Best Shrubs That Attract Hummingbirds

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It is incredible to watch hummingbirds do their aerobatics in your garden. Do you like to attract hummingbirds to your garden? There are shrubs that attract hummingbirds. Learn what they are so you can have numerous hummingbirds filling your garden.
The variety of hummingbirds you can attract to your garden depends on your regional area. In Mississippi, only the rib-throated hummingbird visit gardens. Gardens in the west will be visited by seven varieties of hummingbirds.

Hummingbirds in North America

There are over 300 species of hummingbird in the world, and a few of them explore as far north as North America. A handful of them remain in the US and Canada year-round.

• Allen’s Hummingbird. Coastal California from the southwestern portion of Oregon to the south of Los Angeles. They remain year-round on the Palos Verdes Peninsula.

• Anna’s Hummingbird. Remain year-round in southern British Columbia to southern California and southwestern Arizona.

• Black-Chinned Hummingbird. Eastern Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and southwestern Texas.

• Blue-Throated Hummingbird. Western Texas and southeastern Arizona.

• Broad-Tailed Hummingbird. (Most Colorful): Found in the Southwestern mountains of the US, eastern California, and southern Idaho.

• Ruby-throated Hummingbird. Central and Eastern United States; southern edge of central and eastern Canada.

• Broad-Billed Hummingbird. Southeastern and south-central Arizona; southwestern New Mexico.

• Berylline Hummingbird. Western Texas and southeastern Arizona.

• Buff-Bellied Hummingbird. The southern tip of Texas and Louisiana.

• Calliope Hummingbird. Summer breeder in Northern Nevada, California, Utah, southern British Columbia, Oregon, east and western Montana, central, and eastern Washington.

• Costa’s Hummingbird. Year-round residents in southwestern Arizona, southeastern California, and the southern tip of Nevada.

• Green Violet-Ear. A sporadic visitor to southern Texas.

• Green-Breasted Mango. Sporadic visitor along the Gulf Coast in southern Texas.

• Lucifer Hummingbird. Sporadic summer visitor in western Texas, southwestern New Mexico, and southeastern Arizona.

• Magnificent Hummingbird. Summer breeder in southwestern New Mexico and southeastern Arizona; Sporadic summer visitors in western Texas.

• Plain-Capped Starthroat. An occasional visitor to southern Arizona.

• Rufous Hummingbird. Summer breeder in Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, and Idaho.

• Violet-Crowned Hummingbird. Rare summer residents in southwestern New Mexico and southeastern Arizona.

• White-Eared Hummingbird. Year-round resident in southeastern Arizona and sporadic summer visitor to west Texas.

• Xantus’s Hummingbird. An uncommon visitor to southern California and some sightings in British Columbia.

The key to attracting hummingbirds to your garden is to provide them with an ideal environment to thrive.

Ideal Habitat for Hummingbird

Hummingbirds need an environment that will give them water, food, shelter, shade, and security. Hummingbirds are smart. They will only build their nests in areas that have an abundant source of food and water.

• Nests

Although each of the hummingbirds listed above breeds in the US, they build their nests differently depending on various habitats.

Female hummingbirds build their nests in trees and shrubs. They make solid cups that have elastic sides that stretch as the young birds grow and spongy floors. They weave together plant fibers, twigs, a few leaves. Spider silk binds all these materials and anchors them to the shrub or tree.

It is, therefore, essential to plant shrubs that attract hummingbirds.

Food

Hummingbirds use their long tongues and beaks for eating nectar from shrubs, flowers, and other plants. They can easily maneuver around plants because they can fly forward and backward. They can also hover in midair. Their hovering skills make it easy for them to eat nectar.

Hummingbirds and plants co-exist. Hummingbirds feed on nectar from plants. Plants, on the other hand, get pollinated by hummingbirds.
When hummingbirds eat the nectar of plants, pollen sticks to their throats and heads. As they go to the next plant to feed, they transfer most of the pollen to the plant.

Hummingbirds do not have a good sense of smell. They are, therefore, drawn to flowers through their color and not their scent. Hummingbirds are attracted to orange, pink, and red flowers. They also eat nectar from flowers of any color.

It is, therefore, important to plants shrubs that attract hummingbirds.

• Water

Nectar eaten by hummingbirds is the source of most of their water requirement. They also get water from the surface of leaves after rain. Hummingbirds also use water to bathe.

Best Shrubs that Attract Hummingbirds
Flowering shrubs provide food for hummingbirds and attract them to your garden. You should plant many varieties. When choosing shrubs to attract hummingbirds, make sure to:

• Pick shrubs that flower between May through early September to ensure hummingbirds will have food while they are present in your garden.

• Group the plantings because hummingbirds are attracted to large clusters of flowers.

• Pick shrubs with tubular flowers and in the color orange, red, or pink flowers

• Pick native shrub species.

1. Rose of Sharon

The Rose of Sharon has an upright growing habit and can be up to 10 feet tall and 6 feet wide. This shrub is late-blooming with showy and colorful flowers appearing in summer.

Its flowers bloom in summer in the shades of pink, red, purple, and white. This shrub is an effective way to add color to your garden with minimal fuss.

The gorgeous flowers of the Rose of Sharon attract hummingbirds in droves. They thrive best in full sun and benefit a lot from pruning.

Hardiness Zones: 5 – 7

2. Lantana

Lantana plants are evergreens. They may act a bit like vines but botanists classify them as shrubs. Their branches have a vine-like appearance, thus, they are commonly grown in hanging pots to allow their branches to hang on the sides.

Lantana plants have small and brightly colored flowers in yellow, white, orange, purple, or red that grow in rounded clusters. A cluster of Lantana flowers may have mixed colors.

Most people do not like the smell of the Lantanas flowers but they are fragrant plants qualifying them to be fragrant plants. Their leaves come with a citrus scent. Lantana flowers are a favorite of hummingbirds because

Hardiness Zones: 8-10

3. Azaleas

Azaleas are known as the “Royalty of the Garden” because of their outstanding form, brightly colored flowers, and foliage.

Azaleas are easy to grow. Deciduous azaleas have amazing fall color and a neat woody framework in winter. Evergreen azaleas offer year-round beauty.

Encore azaleas’ flowers provide nectar for hummingbirds. Their blooms in pink, bright red, and orange attract hummingbirds in spring and fall. Their trumpet-like shape also allows hummingbirds to easily sip nectar.

Hardiness Zones: 4-8

4. Fuchsia

Fuchsia is a hummingbird magnet. It’s usually planted in hanging baskets, and the flowers are red, purple, pink, violet, or white. The most popular type of Fuchsia has bicolored flowers.

Fuchsia flowers hang downward; therefore, only agile hummingbirds can get to their nectar.

Fuchsia is shrubby and can become 1 to 2 feet in height and width.

Hardiness Zones: 6-11

5. Butterfly Bush

A list of shrubs that attract hummingbirds is never complete without the butterfly bush. This shrub always has a prime spot in hummingbird gardens.

The butterfly bush is a beautiful, deciduous, and fast-growing shrub with long blooms and spiked trusses. They bloom from summer to autumn. Flowers of the butterfly bush come in many colors – lavender, pink, dark purple, or white.

Hummingbirds are attracted to the flowers of butterfly bushes because of their high content of nectar and their brightly-colored and long spikes.

Hardiness Zones: 5-8

6. Abelia

The abelia is known as an ornamental shrub. It comes with attractive foliage and has a long bloom time. Its leaves come in different colors from burgundy to gold that changes all through the growing season.

The abelia has tubular flowers that bloom for many months making a non-stop source of nectar for hummingbirds.

Funshine abelia has trumpet-shaped and fragrant white flowers hummingbirds love. The flowers appear from late summer to the middle of autumn. Its flowers also bloom for a long time.

Hardiness Zones: 6

7. Buttonbush

A buttonbush grows white, round, and fragrant flowers that are about 1-inch in diameter.

The flowers of a buttonbush are packed with rich nectar and pollen thus drawing hummingbirds. Its flower heads become red nutlets by fall that are not only beautiful but feed hungry hummingbirds. Its pincushion-like flowers come out in late summer.

Hardiness Zones: 4 – 10

8. Hibiscus

Hibiscus plants have large and colorful flowers, and these blooms add a decorative accent to your garden. Their brightly-colored blossoms appear all season.

The hibiscus plant is available in several varieties. They are hardy even in regions in the US that have sustained freezes.

Tropical hibiscus has beautiful appearances. Their flowers attract hummingbirds, especially their nectar found close to the base. Hummingbirds are also attracted to the sweet smell and bright colors of hibiscus.

Hardiness Zones: 4 – 9

9. Flowering Quince

The flowering quince is a multi-stemmed and thorny deciduous shrub. It grows beautiful white, orange, red, or pink flowers and dark green shiny foliage. It comes with thorns because it is a relative of roses.

The flowering quince comes with dense spiny grayish-brown twigs growing about 2 inches in diameter of five-petal flowers. Its flowers last for only about 14 days and then yellow-green fruits appear. Its glossy dark-green oval leaves come with serrated edges and grow to about 3 inches.

Flowering quince is a great option for border or barrier planting. Hummingbirds are attracted like a magnet to the flowering quince because of its glorious colors.

Hardiness Zones: 4 – 9

10. Weigela

Weigela is a deciduous shrub with five-lobed flowers in a tubular shape. Its flowers grow to be 1-2 inches long; they are pink, red, yellow, and white. Its glossy foliage is oblong and semi-serrated edge with leaves of green gold, burgundy, chartreuse, or deep purple.

Weigela has an upright, arching, and spreading or mounding growing habit. It can grow from, 12 inches in height and 18 inches wide to 10 feet in height and 12 feet wide. It can thrive in partial shade but flowers will bloom inexhaustibly in full sun. Flowers bloom in mid-late spring and re-bloom sparser in summer and fall.

The trumpet-like shape of weigela flowers is a hummingbird’s favorite. Weigela also has an abundance of red flowers with aromatic nectar loved by hummingbirds.

Hardiness Zones: 4 – 8

11. Honeysuckle Bush

Honeysuckle is an ornamental shrub. It comes with tubular flowers that grow in pairs. It can be deciduous or evergreen with leaves arranged opposite the stems.

Most species of the honeysuckle bush have unique scales and fragrant two-flipped flowers containing sweet nectar. The fruits of the honeysuckle bush are orange, red, or blackberry that is attractive to hummingbirds.

Hummingbirds are attracted to honeysuckle bush because of their rich sweet nectar.

Hardiness Zones: 4 – 9

12. Temple of Bloom

The temple of bloom is a large shrub with handsome foliage and peeling bark. It brings beauty to the garden in all four seasons, although its hundreds of white fragrant flowers bloom in late summer.

After the flowers bloom and drop, their bracts turn into a cherry-red color for an amazing fall display.

Its fragrant flowers are of special interest to hummingbirds

Hardiness Zones: 5 – 9

13. Pagoda Dogwood

The Pagoda Dogwood is a large, attractive, and deciduous flowering shrub. It comes with horizontal and tiered branches slightly turned up at the tips. This shrub has small, creamy, and fragrant flowers that bloom in groups. Flowers give way to berry-like fruits (also in the color of blueberries) appearing on crimson stalks.

The pagoda dogwood can grow to 25 feet in height and have a 12-32 –foot spread.

The pagoda dogwood has oval and long leaves that are purple in autumn. Its flowers attract hummingbirds and their dense foliage offers excellent conditions for nests.

Hummingbirds visit pagoda dogwoods to get nourishment.

Hardiness Zones: 3 – 7

Final Thoughts

Hummingbirds are attracted to shrubs with tubular and brightly-colored flowers that are rich in nectar.

Being pollinators, you’re the plants in your garden that need to attract hummingbirds. Most shrubs that attract hummingbirds are easy to grow, and hummingbirds will add an extra layer of interest and excitement to your floral display.

Plant more than one of these shrubs. Layer all-season plants so hummingbirds will visit your home for months every year. Hummingbirds in your garden will be a joy to watch.

Jennie Marie
Tribal Writer

Edited By
Patricia Godwin

Patricia Godwin

Patricia has many years of experience as a content writer on various subjects, but her first love is gardening. She’s never met a plant she didn’t like and, consequently, she writes about every type of plant you can think of. Once an avid gardener with a herb garden, a succulent rockery, and a rose garden – to mention a few. Nowadays, she’s constantly on the move searching for interesting plants to bring to your attention; and explain to you all the details you need to grow, care and maintain these plants.

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