How to Make a Hummingbird Haven

Get out your binoculars and get ready to watch some wildlife. Plant an appealing container garden that rewards hummingbirds and other pollinators with a sweet nectar feast.

A combination of hanging baskets and a large basket-type planter is filled with nectar- and pollen-rich plants. This portable garden also includes a handcrafted hummingbird feeder with red accents that signal nectar sources, making a colorful display with added enticement for the tiny birds. We chose a strong shepherd’s hook for this project because it can hold the hanging baskets and anchor in the ground while standing in the base planter.

Choose a combination of annuals and perennials, and transplant the perennials into your garden at summer’s end. Attract hummers with tubular flowers (lantana, salvia, pentas) that hold nectar-promising appeal. Hummingbirds have heightened awareness to colors in the red to yellow range, but nectar itself is the biggest draw. Bees are drawn to purple and blue nectar-filled flowers (agastache, lavender), and they join butterflies in their penchant for pollen-heavy blossoms (bidens, cosmos, zinnia).

Plantings in hanging baskets typically dry out quickly. Thanks to moisture-holding liners and potting mix, these containers can last much longer between waterings. The outer liner, called Supamoss, resembles natural green moss but retains its green color longer. The Magnimoist inner liners are made from a natural fiber that reduces water and fertilizer loss over the summer.

Our colorful display is designed to create beauty and fascination throughout the season. It’s a viewing station, too. Set up your hummer haven near a deck, patio, or porch, where you can sit and watch winged traffic while you relax.

  • Working Time 2 Hours
  • Start to Finish 2 Hours
  • Difficulty         Projects Easy
  • Involves Planting, Cutting

What you need

Tools

  • Shallow, wide flowerpot
  • Needle-nose pliers

Materials

  • Two 14-inch-diameter hanging baskets
  • Three Supamoss outer basket liners, 2 precut and 1 sheet
  • Three Magnimoist inner basket liners, 2 precut and 1 sheet
  • Potting mix
  • Nectar-rich plants
  • Pollen-rich plants
  • 20 x 20-inch metal base basket
  • 7-foot-tall shepherd’s hook
  • Oasis Mega wire, red
  • 12-gauge wire, red
  • Two 4-inch floral water tubes
  • 20-gauge wire, red
  • Decorative beads, red
  • Two rubber grommets that fit snugly on arm of shepherd’s hook
  • Hummingbird nectar

How to do it

Step 1 Cut Liners

Cut Supamoss liner for the hanging baskets, leaving 2 inches around the perimeter. Then, fit the liners into place. Cut a Magnimoist basket liner to fit the baskets as an inner liner.

Step 2 Add Soil

Stabilize a hanging basket while planting by setting it in the flowerpot. Fold the outer edge of Supamoss over the top edge of inner liner. Half-fill the basket with potting mix.

Step 3 Add Plants

Add plants to the basket, leaving growing room between them. When all the plants are situated, fill gaps between them with potting mix. Water thoroughly. Repeat steps 2 and 3 with second hanging basket.

Step 4 Assemble Base Basket

To assemble the base basket, cut both liners to fit the metal basket. Use clothespins to hold the liners’ top edges in place while you work. Insert shepherd’s hook and anchor into the ground. Add potting mix and plants.

Step 5 Create Feeder Base

Make an S-shape spiral base for the hummingbird feeder, using needle-nose pliers to bend the Mega wire. Cut two lengths of 12-gauge red wire and wrap each around a water tube filled with hummingbird nectar, leaving a 3-inch tail for attaching nectar tubes to the spiral.

Step 6 Assemble Feeder

Cut lengths of 20-gauge red wire and use them to attach decorative beads to the feeder.

A pair of 1/2-inch rubber grommets added to the shepherd’s hook keep the feeder in place. Hang the hummingbird feeder, then finish by adding the two planted hanging baskets.

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