How To Attract Hummingbirds

Wondering how to attract hummingbirds to your garden? 

I fully understand how exciting it is to watch these brilliant little creatures hover near your bushes or flowers. Once you see just one, you can’t wait to lure more in!

excuse me, but are you looking for me?

If you take some time to understand their habits and what ensures them a safe, healthy existence, you’ll become successful at attracting them to your garden.  

Make Your Garden Friendly to

Dave Epstein of Growing  gives us his wisdom of the different types and needs of azaleas (or red rhododendron). Our humbabies will come to these flower/shrubs, and also enjoy shade and a resting place that these tree-like shrubs provide. Watch the video above!

Hummingbirds are highly associated with brightly colored shrubs and flowers, especially red flowers.I believe that it is not so much the color of the flower as it is the tubular shape.

Nature has perfectly designed the beak of our hum-babies to fit the trumpet shaped flower to an exact fit. Once the hummingbirds know your sanctuary as a nectar source, they will easily go to any of the flowers mentioned throughout these pages no matter what the color.

Rule of thumb? Attract them with the red, red , red. They ARE attracted to red. Then, mix up the colors. And of course, they love nectar.

Be sure to plant both annual and perennial plants as well as shrubs and if possible, trees, in your garden. For instance, use perennial plants such as foxglove, hummingbird mint, cardinal flower, hosta, and canna.

For shrubs and trees, plant mimosa, lantana, tree tobacco, azalea, weigela, and cape honeysuckle. Try to place your garden near trees already in your space you select. Hummer gardens flourish at the edge of woods, or next to trees with hanging branches.

Consider planting annual plants such as petunia, impatiens, and beard-tongue.

Also, ensure you provide the birds with plenty of perching space in your garden as they like spending most of their day resting on twigs. Near trees would provide this resting space.

You can also provide them with good nesting plant materials in your garden with eucalyptus, lichens, and mosses. This ensures that they’re not only attracted to your garden but also dwell in it.

Hang Brightly Colored Feeders

2 hummingbirds approaching feeder

While most feeders you buy will be red and attractive, you can also attach a red ribbon, which makes feeders more enticing as it blows in the breeze.

I have even seen feeders with artificial flowers attached around the bottom of feeders, below the perch space!

You’ll actually want to invest in multiple feeders.

Ensure that the feeders are at different heights as hummingbirds have varied tastes and preferences when it comes to choosing their best resting heights.

Another great feeder attraction tip is to hang a flower basket near it or even place it within a flower bush.

I highly encourage you to find a dish style feeder. It comes with a perch and will allow you to watch a rare moment of motionless feeding.

Territorial Behavior

Once a male hummingbird lays claim to a feeder, he becomes aggressive and territorial. If one becomes too much of a bully, he can influence other possible visitors from coming to your garden.

A good way to help diffuse this is proper placement of your feeders. Place them throughout your garden at varying areas or on opposite sides of your house, barn or shed.

This way, your one aggressive male can’t defend every single one.

By the way, if you live in the Eastern US, know that the Ruby-throated Hummingbird is quite territorial. You’ll definitely need to place two or three feeders far apart from one another. 

Clean That Feeder Often

If you allow your feeder to become moldy or fermented, your precious hummers will look elsewhere.

You can always tell if mold is present because you’ll see black spots.

If it gets to this point, you’ll want to wash it away with a bottlebrush. If it’s difficult to reach the mold with your brush, try a water and sand mixture and shake it to remove the mold.

When you rinse out your feeders, don’t use detergents. Instead use very hot water. If you absolutely need soap, try a mild variety. Regular rinsing will avoid any tough cleaning jobs.

Fill your feeders only to the point where the nectar will be consumed within a couple of days or so. When it gets very hot in the summer, mold and fermentation can happen within only 2 or 3 days.

If you get into the habit of washing out your feeders each time you re-fill them, you’ll keep your buzzing friends happy and well fed!

How to Attract Hummingbirds: "Mist"

Did you know hummingbirds love a good mist of water? You may have seen them dart into your sprinkler and then quickly fly away as they shake off their feathers.

This is part of their bathing ritual. You can make it easy for them. Use a mister, or a dripper on your birdbath.

However, do not depend on a normal birdbath for your hummers. They are much too big for our little ones.

If you do have a birdbath you want to use, fill it with rocks so as to make the water shallow. 

Misters are easy to hook up, don’t consume much extra water and you’ll see your little friends making great use of this new feature in your garden. Aim the mister at leaves, and the hummers will rub against them to clean themselves . They also love to fly through the mist. 

If all you have is a shallow container to set out water in, that will even work!  The key is to incorporate water into the area.

Consider yourself blessed by the hummingbird angels if you are fortunate to watch them play in the mist!

I encourage you to use these effective tips on how to attract hummingbirds to your garden. Enjoy!

Further Resources

How to Attract Hummingbirds w/ Proper Flowers - Give those hummers a large selection. Plant flowers that bloom at varying times and you’ll enjoy a garden that’s a “buzz” of activity.

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Hummingbirds > How to Attract Hummingbirds