Beautiful and energetic little creatures, hummingbirds provide endless entertainment with their impressive acrobatics. Keeping hummingbirds happy isn't difficult and planting a variety of nectar-producing plants keeps them coming back for more throughout the warm-weather months. To attract hummingbirds to your hanging basket, fill them with plants with staggered flowering times to provide continuous blooms from spring until autumn.
Hummingbirds are attracted to tubular or trumpet-shaped flowers that allow the birds to insert their long, slender tongues deep into the nectar-rich center of the flower. Although blooms in a range of colors attract hummingbirds, the diminutive birds are especially drawn to blooms in shades of bright red. Additionally, pink, orange, lavender and blue blooms attract hummingbirds to your hanging baskets. Remove wilted flowers throughout the season to stimulate more blooms.
Hummingbirds flock to fuchsia (Fuchsia x hybrida), a graceful plant that produces pendulous blooms in an extensive variety of color combinations from late spring until autumn. Although fuchsia is nearly always grown as an annual, the plant is perennial in the warm climates of USDA zones 9 and 10. Petunia (Petunia x hybrida) is a low-maintenance, versatile annual that blooms reliably from early summer until autumn. Petunia may survive the winter in USDA zones 10 to 11. Ivy geranium (Pelargonium peltatum), hardy in USDA zone 9 through 10, is grown as an annual in cooler climates. Ivy geranium is appreciated for its bright green, leathery leaves, colorful flowers and vine-like growth.
Also known as moss pink, creeping phlox (Phlox subulata) flowers generously in late spring or midsummer, producing masses of flowers in colors ranging from white to lavender, pink and blue. Creeping phlox is perennial in USDA zones 3 thorugh 9. Verbena (Verbena spp.), hardy to USDA zones 3 through 10, is a long-blooming, heat-tolerant plant that produces blooms in colors that hummingbirds love, including lavender, pink, red, purple and blue. Also known as big blue, blue lobelia (Lobelia siphilitica) displays intense blue flowers from summer through autumn. Blue lobenia is perennial in USDA zones 4 through 8.
Hanging baskets are ideal for beautiful vines that have a tendency to become invasive when planted in the ground. Vines that attract hummingbirds include trumpet vine (Campsis radicans), which produces intensely colored, orange-red trumpet-shaped blooms from midsummer to autumn. Trumpet vine, also known as trumpet creeper, is hardy to USDA zones 4b through 10a. Scarlet trumpet honeysuckle (Lonicera x brownii), hardy to USDA zones 4 through 9, produces bright bright red, trumpet-shaped flowers from late spring or early summer until the first frost in autumn. Morning glory (Ipomoea purpurea) produces trumpet-shaped blooms in a variety of colors, including purple, white, blue and pink. Although morning glory is usually grown as an annual, it is perennial in USDA zones 9 through 11.
- The University of Maine Cooperative Extension: Understanding Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds and Enhancing Their Habitat in Maine
- University of Florida IFAS Extension: Phlox Subulata, Creeping Phlox, Moss Pink
- The Gardener's A-Z Guide to Growing Flowers From Seed to Bloom; Eileen Powell
- University of Florida IFAS Extension: Campsis Radicans, Trumpetcreeper
- Monrovia: Dropmore Scarlet Trumpet Honeysuckle
- The Oregonian: Hanging Baskets Provide Nectar Fest -- and Avian Sights
- The New Sunset Western Garden Book; Kathleen Norris Brenzel, editor.
- University of Wisconsin-Madison Botany Plant Growth Facilities: Genus: Petunia
- University of Florida IFAS Extension: Ipomoea Purpurea
- Oregon State University Extension: Attract Hummingbirds to Your Garden
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