Hummingbirds Love This Dainty Flower That Packs A Punch In The Garden

When it comes time to plan out a beautiful flower garden that will have hummingbirds flocking to your yard, it's natural to gravitate toward large, showy flowers with bright colors. However, there are plenty of smaller flower varieties that attract these winged wonders. Depending on your location and climate, there's bound to be a variety of beautiful verbena that your local hummingbirds will love.

Verbena is fairly easy to grow from seed as an annual flower. It grows best in full sun and generally measures 6 to 14 inches tall once mature. In some climates, seeds from the previous year will self-sow and give you a recurring plant year after year. Otherwise, you can start your verbena seeds indoors and transplant them outside once the threat of frost has passed. 

When it's time to select the perfect variety of verbena for your garden, take care to avoid types that may be invasive in your area. Verbena bonariensis, verbena montevidensis, and verbena incompta are all listed on as invasive species in the southeastern United States. These species grow fast and self-seed, which makes them difficult to get back under control. Opt for non-invasive varieties instead, such as verbena aztec.

Benefits of growing verbena for hummingbirds

Verbena plants have small five-petaled flowers that bloom all the way from late spring to fall. This long blooming period is one of the many benefits to hummingbirds, since the flowers provide a stable food source for many months. They also come in a huge variety of bright colors, which helps the hummingbirds locate them as food sources. Their lemon-like scent helps draw in hummingbirds as well as butterflies and other pollinators.

On top of providing critical nutrients for your local hummingbirds, verbena will also benefit your garden itself. Simply by attracting hummingbirds to your yard, you can help control the population of insects such as mosquitoes, since hummingbirds eat them. By beckoning these birds, verbena will also benefit other garden varieties like squash, which need the help of pollinators in order to produce fruit. Because it is tolerant to drought, verbena is a great eco-friendly choice for dry climates and for gardeners looking to reduce their water use.