Hummingbird Gardens

Watching hummingbirds zip around your garden is such a delight. These little creatures are fascinating to watch. Welcoming them to your garden is easy. Here are some tips:

While hummingbirds are attracted to the color red from a distance, they will feed on flowers of all colors, as long as they are filled with nectar. Hummingbirds are not attracted by fragrance.

Hummingbirds begin to arrive in April, when we often have cool, wet weather and few flowers blooming. Hang a hummingbird feeder to insure plenty of food for the early arrivals. This may also encourage them to nest in your yard.

Use 1 part sugar to 4 parts water in your feeder. You can make a quart of food at a time and store the extra in the refrigerator. Never use food coloring or honey.

You must keep the feeder clean or the sugar water will ferment and be harmful to the birds. Wash the feeder with hot soapy water. Then rinse it with boiling water. Do this at least once a week and more frequently (every two to three days) during the heat of the summer.

Refill the solution at least weekly, even if the birds are not diminishing it. You do not need to fill the feeder all the way up. During the early spring and fall, when the feeder is not in heavy use, you can fill it with as little as an inch or two of the sugar water.

Plant flowers which provide nectar from April until frost. Select many different varieties of plants which will overlap in bloom times. Use a mixture of annuals and perennials.

Hummingbirds particularly like flowers with trumpet-like flowers. Some of their favorites include:

abeliaasterazaleaGerman iris
penstemonsalviacampanulabutterfly bush
cardinal flowerbee balmcolumbinecoral bells
cosmosfoxglovefuchsiageranium
honeysuckleyarrowimpatienshollyhock
Japanese irislantanacrocosmianasturtium
petuniaphloxscabiosahosta
red hot pokersagerose mallowsnapdragon
veronicacleometrumpet vineverbena

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