3 Great Annuals to Attract Hummingbirds
Forget the thermometer, you know when the warm weather’s coming when you see the return of the hummingbirds! They’ve been spotted already in Connecticut gardens!
Hummingbirds are incredibly smart, little birds. To attract these little birds, here are a few ideas and a few suggestions. These birds are capable of navigating great distances and are clever enough to
return to their previous summer’s feeding grounds. Their diet is basically nectar and small insects, with flower nectar their preference. Hummingbird feeders are great for photo ops but not a true substitute
for nectar-rich flowers. Planting a yard full of their favorite nectar-rich plants is the best way to get started. Below are three great annual picks that hummingbirds love.
Salvia guarnanitica ‘Black and Blue’ is a fabulous summer performer for full sun and an excellent hummingbird magnet. 2 to 3′ tall spires of rich, cobalt blue flowers begin in May and continue until October. This salvia dispels the myth that hummingbirds only frequent red flowers. Yes these little birds are attracted to reds, but forage from countless other colors too.
Cuphea ‘Vermillionaire’ or the “cigar” or “firecracker” plant is another great choice. Orange, tubular flowers (the cigars) cover the bushy plants starting in summer and continue until frost. Cigar plants have hundreds of flowers and are nectar rich. More flowers means more visits. This annual can be used as a bedding plant or in containers. Also expect to see Cupheas attracting to butterflies.
Fuchsias, in their many different forms, are a great addition to the garden and great hummingbird magnets! Hanging baskets filled with Fuchsias are perfect for shady gardens and upright Fuchsias work great in window-boxes. Hummingbirds love the pendant flowers and bird lovers love the eye level show right outside their windows. Fuchsias also show that hummingbirds frequent more than just tube-shaped flowers.
All three of these annual picks are easy to grow. Of course hummingbirds love many other picks! Visit us in our greenhouses and we can share even more great selections with you.
John Franke, Old Saybrook Garden Mart Manager