Beautiful Petunia Varieties That Will Keep Hummingbirds Coming Back For More

Petunias are a summer staple annual in most USDA hardiness zones, often seen cascading down festive porches and patios (although they can actually be grown as perennials in zones 9 through 11). As if the flowers' vibrant colors and delicate petals aren't beautiful enough on their own, they also offer the benefit of attracting hummingbirds to your property. However, not all petunia varieties are equally attractive to these whimsical birds. They prefer red and red-based colors, for one. There is also the matter of nectar. Generally speaking, the more tubular a flower is, the more nectar it offers to the narrow beak of a hummingbird.

It is typical for heirloom flower varieties to produce more nectar than new or hybrid varieties. However, in the case of petunias, many hybrid varieties produce plentiful nectar that attract hummingbirds and butterflies. If you're looking for more flowers to add to your hummingbird garden and enjoy the aesthetic of petunias, there are many amazing options to choose from.

Red and orange petunias hummingbirds love

It's no secret that adding red to your garden attracts more hummingbirds; it is rare to find a man-made hummingbird feeder that showcases any other hue. If red is the color that you instinctively associate with hummingbirds, consider the Surfinia Deep Red petunia. This eye-catching intensely red bloom was bred for its sweet nectar and attractive shade of red, along with its ability to trail from hanging baskets. Another option is the Petunia exserta species, which is naturally pollinated by hummingbirds and has a unique tall, tubular shape to facilitate it. 

If orange petunias fit your aesthetic better than classic red, there are still plenty of options for drawing in hummingbirds. The most vibrant orange petunia variety is the African Sunset. While this and other orange petunia hybrids were declared illegal to sell without a permit in the United States in 2017 for containing a genetically engineered gene, it is now legal to buy and sell. Its vibrant orange color is unique and enjoyed by both humans and wildlife; it is known to attract hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees. 

Pink and purple petunias hummingbirds adore

Looking to add some pink to your pollinator garden? Consider giving the Dreams Neon Rose variety a try. This petunia is a bright, bold fuchsia color that is known to attract hummingbirds while simultaneously avoiding the unwanted attention of deer. It is also particularly tolerant of all types of soil and air pollution, which can be of significant importance for those who may be looking to attract hummingbirds to their city rooftop and patio container gardens.

For those who seek a purple note for their hummingbird-friendly gardens, Tidal Wave Purple is an ideal variety of petunia. Its vibrant shade of purple calls in hummingbirds early in the season, as it boasts a longer period of blooming than most petunias. This hybrid also tolerates heat better than most varieties, making it a popular choice for summertime flower gardeners or those who reside in very warm climates.