaf Giant Hyssop (Agastache rupestris)
Giant Hyssop (Agastache 'Tutti Frutti')
Anise Hyssop (Agastache aurantiaca 'Apricot Sprite')
Orange Hummingbird Mint (Agastache aurantiaca Coronado®)

The Hyssops with small blue flowers, like Agastache foeniculum, are very attractive to bees and wasps, but not favored by hummingbirds.

Shrimp Plant (Justicia brandegeeana) is a fun plant and hummingbirds adore it!
https://garden.org/plants/sear...

This isn't an exhaustive list, but just what pops to mind at the moment.

Here are a couple of forums on NGA that you may enjoy:
https://garden.org/forums/view...
https://garden.org/forums/view...
[Last edited by Danita - May 28, 2019 5:22 PM (+)]
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Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
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Ursula
May 28, 2019 7:05 PM CST
Impatiens capensis, Jewelweed
Name: Carol
Santa Ana, ca
Sunset zone 22, USDA zone 10 A.
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ctcarol
May 28, 2019 8:01 PM CST
Salvia will always be first choice, but hummers are opportunists, depending on what's blooming in your area, and which hummers you have. they are usually attracted by tubular flowers, but lacking those they will feed on orchids, eucalyptus, citrus...the list goes on. They do tend to the smaller blooms that bees can't get into. Keep in mind that they don't survive on nectar alone ,but also need small bugs for the protein. I have not noticed any particular color that attracts them.
Name: Suzanne/Sue
Sebastopol, CA (Zone 9a)
Sunset Zone 15
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Calif_Sue
May 28, 2019 10:06 PM CST

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