The Native Red Flower You Should Be Using To Attract Hummingbirds To Your Yard

There is something so dreamy about a backyard lush with colorful flowers and gentle hummingbirds flitting around. There is one particular flower you can plant that will tantalize hummingbirds — red yuccas. 

You could always place hummingbird feeders around the yard with store-bought or homemade hummingbird nectar, though experts say that native plants are a better source. Choosing native plants is an important part of the process since native birds already like them, so whether or not the red yucca is native to your area may determine its place in your garden. Since the red yucca (also known as hummingbird yucca) thrives in desert climates, it may do better in hotter parts of the country.

Even though it's native to areas like Texas and northeastern Mexico, it doesn't have an invasive nature. That means it won't take over your garden or wreak havoc on your yard's ecosystem. Instead, you're likely to have some adorable hummingbird visitors paying a visit to your red yucca smorgasbord. If you're new to yuccas, be sure to read up on the mistakes everyone makes with yucca in the garden.

Plant red yuccas in the garden

Especially since red yucca loves an arid desert climate, it makes sense that area hummingbirds would love the flower's refreshing nectar. Even though the plants are drought-tolerant and don't need as much water, they produce enough nectar to keep the little birds coming. Plus, red yuccas are trumpet-shaped, which is ideal for a hummingbird's long beak. Almost as if they were made for each other!

It isn't just the plentiful nectar that keeps them coming. The flowers' reddish hue makes them a perfect spot for hummingbirds. As indicated by the plethora of red-colored hummingbird feeders, these birds love the color red. Hummingbirds associate red with food and can see the colors red to yellow best. It helps that nectar-loving insects cannot see red very well, which indicates to the hummingbirds that red flowers are more likely to have more nectar. 

While being red will not make or break a hummingbird's choice to enjoy a feeder or flower, it helps because it's easier for them to see, so keep this color in mind to attract hummingbirds to your garden.

Be careful with yucca in cold weather

What makes red yucca even better for a hummingbird-friendly garden is that they're perennial if taken care of properly. For anyone living with them outside of the warm winter regions of the country, that means knowing their tolerance for cold. Cold weather can give their leaves a purple or red color and potentially kill the plant. That said, it is worth noting that red yucca have been known to survive even -20 degrees Fahrenheit, according to research by the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension, Yavapai County.  

It's better to bring it inside during the winter to keep it thriving for the next warm season, though. Luckily, these desert hardy plants are okay in a pot and don't require a lot of work. "It's one of the most carefree plants you can find," senior horticulturist Steve Huddleston told Fort Worth Botanic Garden.