Attracting Hummingbirds to Your Garden
Attracting Hummingbirds to your garden can be very easy. All you need to do is follow a few simple steps and you will have these wonderful creatures visiting your garden on a daily basis. You do not need to redesign your entire landscape or hire a professional landscaper to design a Hummingbird garden for you, because by providing a few key elemental ingredients and plants you can attract beautiful hummingbirds to your garden. There are certain plants that are Hummingbird magnets that you can use to attract Hummingbirds in your area.
To attract and keep Hummingbirds returning to your garden we need to discuss the key elements and simple steps to follow:
- Create a habitat to encourage Hummingbirds to nest and feed.
- Provide at least 3 Hummingbird feeders.
- Provide Nectar rich, tubular flowers.
Creating a Habitat for Hummingbirds to Nest and Feed would involve providing trees or places for the Hummingbirds to nest. This can be provided for the majority of Hummingbird species by having horizontal tree limbs, and shelter from surrounding tree limbs. The material used by most Hummingbirds to build their nest is organic in nature, and is available to your Hummingbirds in most back yard habitats. A few of the organic items used by Hummingbirds are: downy plant material, bits of leaves, bark, fallen leaves, and moss. A Hummingbirds diet consists of 90% of their food coming from nectar, and the other 10% of their diet consists of insects. When attracting Hummingbirds to your garden you’ll need to be aware of the use of insecticides on the plants that the Hummingbirds feed upon. There are two ways to approach the use of insecticides in the garden. One way would be let the Hummingbirds take care of your insect problem, or you can use organically friendly insecticides that are safe for Hummingbirds. By providing a consistent supply of nectar rich flowers and an additional supply of nectar coming from the Hummingbird feeders you will have very happy Hummingbirds in your garden.
Providing at Least 3 Hummingbird Feeders will entice more Hummingbirds returning repeatedly to your garden. By providing an additional, and constant food source you will encourage Hummingbirds to stay in your garden for food, and to nest. Place your feeders where you can see all the activity going on. You can place the Hummingbird feeders in any tree limb near your patio, or hang from eaves outside a kitchen window, or an exterior window(s) that you frequently visit. By placing your Hummingbird feeder near the places you frequently visit outdoors your Hummingbirds will eventually become accustom to your presence and no longer be afraid when you are present. There are two key ingredients to remember when using Hummingbird feeders in addition to nectar rich plants.
1) Always keep a good supply of nectar in the Hummingbird feeders.
2) Always clean your Hummingbird feeder once a week to keep your Hummingbirds healthy.
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Providing Nectar Rich, Tubular Flowers will give your Hummingbird garden an additional food source that will keep your Hummingbirds coming back each year. Attracting Hummingbirds to your garden is an art. Nutrition for the Hummingbirds, and how to attract Hummingbirds year-round, all must be taken into consideration. An abundance of nectar rich flowers, at least 3 Hummingbird Feeders as an additional food source, creating a habitat for nesting and feeding all need to be provided. The more nectar plants that are provided and Hummingbird feeders provided will attract more Hummingbirds to your garden for years to come.
To bring numerous Hummingbirds to your garden you need to plan for masses and clumps of nectar rich perennials and annuals. Both perennials and annuals should be planted, but perennials are more useful since they bloom year-round, thus attracting Hummingbirds throughout the year. The blooming periods of the annuals should be staggered also, in order to attract Hummingbirds year-round. Both flower shape and flower color are important in regards to attracting Hummingbirds to feed are the best. Hummingbirds prefer single flowers with a tubular shape and upright blooms for feeding, and they also prefer flowers with bright colors and a distinct scent, with shades of red, from pink to orange being their favored colors. After planting the plants and hanging your Hummingbird feeders it will take some time for the Hummingbirds to find you, and as the year’s progress you will see more Hummingbirds visiting your garden. Each year the Hummingbirds will come back to the same area as the year before. My father’s house in Georgia has a Miss Huff Lantana bush and that same year the bush was planted the Hummingbirds were frequent visitors, and continue to this day to visit the Lantana bush each year. Some of the plants that I will mention will also attract butterflies to your garden as well.
Autumn Sage: Salvia greggii 'Maraschino'. Type: Perennial. Height: 3’ – 4’. Spacing: 18” – 24” apart. Light Requirements: Full sun to partial shade. Additional Uses: Butterfly attractant.
Bee Balm: Monarda spp. Type: Perennial. Height: 3 – 4”. Spacing: 24 – 30” apart. Light Requirements: Full sun to partial shade. Additional Uses: Butterfly attractant.
Blue Porterweed: Stachytarpheta jamaicensis. Type: Perennial. Height: 2 – 3’. Spacing: 24” apart. Light Requirements: Full sun to partial shade. Additional Uses: Butterfly attractant.
Butterfly Bush: Buddleia davidii 'Pink Delight'. Type: Perennial. Height: 4 – 6’. Spacing: 4 – 6’ apart. Light Requirements: Full sun. Additional Uses: Butterfly attractant.
Columbine: Aquilegia 'Cardinal'. Type: Perennial. Height: 24 – 28”. Spacing: 18 – 24” apart. Light Requirements: Full sun to partial shade. Additional Uses: Butterfly attractant.
Firebush: Hamelia patens. Type: Shrub. Height: To 15’. Spacing: 3 – 5’ apart. Light Requirements: Full sun to partial shade. Additional Uses: Butterfly attractant.
Firecracker Plant: Russelia equisetiformis. Type: Perennial. Height: 36” – 48”. Spacing: 3 – 5’ apart. Light Requirements: Full sun to partial shade. Additional Uses: Butterfly attractant.
Garden Canna: Canna X generalis. Type: Perennial. Height: Depends on variety, but can range from 3 – 5’. Spacing: 1 – 2’ apart for rhizomes, and 3 – 5’ apart for container plants. Light Requirements: Full sun to partial shade. Additional Uses: Butterfly attractant.
Homestead Purple Verbena: Verbena canadensis 'Homestead Purple'. Type: Perennial ground cover. Height: 6 – 10”. Spacing: 12 – 24” apart. Light Requirements: Full sun. Additional Uses: Butterfly attractant, heat and drought tolerant.
Korean Hyssop: Agastache rugosa. Type: Perennial. Height: 3 – 4’. Spacing: 12 – 18” apart. Light Requirements: Full sun. Additional Uses: Butterfly attractant.
Lantana: Lantana camara 'Miss Huff'. Type: Perennial. Height: 4 – 5’. Spacing: 3 – 5’ apart. Light Requirements: Full sun to partial shade. Additional Uses: Butterfly attractant, heat, and drought tolerant.
Lemon Bottlebrush: Callistemon citrinus. Type: Shrub. Height: To 12’. Spacing: 4 – 6’ apart. Light Requirements: Full sun. Additional Uses: N/A.
Mexican Sage: Salvia leucantha. Type: Perennial. Height: 2 – 4’. Spacing: 3 – 5’ apart. Light Requirements: Full sun. Additional Uses: Butterfly attractant, and drought tolerant.
Pentas: Pentas lanceolata. Type: Perennial. Height: To 3’, depends on variety. Spacing: 24 – 36” apart. Light Requirements: Full sun. Additional Uses: Butterfly attractant, heat and drought tolerant.
Petunia: Petunia X hybrida 'Purple Wave'. Type: Annual. Height: 4 – 6”. Spacing: For a thick coverage, 12 – 15” apart, 3’ apart for regular coverage, plants will spread 3 – 5’. Light Requirements: Full sun. Additional Uses: Butterfly attractant, heat and drought tolerant.
Pineapple Sage: Salvia elegans. Type: Perennial in USDA zones 9 – 11, treat as an annual outside zone 9. Height: 3 – 5’. Spacing: 3 – 5’ apart. Light Requirements: Full sun to partial shade. Additional Uses: Butterfly attractant. Crushed fresh leaves in fruit salads and drinks; the fresh flowers can be used in salads and desserts.
Texas Gold Columbine: Aquilegia chrysantha var. hinckleyana. Type: Perennial. Height: 18 – 36”. Spacing: 12 – 18” apart. Light Requirements: Full sun to partial shade. Additional Uses: Butterfly attractant.
Texas Hummingbird Mint: Agastache cana. Type: Perennial. Height: 24 – 36”. Spacing: 12 – 18” apart. Light Requirements: Full sun. Additional Uses: Butterfly attractant, and drought tolerant.
Trailing Lantana: Lantana montevidensis. Type: Perennial, annual outside USDA zone 8. Height: 18 – 24”. Spacing: 3 – 4’ apart, can spread to 5’. Light Requirements: Full sun to partial shade. Additional Uses: Butterfly attractant, heat and drought tolerant.
Tropical Hibiscus: Hibiscus rosa-sinensis. Type: Shrub, annual outside USDA zone 9. Height: To 12 – 15’, pruning can control height. Spacing: 3 – 5’ apart. Light Requirements: Full sun to partial shade. Additional Uses: Butterfly attractant, and heat tolerant. Hibiscus and More is having a sale on 4.5” container Hibiscus plants. Click Here To Order Your Plants.
Turk's Cap: Malvaviscus arboreus. Type: Shrub, annual outside USDA zone 9. Height: To 12 – 15’, pruning can control height. Spacing: 3 – 5’ apart. Light Requirements: Full sun to partial shade. Additional Uses: Butterfly attractant, and heat tolerant.
Wax Begonia: Begonia X semperflorens-cultorum. Type: Annual. Height: 6 – 12”. Spacing: 8 – 12” apart. Light Requirements: Partial shade to shade, the bronze-leaf varieties will tolerate more sun. Additional Uses: None.
Yellow Elder: Tecoma stans (Stenolobium stans). Type: Shrub, annual outside USDA zone 7. Height: To 12 – 15’, pruning can control height. Spacing: 3 – 5’ apart. Light Requirements: Full sun to partial shade. Additional Uses: Butterfly attractant, drought, and heat tolerant.
Hummingbirds and Butterflies
Well ok…I’m back Mr. H. I. Biscus Not wanting to be hobbled like James Caan by Cathy Bates in Misery I have been persuaded to come to you again from the depths of sincere investigation of barley and hops to appear in mere letters of which you can glimpse upon for your amusement and subsequent query. The Earth that has done so well in providing us with her wealth has given us two flying creatures that at this point, sans hobbling hammer, need to be discussed. Apparently in Mother Nature’s wisdom we have been given at the least two flying forms of her beauty. I speak of the loping possibly heat thermal driven Butterfly and the nectar driven Hummingbird.
Now understanding that my current sponsor of this literal extravaganza has impressed upon me that I speak of not only the beauty of these two wonderful creatures she has suggested to me that I speak of their functionality in the eco system. Therefore it has come upon me, Mr. H.I. Biscus to relay what I know upon these electronic forms of said information.
If you have ever seen a hummingbird and questioned its ability to fly then I would suggest reading a little further and then stopping, because it would simply be easy enough to crush them and go back to making your crystal meth. But as you breathe out your latest breath and realize that that small ****ing flying creature of God’s will came from I guess a nest probably sniffing the fumes from your “lab” you probably wonder why you are cooking meth in the first place. Put down the pipe, at least for now. If you have seen a hummingbird fly then keep the pipe up and watch in slow motion.
Now as far as the Eco-system goes I now will post some comments about hummingbirds and their relation to us all: Please note that these excerpts are taken randomly. (Thanks)
I am a bit new to hummer watching but since I've started, I've noticed a few of them squirting out a clear liquid from their tail feathers from time to time when they are feeding. (Wow how about that) what did that Hummer watcher see?? What did their special other say??? (Sorry)
They consume so much sugar water; I thought that perhaps it could be poop but not sure.
Gives a whole nother thought about sugar water doesn’t it. (Alright calm down).
Sorry there’s more:
I sometimes get squirted as they "unload" before takeoff... if you let it dry, you'll see white stuff and black stuff, both pee and poop. (What can I say)?
From one that has learned:
I love these little boogers but I sure hope they don't 'get' me with that.
GOD LOVE HUMMINGBIRDS!!
Butterflies…Such wonderful creatures. I would tend to think that most are female. This apparently is a misconception on my part, as I once saw a butterfly drinking a cosmopolitan at a bar in San Francisco. I think I got Barfly and Butterfly mixed up but it was a good night anyway. Not a whole lot to say about Butterflies as they are a fleeting creatures but they do have a very distinct correlation with all human kind as professed in the following excerpts:
At a recent wedding, we were given envelopes that contained a live butterfly. At a signal, everyone opened the envelopes, and the butterflies flew out as the bride and groom exited the church. I noticed three small brown stains in the envelope, and a child nearby asked, "Do butterflies poop?
Well Virginia it quite possibly is an explanation to our query. No mention of the gender of the “bride & groom”, but we should move on…
One more that should put this whole article at rest:Butterflies, like all insects, digest their food inside a tube (called the alimentary canal) that runs from mouth to anus. To eat, a butterfly uncoils its long snout (proboscis) and sucks in nectar. The food enters the alimentary canal, gets digested, its nutrients absorbed, and waste excreted.
Ok no more San Francisco funnies. But in all actuality Hummingbirds and Butterflies have purpose in this world and if that purpose be that they poop in your garden then be happy for the free fertilizer.
Thanks for reading, until next time don’t let the cops think your hibiscus is pot.
Mr. H I Biscus
All photographs and digital images are ©Cheryl Ann Meola. All Rights Reserved. All photographs and digital images displayed in this newsletter are for viewing purposes only and cannot be duplicated or copied. Scroll over the picture to view the plant name.
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