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Grow Your Own Hummingbird Feeders (Plants!)

Year after year, there is a hummingbird that arrives at my house in late spring, scouting out all the spots that had flowers full of food the previous summer. That he (or she) remembers where last year’s buffet had been is incredible, and what better way to invite your own hummingbird friends than with beautiful flowers around your home.

Hummingbirds like bright flowers, typically red shades, that are tubular shaped so they can easily fit their incredibly tiny beaks inside. It is best to choose a sunny location for your homegrown hummingbird feeders (um, plants). But if your location is partly shady, try to find a spot that gets the afternoon sun rather than the weaker morning light. Shade that is created from a tree is suitable, so long as you always have more sun than shade.

Personally, I have hummingbird plants in all areas around my home. From Honeysuckle vines, Weigela shrubs, many Hostas, and more baskets and planters filled to the brim with annuals than I can count. My personal favourite hummingbird-attracting annuals are: Salvia ‘Black and Bloom’, all varieties of Cuphea, Lantana, Mini Trailing Petunias (Calibrachoa), Petunias, Canna Lilies, Ageratum, and Fuchsia.

Annuals, which are planted yearly, flower all summer long and even into the fall, provide food and shelter for our visiting friends; perennials, hardy vines, perennial herbs, and shrubs will give your little flying friends tasty flowers for a shorter period of time, but will come back year after year. With perennial types, it is best to plant ones with different flowering times to extend your hummingbirds’ visits.

Attracting hummingbirds with plants can be both easy and inexpensive. Bright colours, textures and scents are all very effective methods to bring your tiny feathered friends to your home, not to mention the beauty it creates for your own enjoyment. Remember that hummingbirds are attracted to the flowers, so make sure that you are watering and fertilizing properly.

You could also consider placing a hummingbird feeder or two around your outdoor sitting area or near a window. This is a great way to catch an even closer glimpse of these fast fliers as they stop by for a meal.

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