Everyday Gardeners

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3 Ways To Attract Hummingbirds to Your Garden

Hummingbird Feeder in Shawna Coronado's front lawn

Hummingbirds are an entertaining way to enjoy nature. We all adore them and want them in our gardens, but sometimes a feeder alone does not attract our humming friends. Here are three tips to get them to come to your yard and recognize your feeder as a place to return to often.

1. Plant nectar producing flowers in your garden that attract hummers. My favorites include Salvia, Nepeta, Bee Balm, Delphinium, Hollyhock, Canna, Morning Glory, Trumpet Vine, and Lantana. In the photo to the right you see the perennial Nepeta Six Hills Giant. Hummingbird with Nepeta in Shawna Coronado's garden.

2. Use bright colors to tempt them in – especially red. In the top photo you can see the red Antique Bottle Hummingbird Feeder from Perky-Pet I have set up in my early spring garden. Set a red or brightly colored feeder out as soon as you are able in the spring in order to let the early hummingbird scouts know where their feeding locations are.

3. Keep the feeder clean. Hummingbirds love fresh nectar and do not like a dirty hummingbird feeder, so be sure to keep your feeder clean and change your nectar at least twice per week. Feeding hummingbirds is super easy. Mix 4 parts water to 1 part sugar. Boil the water solution for two minutes, let cool, then fill the feeder.

Hummingbird splashing in sprinkler water

While not all feeders need to be placed in shade, I have found that a shady spot seems to be a great spot for the hummers as it keeps them cooler in the hot summer heat and prevents nectar spoilage. They love water too. Here you see an adorable hummingbird that landed on a hosta in my garden and is washing his wings in my sprinkler.

Hummingbirds are amazing to watch and a grand part of the summer garden. Lure these delightful birds in with plants and feeders then invite your friends over to watch the fun.

According the FTC, I need to let you know that I received a product in this post at no cost in exchange for reviewing it.

28 Responses to “ 3 Ways To Attract Hummingbirds to Your Garden ”

  1. Love hummingbirds! I have found that their favorite flower in my yard is the Black & Blue salvia guaranitica. I have let it run in a large area and the hummingbirds are out there daily getting their fill.

  2. Red or orange trumpet shaped flowers never fail to bring hummingbirds to my garden. Phygelius, Zauschneria (or Epilobum), Weigela, and Fuchsia all work well.

  3. My husband and I are so frustrated. We have hummingbird feeders in both front and back. Planted lots of red flowers and yet we have only seen 1 come to our front feeder very infrequently. I will try changing the water sooner but I know they are out there..

  4. I had several hummingbirds last season but they have not returned this year. I’ve added another feeder but only one bird has visited and that has been sporadic at best, maybe 3 times. How can I encourage them to return? I have one of the feeders hanging with orange bell shape flowers and an using red nectar in both feeders. Do hummingbirds return to the same site each year providing they have a food source? Would love to have them back.

  5. From my experience, yes, they do return to the same site each year. :-)

  6. Changing water very regularly is important. My aunt, for example, changes hers daily. Try locating the feeders in a different position to see if that might help.

  7. Great suggestions!!!!

  8. LOVE black and blue Salvia – one of my absolute favorites of all time. :-)

  9. Do not use feeders that are shiny because I was told they do not like that type. Plastic does not reflect light as metal does. I do not change my feeder until it is all consumed which is about once a week, sometimes a week and a half in spring and more often in the summer. I always soak in water with a bit of bleach to disinfect it and rinse well. I have seen as many as 8 at a time at our feeder last summer. I always add more sugar than 4:1. This may explain why mine is very popular. They use this for carb fueling only to go out and catch bugs. I figure let the momma birds get more carbs per drink to go out and feed and they can get back on their nest quicker.

  10. I was not getting hummingbirds with 3 feeder out last summer. Petco employee scolded me for using RED sugar water. She said it was rather “poisonous” to hummers. I have only used clear sugar water since and now have tons of hummingbirds. If you’re not getting birds maybe you should try uncolored sugar water.

  11. Turks Cap is a real Hummingbird magnet! I have them all over my yard and enjoy constant little ‘visitors!

  12. Hummingbirds are territorial and like to be able to see what and whom is around. If you hang your feeder on the eaves of your house or in the yard on a shepherd’s hook they will come. And, I agree with earlier posts…no red food coloring. I’ve read where it causes fungus to grow on their beaks…can be fatal.

  13. We did not get our feeders out early this year and have always had 4/5 hummingbirds. The feeders have been out for about 2 weeks but we have not seen any birds! Is there anything we can do because I do enjoy watching them (as do the grandchildren)!

  14. hummingbirds will stay away if there are dogs in the area.

  15. Oh, how I love hummers! I have a lot at my three feeders on my deck and they come right up to me, waiting for the fresh nectar every time.

  16. I only have one hummer right now, but he’s such a little cutie. It really makes my day to watch him!

  17. I didn’t know this. My aunt has dogs and cats all around the feeder and has over a dozen hummers at one time coming to it, so pets don’t seem to bother her feeder.

  18. Just keep them full and fresh. I think getting them out early definitely helps.

  19. Great tip – thanks!

  20. Thanks for the good idea!

  21. I have humming birds come to my garden and I don´t have feeders. sometimes I can have about 4 at a time very early in the morning. I placed some plants on my porch and had a close encounter for it stayed floating right in front of me, it was so close I could feel the it like fanning me, it was a magical moment it was so beautiful I can literaly say we looked into each others eyes and it´s colors were amazing and the next day it flew staight to my front door screen and floated in the same way incredible experience.

  22. I didn´t mention. I have a bottle brush tree in my yard which has red flowers when it rains among other plants for I live in an tropical island and it´s so great to see them not only in flight but nesting. Many years ago in my mom´s neighbors pana tree I got the chance to see this. so I´ve had my expirence with them .

  23. Awesome! Thanks for the note.

  24. Nesting visuals would be amazing. Thanks!

  25. Don’t be disappointed if it’s your first time trying to feed hummers and none have shown up yet. An hour away from my suburban home, there are hummers for 6 months out of the year, but in our neighborhood, they only show up from the end of July to the end of Sept. like clockwork. Pentas are their favorite in my yard.

  26. Thanks for the note. Pentas are fantastical!


  27. Hosta is my best plant. I have it in my garden and it ist very beutiful.

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