27 Gorgeous Plants That Attract Hummingbirds to Your Garden

Want to attract hummingbirds to your garden? Consider planting some of these bright blossoming beauties.

By Lori Lovely and Michelle Ullman | Updated Apr 11, 2022 4:26 PM

plants that attract hummingbirds

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Although more than 300 known species of hummingbird grace gardens around the world, only about a dozen species routinely migrate through North America, and even fewer remain year-round in the warmest areas of the West. These amazingly tiny birds—the smallest bird in the world is the bee hummingbird, which weighs less than an ounce—mostly prefer the warmth of the tropics in Central and South America.

These voracious flying gems have the highest metabolic rate of any animal on earth and spend most of their waking hours in search of the sugary nectar that provides most of their energy. A single hummingbird might visit as many as 2,000 flowers in one day, lapping up nectar with its extremely long tongue. If you want to know how to attract hummingbirds to your yard, take note: They are particularly attracted to brightly colored flowers with a tubular shape.

If you live in an area visited by hummingbirds during the spring and summer months—typically, that’s the ruby-throated hummingbird in the East, and Costa’s, Anna’s, Allen’s, black-chinned, and rufous hummingbirds in the West—you can encourage them to visit your garden by growing some of the many plants that attract hummingbirds. Instead of (or in addition to) maintaining a hummingbird feeder, add any of these flowers and let the natural nectar replace homemade hummingbird food. The good news is that you don’t have to clean flowers, as you do the feeders.

What kind of flowers do hummingbirds like? Plenty! These plants produce hummingbird-friendly flowers and will add cheerful pops of color to your garden.

1. Lantana (Lantana camara)

plants that attract hummingbirds

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Lantana’s exuberant flowers—the individual blooms are tiny, but burst forth in tight clusters—attract butterflies and hummingbirds. Some lantana varieties display just one color of flower per cluster, but most feature clusters that combine hot pink and yellow or orange and red. Grow lantana in a sunny spot, and let the soil dry slightly between waterings. In areas with winter temperatures below freezing, lantana survives as an annual, but it thrives year-round in the warmest climates.

Blooms: Late spring through frost where grown as an annual; nearly year-round in warmer regions

Colors/Varieties: Pink/yellow/orange, red, purple, and white

USDA Growing Zones: Annual in Zones 1 to 8, perennial in Zones 9 to 11

2. Penstemon (Penstemon species)

plants that attract hummingbirds

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A large family of North American natives, penstemon species appear in many colors and heights, but all produce tubular blooms that hummingbirds love, especially if you choose purple, red, or pink varieties. Two particularly good varieties are firecracker (Penstemon eatonii) and Parry’s penstemon (Penstemon parryi). Penstemon is a fairly easy perennial to grow in a sunny location with excellent soil drainage. Don’t fertilize often; penstemon prefers slightly poor soil.

Blooms: Early to mid-summer

Colors/Varieties: Blue, purple, pink, white, and red

USDA Growing Zones: Varies, depending on the species, of which there are 250

3. Trumpet Vine (Campsis radicans)

plants that attract hummingbirds

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Also called trumpet creeper, this glorious vine explodes in summer through fall with bright orange flowers that hummers simply cannot resist. A native to eastern North America, trumpet vine grows quickly and vigorously, and needs a strong arbor, trellis, or fence for support. Cut it back as needed to keep it under control, and don’t water or fertilize too frequently; this hardy vine prefers slightly poor, dry soil.

Blooms: Throughout summer and fall

Colors/Varieties: Yellow, orange, and red

USDA Growing Zones: Zones 4 to 9

RELATED: 7 Important Things to Know About Your Hummingbird Feeder

4. Petunia (Petunia species)

plants that attract hummingbirds

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One of the most popular spring-through-summer annuals, petunias are available in just about every color of the rainbow, as well as bicolor varieties. Grow these easy-care plants in hanging baskets, containers, or along a garden border; just be sure they get plenty of sun, keep the soil moist but not soggy, and feed once or twice during their growing season. Hummers are especially fond of red, purple, and pink varieties.

Blooms: Spring through fall

Colors/Varieties: White, yellow, pink, purple, red and blue

USDA Growing Zones: Annual in Zones 1 to 8, perennial in Zones 9 to 11

RELATED: 18 Plants Perfect for Hanging Baskets

5. Salvia (Salvia species)

plants that attract hummingbirds

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Salvia is a large genus of plants in the mint family. The plants produce tall spikes of clustered flowers and have lance-shaped leaves that give off a distinctive fragrance when cut or crushed. While butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds flock to just about every variety of salvia, you can count on hummers visiting Salvia microphylla “Hot Lips,” which has 2-toned red and white blooms, and Salvia greggii, often called autumn sage. This North American native produces red, purple, pink, or white flowers summer through fall. All salvias prefer sunny locations and are moderately drought resistant.

Blooms: Summer through fall

Colors Varieties: Blue, red, purple, orange, pink, yellow, white, green, and brown, with some multi-color varieties

USDA Growing Zones: Varies by variety, but some are hardy as far north as Zone 5.

RELATED: 12 Rabbit-Resistant Plants for Your Home Landscape

6. Lupine (Lupinus x hybrid)

plants that attract hummingbirds

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Most lupines sold in garden centers are hybrids of various wild lupines. These North American natives feature a wide range of colors and sizes, but all produce spikes of tubular flowers that attract all types of pollinators, including hummingbirds. Plant lupine in a sunny location with good drainage and slightly acidic soil, and don’t fertilize it often. While lupine is a tender perennial, in many areas, especially hot climates, it is treated as an annual.

Blooms: Spring and summer

Colors Varieties: White, pink, red, yellow, blue, purple, and bicolor

USDA Growing Zones: Zones 4 to 9

7. Columbine (Aquilegia species)

plants that attract hummingbirds

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Although columbine appears delicate, this perennial beauty is actually fairly easy to grow in areas that aren’t too hot during its summer bloom time. While there are many cultivars and hybrids of columbine, all of which attract hummingbirds, one that is especially appealing is red columbine (Aquilegia canadensis). Plant columbine in a partly shady spot and keep it moist but not soggy. Cutting spent flowers encourages repeat blooms.

Blooms: Spring to summer

Colors Varieties: Red, orange, yellow, blue, purple, pink, and white

USDA Growing Zones: Zones 3 to 8

RELATED: 34 Amazing Plants that Are Native to North America

8. Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis)

plants that attract hummingbirds

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Hummingbirds find the bright red tubular blooms of cardinal flower irresistible, and the tiny fliers are the primary pollinator of this North American native. While technically a perennial, cardinal flower does not live long, but it does reseed prolifically. This woodland flower likes some shade and does best in moist soil; covering the soil with mulch helps the plant thrive. As a bonus, deer rarely bother this garden showstopper.

Blooms: Summer to early fall

Colors Varieties: Red, pink, white, blue, and purple

USDA Growing Zones: Zones 3 to 9

9. Hosta (Hosta species)

plants that attract hummingbirds

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A mainstay of the shade garden, hosta varieties appear in an excellent assortment at most nurseries. And while most people think of hosta as a foliage plant—thanks to the many leaf colors and patterns available—it does bloom during the summer, mostly in small white or purple flowers. Hummingbirds love the tubular blooms, which add beautiful contrast to the plant’s greenery. Keep hostas mulched and water them regularly. Watch out for snails, which love to nibble the leaves.

Blooms: Summer

Colors Varieties: White, lavender, and pink

USDA Growing Zones: Zones 3 to 9

10. Cigar Plant (Cuphea ignea)

plants that attract hummingbirds

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Also called firecracker plant, the cigar plant has long, thin, bright orange flowers that hummingbirds love. A native to Mexico, the cigar plant blooms exuberantly through the spring and summer. In cold climates, cigar plant generally serves as an annual, but it will thrive year-round in warmer areas. Water the plant regularly, pinch it back occasionally so it doesn’t get leggy, and grow it in full sun to part shade.

Blooms: Spring through fall

Colors Varieties: Red

USDA Growing Zones: Zones 10 to 12

11. Flowering Tobacco (Nicotiana alata)

plants that attract hummingbirds

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Most varieties of flowering tobacco grown in the garden are annuals, although some can survive year-round in mild-winter climates. These delicate beauties bloom summer through fall, with the flowers opening during the evening to release a wonderful fragrance. Hummingbirds and other pollinators love the white, red, pink, or even green blossoms. Flowering tobacco does best in rich soil that drains well, and prefers not to be too hot or too cold. Deadhead spent flowers to encourage a longer bloom time.

Blooms: Summer to fall

Colors Varieties: Yellow-green, white, pink, red, and yellow

USDA Growing Zones: Zones 10 to 11

RELATED: 12 Plants That Will Make Your Garden Smell Great

12. Bee Balm (Monarda species)

plants that attract hummingbirds

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Another native to North America, bee balm is a member of the mint family, featuring red, pink, purple, or white flowers that attract bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds like a magnet. A perennial, bee balm does best when grown in full sun, although it will tolerate some shade. It likes fairly moist soil, and requires good air circulation to ward off its archnemesis, downy mildew. Deadhead spent blooms to keep flowers coming all summer long.

Blooms: Summer to fall

Colors Varieties: Red, pink, purple, and white

USDA Growing Zones: Zones 3 to 9

RELATED: 10 Ways to Make Your Garden More Bee-Friendly

13. Zinnia (Zinnia violacea)

plants that attract hummingbirds

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An easy flower to grow, this heavy bloomer is a cutting garden staple because of its bright single flower head on erect stems. The many colors and varieties to choose from include single-, semi-single-, and double-flowered, with different forms, such as “beehive,” “button,” and “cactus,” and even different heights. They grow quickly from seed in full sun and make excellent borders.

Blooms: Late spring through first frost

Colors Varieties: Pink, purple, yellow, orange, lavender, white, red, and green

USDA Growing Zones: Annuals in 2 to 8, perennial in 9 to 11

14. Annual Geranium (Pelargonium species)

plants that attract hummingbirds

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Whether planted in your flowerbed, a container on your deck, or a hanging basket, geraniums are colorful, hardy plants that enjoy full sun and plenty of water—although not wet foliage. Available in several shades, they also come in various forms, such as: ivy, scented, fancy-leaf with variegated leaves, and the large Martha Washington ruffled varieties. Be sure to deadhead spent flowers for more blooms.

Blooms: Spring through fall

Colors Varieties: Red, burgundy, lavender, pink, salmon, orange, white, and bicolor

USDA Growing Zones: Annual in zones 1 to 9, perennial in 10 to 11

15. Bleeding Heart (Lamprocapnos spectabilis)

plants that attract hummingbirds

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Brighten up a shady or semi-shady spot with this delicate spring bloomer, which has arching branches of heart-shaped flowers that seem to drip out their insides in sorrow.  An herbaceous perennial, it requires little care and dies back to the ground in late fall and returns in the spring. Bleeding heart prefers moist and nutrient-rich soil, and can spread into a 2-foot-wide by 2-foot-tall shrub with attractive serrated leaves.

Blooms: Spring

Colors Varieties: Pink, white, and red

USDA Growing Zones: Zones 2 to 9

16. Lilac (Syringa vulgaris)

plants that attract hummingbirds

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Prized for its aromatic clusters of tiny purple or white flowers, this deciduous shrub can grow 8 to 15 feet tall. Its grayish bark is matched by gray-green or blue-green leaves. While some lilacs are small enough to grow near a home or in a garden bed, most varieties make better focal plants or grow in a group to form a border. They can benefit from annual fertilizing and pruning, and should be grown in rich and moist soil that drains well.

Blooms: Spring

Colors Varieties: Light purple, dark purple, and white

USDA Growing Zones: Zones 3 to 7

RELATED: 11 Shrubs That Can Handle the Heat of Full Sun

17. Fuschia (Fuchsia species)

plants that attract hummingbirds

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Fuschia, which is more accurately spelled Fuchsia for the botanist who named this beautiful flower, is a pretty hummer magnet no matter the spelling. Exotic single or double flowers dangle from elongated stems, making Fuschia an excellent candidate for hanging baskets. They prefer rich moist soil and partial to full shade, as well as protection from the wind, which can easily damage their delicate blooms.

Blooms: Spring through fall

Colors Varieties: Red, pink, white, violet, and purple

USDA Growing Zones: Annual in most, perennial in Zones 10 to 11

18. Snapdragon (Antirrhinum majus)

plants that attract hummingbirds

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Delighting children and gardeners for years, the snapdragon opens its “mouth” when pinched in the right spot—which pollinators do as they access the pollen hidden inside. Because the blooms open in stages from the bottom up, bloom time is extended. Snapdragons prefer moderate to cooler temps, and flowering may slow down in the heat of the summer, but will revive with early fall weather. Available in various sizes, snapdragons can add some height to a garden with their spiky blooms or add interest and hummingbird food to a mixed border.

Blooms: Spring through fall

Colors Varieties: White, yellow, pink, red, orange, peach, purple, and violet

USDA Growing Zones: Zones 7 to 11

19. Begonia (Begonia species)

plants that attract hummingbirds

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There are more than 2,000 species of begonias, but the common variety planted in most gardens is the wax begonia. This small tuberous plant prefers partial shade and moist (but not soggy) soil. Deer-resistant and requiring little to no pruning, they are easy to care for and will provide a bounty of single or double shimmery blooms in the right conditions. Foliage can be green or red.

Blooms: Summer

Colors Varieties: Red, pink, and white

USDA Growing Zones: Zones 10 to 11

20. Catmint (Nepeta species)

plants that attract hummingbirds

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Let the lacy, delicate gray-green foliage of catmint billow along pathways, its fragrance drifting across gardens and lawns. This easy-to-grow perennial herb has few pests or problems. Deer resistant and fast growing, it thrives on neglect as long as it’s in full sun and well-draining soil. Whether it sprawls or stands upright, catmint’s spikes of flowers bloom throughout the growing season, producing waves of tiny flowers on delicate stalks.

Blooms: Late spring, summer

Colors Varieties: Blue, white, and pink

USDA Growing Zones: Zones 4 to 8

RELATED: 25 Plants That Survive With or Without You

21. Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea)

plants that attract hummingbirds

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Add some height to your garden with this biennial that grows 2 to 5 feet tall and spills its tubular bell-shaped flowers with their spotted throats downward along its leggy stalk. Keep in mind that they bloom only in their second year. Also beware that all parts of Digitalis are toxic to animals and humans; its chemicals have been used to treat heart problems.

Blooms: Early summer, or late spring in warmer zones

Colors Varieties: Pink, purple, red, white, and yellow

USDA Growing Zones: Zones 4 to 10

RELATED: 10 Pretty Plants You Didn’t Know Were Poisonous

22. Daylilies (Hemerocallis species)

plants that attract hummingbirds

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One of the easiest, most forgiving, low-maintenance perennials is the daylily. Not fussy about soil or light, drought- and heat-tolerant, disease- and pest-free, this versatile plant works well in a border or on its own. From grass-like leaves shoot leafless stems (scapes) bursting with several colorful and large trumpet-shaped flowers that typically last for a day. Hybridizers experiment with new varieties such as spider, ruffled, doubles, and repeat bloomers, so don’t feel confined to just the popular Stella de Oro.

Blooms: Spring to late summer (plus some repeat blooming varieties)

Colors Varieties: Red, orange, yellow, purple, and pink

USDA Growing Zones: Zones 3 to 10

RELATED: 11 Florals That Will Give Your Garden an English Cottage Feel

23. Rhododendron (Rhododendron species)

plants that attract hummingbirds

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Washington’s state flower is a woody shrub that can grow up to 25 feet wide, offering a virtual buffet for hummingbirds. It prefers a sunny location and is fussy about temperature, not wanting to be either too hot or too cold (although some cooler weather is required for bud formation). Known for their showy clusters of delicate bell-shaped flowers, rhododendrons also feature thick, leathery leaves that stay green late into the year.

Blooms: Spring to fall

Colors Varieties: Pink, purple, red, yellow, and white

USDA Growing Zones: Zones 3 to 9

24. Wisteria (Wisteria species)

plants that attract hummingbirds

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This deciduous, wood-stemmed vine drips fragrant grape-like clusters of lavender flowers from arbors or trellises, creating a romantic garden aesthetic. After blooming, the long-lived, sometimes invasive, vine will require pruning, for it grows quickly and is aggressive and heavy. In the right conditions, wisterias can destroy porch railings and pergolas alike if not kept in line. Besides, blooms appear only on new growth, so late winter pruning helps produce more flowers for spring hummingbirds. All parts are toxic to pets and people.

Blooms: Spring

Colors Varieties: Purple, pink, and white

USDA Growing Zones: Zones 5 to 8

25. Hollyhocks (Alcea rosea)

plants that attract hummingbirds

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Nothing says summertime cottage garden like the tall, slender hollyhock. The self-seeding perennial or biennial can reach 8 to 9 feet tall, sprouting multi-petaled flowers that bloom from the bottom of the stalk up. They prefer full sun, can grow in a variety of soil types, and may require a little support—and protection from the wind—to stay upright. Pollinators prefer the single-flowering varieties.

Blooms: Summer

Colors Varieties: Lavender, white, pink, red, and yellow

USDA Growing Zones: Zones 2 to 10

RELATED: 14 Old-Fashioned Flowers That Still Look Great in Today’s Gardens

26. Honeysuckle (Lonicera species)

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Most of the 180 varieties of deciduous and evergreen shrubs and vines emit the sweetest fragrance. Hummingbirds especially like any native honeysuckle varieties. They can grow in full sun to partial shade and are heat tolerant, but will need some kind of support for those bud-laden tendrils, in addition to rich, moist soil and occasional pruning. They’re considered invasive in some regions, but birds and insects flock to their two-lipped tubular flowers.

Blooms: Spring to fall

Colors Varieties: Red, yellow, pink, purple, and white

USDA Growing Zones: Zones 4 to 10, depending on variety

27. Morning Glory (Ipomoea species)

plants that attract hummingbirds

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This North and Central American native vine is a fast grower that produces multitudes of slightly fragrant trumpet-shaped flowers that bloom in the morning. Drought tolerant though they love moist, well-draining soil, morning glories can grow up to 10 feet, twining their slender tendrils boasting heart-shaped leaves and flowers around structures, fences, or anything available. This self-seeder will return—and spread.

Blooms: Summer to first frost

Colors Varieties: Purple, pink, blue, and white

USDA Growing Zones: Zones 2 to 11