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Author Topic: 10 Blooms Hummingbirds Can't Refuse  (Read 475 times)

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10 Blooms Hummingbirds Can't Refuse
« on: February 06, 2009, 03:56:41 PM »

10 Blooms Hummingbirds Can't Refuse
You'll love the traffic these flowers provide.
by Joe Kegley, Birds & Blooms

source: National Gardening Association

Imagine several gorgeous hummingbirds hovering around your garden, each vying for a dining spot. Once they've found your flowers, it's likely they'll come back all season long.   

Planting a hummingbird garden is no different than creating a perennial border, mixed container, or any other garden. There are dozens of annuals, perennials, trees and shrubs from which hummingbirds feed. Which ones should you choose? It's easier than you think! Here are our top 10 picks, to get you started...

Red Flowers
People often associate hummingbirds with the color red, and for good reason. These inquisitive birds can see red from a great distance, so offering a patch of red flowers to hummingbirds is like a neon "EAT" sign on a lonely highway.
Mix in Annuals
Annuals ensure long-blooming flowers that immediately produce nectar. From the time the migratory hummingbirds return north from their tropical winter grounds until they leave in the fall, the birds are sure to stay well fed.

Plant in Clusters
To get the attention of hummingbirds, cluster blooms together so they shout, "Dinnertime!" Combining plants with staggered heights will bring depth to your garden, as well as providing hummers with a nectar buffet.

Cascading Blooms
Hummingbirds have the ability to fly forward, backward, and even upside down! Some nectar flowers have adapted specifically to accommodate the agile fliers. The blooms hang downward, so only hummingbirds can reach the sweet treat.

Tube-Shaped Blooms
These flowers provide large amounts of nectar deep at the base of their blooms. Hummingbirds can easily reach this food with their long, tubular tongues, while bees and most other nectar-loving insects are left out.

Top 10

1. Bee Balm (Monarda didyma)
Perennial; Zones 4 to 10.
Color: Red.
Blooms: Summer.
Size: 3 to 5 feet tall; spreads 18 to 36 inches.
Care: Moist, moderately fertile soil; light shade to full sun. Deadhead flowers to keep them blooming and to limit reseeding.

2. Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis)
Perennial; Zones 2 to 8.
Color: Red.
Blooms: Summer.
Size: 3 to 4 feet tall; 2 feet wide.
Care: Fertile and moist soil, partial shade to full sun. Works beautifully with other native plantings.

3. Butterfly Bush (Buddleja species)
Shrub; Zones 4 to 9.
Color: Purple, pink, and white.
Blooms: Summer to fall.
Size: 6 to 15 feet tall; 4 to 10 feet wide.
Care: Grow in sun to light shade. Considered invasive in some regions.

4. Trumpet Vine (Campsis radicans)
Perennial; Zones 4 to 9.
Color: Orange-red.
Blooms: Summer.
Size: Climbs to 40 feet.
Care: Grow in full sun in moist to dry soil. Tolerates poor soil. Blooms better with little or no fertilizer.

5. Snapdragon (Antirrhinum)
Color: Varies with variety.
Blooms: Until frost.
Size: 6 inches to 4 feet tall; 6 inches to 2 feet wide.
Care: Grows in full sun to part shade in moist soil. Regular deadheading needed.

6. Salvia (Salvia spledens)
Color: Red, purple.
Blooms: Until frost.
Size: 1 to 3 inches tall; 9 to 14 inches wide.
Care: Keep soil at roots cool and moist; grow in full sun or part shade in southern regions. Deadhead flowers to keep blooming.

7. Fuchsia (Fuchsia species)
Perennial; Zones 10 and 11; annual to north.
Color: Red, pinks, purple, white.
Blooms: Until frost.
Size: Trailing to 3 feet or available in shrub form.
Care: Requires moist soil: check pots twice a day in hot weather. Pinch back flowers.

8. Columbine (Aquilegia species)
Perennial; Zones 3 to 9.
Color: Red, pink, blue, purple.
Blooms: Spring to early summer.
Size: 1 to 3 feet tall; 6 to 24 inches wide.
Care: Low-maintenance plants that prefer moist, but not wet, soil. Reseeds itself.

9. Phlox (Phlox species)
Perennial; Zones 3 to 8.
Color: Pink, red, blue, and purple.
Blooms: Spring to fall.
Size: Up to 3 feet tall; 12 to 24 inches wide.
Care: Needs well-draining soil in full sun. Deadhead to extend their bloom time.

10. Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa)
Perennial; Zones 4 to 9.
Color: Orange.
Blooms: Summer to fall.
Size: 1-1/2 to 3 feet tall; spreads 12 inches wide.
Care: Well-drained soil; full sun. These plants will wander to where they're best suited in your garden.
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