Hummingbirds Love Crocosmia Flowers, But Your Small Garden Won't. Here's Why

Planting crocosmia flowers is a great way to attract hummingbirds to your garden. These birds have a heightened sensitivity to colors in the red to yellow range, and the vibrant crimson of crocosmia, coupled with its sweet nectar, is all it takes to have hummers flocking to your yard. However, you should rethink planting this eye-catching flower if you have a small garden. Certain varieties of crocosmia can be aggressive and completely take over your growing space.

There are over 400 varieties of the crocosmia plant. Since these flowers are hardy, easy to grow, and stunning, they are a popular pick for gardeners. Crocosmias are the show-stopping "thrillers" in the classic "spiller, filler, and thriller" container plant arrangements. Along with hummingbirds, they attract songbirds, butterflies, bees, and other pollinators. There is a way to incorporate crocosmia flowers in a small garden, but there are also non-invasive alternatives you should consider for your pollinator garden.

Crocosmia flowers can be invasive

The crocosmia plant is native to South Africa and was cultivated as an ornamental species, but over time, certain varieties became invasive. Crocosmia x crocosmiiflora hybrids have been known to compete with native plants for resources and beat the local flora. Furthermore, once you plant crocosmia, it can be hard to remove. However, cultivar varieties, such as 'Emberglow' and 'Emily McKenzie,' are less likely to be aggressive as they are bred to possess desired traits, but they still have the possibility of becoming invasive.

If you're hard set on these hummingbird-attracting flowers, there is a way to incorporate them into your small garden and minimize their invasive threat level. You can plant crocosmia in a pot or a well-defined garden bed with a strict border. The crocosmias can lure in hummingbirds without threatening to seize your entire yard. But if you want to avoid aggressively growing plants entirely, there are other gorgeous options that can attract hummers and are ideal for a small garden.

Flowers great for hummingbirds and your small garden

While there are some flowers you shouldn't plant if you're trying to attract hummingbirds to your yard, there are a few crocosmia alternatives that can lure in these fliers without trying to take over. Cardinal flowers check all the boxes. Hardy to USDA zones 3 to 9, this native North American plant blooms with bright red flowers that are inviting to hummingbirds. You can plant these bell-shaped blossoms in garden beds or containers, and they are a great option for decorative borders.

Red daylilies are another non-invasive flower that hummers love. These perennials are hardy in zones 3 to 9 and feature red trumpet-shaped blooms that are easy to care for. They are great for a small garden with lots of sunlight. Plus, red daylilies are tolerant to drought and high heat. However, it's important to note that while they are hummingbird and butterfly-friendly, these flowers are toxic to cats.

Last but not least, trumpet honeysuckle would make a suitable addition to your small garden. You'll want to keep these red flowers at a distance from your home because they have a high flammability risk, but they are ideal for outdoor borders, near ponds, and in pollinator gardens. Hardiness zones 4 to 9 are where the trumpet honeysuckle thrives best. If you have a small outdoor space, you can skip the crocosmia and plant these beautiful flowers to lure in hummingbirds without compromising the garden's ecosystem.