15 Flowers That Hummingbirds Absolutely Love

Imagine a garden full of vivid colors, with hummingbirds flying amid the flowers and greenery. With the right choices, you can attract this sweet bird with its needle-like bill that connects with the blossoms it hovers over to obtain nectar. Planting the right flora will keep these lovely creatures, along with other pollinators like butterflies and bees, fluttering about your front and back yards.

There are some basics you can start with: Hummingbirds prefer native plants since those seem more familiar and tend to flourish without special care. They also like varieties that bloom for a long period or those that continue replenishing their flowers all season long. After all, the bird wants a food source it can count on. Hummingbirds also enjoy a bit of diversity so plan on offering more than one or two varieties in your garden, advises The Spruce.

Hummingbirds have huge appetites, according to The Hummingbird Guide, because of their fast metabolism. So if you supply a space that helps remedy their constant need for food, these loyal birds will reward you by faithfully visiting each year. You can go wild with the red, too — it's the hummingbird's favorite color, so populate your environment with red flowers, feeders, and ribbons.

Here are some of the animal's favorite flowers to entice them.

1. Bee Balm

The bee balm (Monarda didyma) has many of the characteristics that hummingbirds enjoy. The bright red, purple, and orange tube-shaped and spiky flowers attract the birds while offering an easy space to hover and collect their nectar.

Bee balm can grow tall, sometimes as high as four feet and begins blooming sometime in the middle of the summer. It is essential to ensure the plant gets plenty of water, sun, and air circulation because it's prone to powdery mildew. The good news is that you can purchase mildew-resistant versions. Its pink, red, white and violet flowers will produce circular-shaped pods during the colder seasons that self-seed, as noted by Birds and Blooms. Remember to deadhead the flowers if you don't want that to happen. Expect to divide them every three to four years to maintain them (via The Spruce). 

Bloom Season: perennial; mid-to-late summer, sometimes fall

USDA Growing Zone: 4 to 9

Growing Conditions: needs full sun to part shade

Soil Type: moisture level should be medium to wet

Size: one to four feet high

2. Cardinal Flowers

The cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis) sports the same color red as the robes used by Roman Catholic cardinals, hence its name; it also has long, stalk-like stems. The plant loves moisture and requires mulch during the hot summer season to preserve its wetness. Keep it on through the winter as well since the roots need protection from the cold.

Hummingbirds really love this flower because it's their favorite color — red — and is easy for them to find in your garden. An extra bonus here is the plant is deer-resistant, will reseed itself, and the blooms will hang around for several weeks, keeping hummingbirds in your yard from mid-summer until the first frost hits, as noted by Birds and Blooms. Additionally, you should move any containers with the plant indoors for the winter. 

Bloom Season: perennial, but blossoms can be short-lived

USDA Growing Zone: 3 to 9

Growing Conditions: needs full sun to part shade

Soil Type: moisture level should be medium to wet and well-drained

Size: three to four feet high (via The Spruce

3. Zinnias

The zinnia (Zinnia elegans) offers a vibrant pom-pom like flower that grows almost effortlessly from seeds: No starter sets or indoor-growing time is required. Hummingbirds like it for the easy-to-use florets it provides, according to Birds and Blooms.

The amount of varieties the zinnia comes in also make it coveted — there are literally hundreds of types and colors (except blue and brown) available. While the plant likes lots of water, keep it on the soil not on the zinnia, which is prone to fungal diseases. Always allow some air circulation space between plants (per The Spruce). 

Bloom Season: annual

USDA Growing Zone: 2 to 11

Growing Conditions: needs full sun

Soil Type: moist, well-drained

Size: six inches to four feet high

4. Salvia

All hummingbirds like salvia (Salvia), no matter what variety you choose. The plant sports perfect tube-like flowers that the birds can easily put their beak into, making getting their daily intake of nectar quite easy. Plus, the plant is perfectly sized for creatures that hover, achieving heights of one to six feet high.

The plant likes the sun, but can also take a bit of shade each day once it has grown. You have so many choices with the salvia — you can purchase annuals or perennials as well as an assortment of colors, including purple, indigo, maroon and, (wait for it) the hummingbird's favorite, red. The plant is also drought-resistant and will bloom throughout the summer, according to Birds and Blooms

Bloom Season: perennial/annual; bloom times vary but generally mid-to-late summer

USDA Growing Zone: 4 to 11

Growing Conditions: needs full sun

Soil Type: moisture level is dry to medium, well-drained

Size: 18 to 36 inches high (via The Spruce). 

5. Bleeding Hearts

The bleeding heart (Lamprocapnos spectabilis) is one of those flowers that look exactly like the name implies, with tiny, suspended heart-shaped pink and white blossoms. The delicately dangling blooms provide a good nectar source for the hummingbirds that will visit your garden or yard.

You want to care for this plant gently; the bleeding heart prefers partial shade and rich, moist soil that's well-drained, as noted by Country Living. Otherwise bleeding hearts can get root rot, not something you want in your garden. The flowers thrive in cooler climates and can transplant easily if you divide them as they grow. Sometimes the leaves will yellow and wilt in excessive heat, but the plants usually bounce back and should return season after season.

Bloom Season: all spring

USDA Growing Zone: 2 to 9

Growing Conditions: needs part to full shade

Soil Type: should be rich, moist, and well-drained soil

Size: 30 to 36 inches (per Gurneys

6. Butterfly Bushes

Don't let the name fool you. The butterfly bush (Buddleia davidii) brings in the butterflies with is cone-shaped flowers in lavender, pink, purple, white, yellow, and red, but also appeals to hummingbirds.

The blooms last for oodles of time, from the onset of spring to the first frost. The butterfly bush is like the superhero of plant growers; it can reach up to 10 feet high with lots of sunshine. The bush looks wonderful when planted in clusters and you'll find them aplenty in cottage gardens and in borders, said HGTV. But be careful that you are in the right region before planting, as some places consider it an invasive plant, according to Gardening Know How

Bloom Season: early spring to first frost

USDA Growing Zone: 5 to 10

Growing Conditions: okay in drought conditions; full sun required

Soil Type: moisture level should be medium, well-drained soil

Size: up to 10 feet high

7. Trumpet Creepers

Both the butterfly and the hummingbird are fans of the trumpet creeper (Campsis radicans), which is also called the hummingbird vine or trumpet vine, a plant that can become up to 40 feet high! That's why some people feel the plant is invasive, but with the right care it can become the star of your garden with its tubular yellow, orange, or red flowers.

The key to keeping the trumpet creeper around for season after season is to install a trellis that is propped up against something sturdy, such as a tree or fence. Then just sit and watch as the hummingbirds come to visit. Be careful not to plant too close to your home because its roots could damage your house as it creeps into your foundation and other things, as noted by Gardening Know How

Bloom Season: perennial; summer to fall

USDA Growing Zone: 4 to 9

Growing Conditions: needs full sun to part shade

Soil Type: average moisture level, well-drained soil

Size: Can be up to 40 feet tall

8. Lupines

A North American native, lupines (Lupinus x hybridus) offer many colors and sizes. All feature the distinct tubular shape though that attract all sorts of pollinators like hummingbirds, according to Bob Vila. The flowers often grow densely, like rows of spikes, and can reach heights of three or four feet. Dwarf versions, which only hit two feet max, are also available, said The Old Farmer's Almanac. Interestingly, in hotter environments the plant is grown as an annual. 

Bloom Season: perennial or annual; early spring blooms

USDA Growing Zone: 4 to 9

Growing Conditions: needs full sun

Soil Type: moist and well-drained soil; slightly acidic preferred

Size: three to four feet tall (per Bird Watching HQ)

9. Columbines

The columbine (Aquilegia) gives those without a green thumb a chance at creating a happy habitat for the hummingbirds. The flower enjoys the shade and is good to grow with other plants. A big bonus is the columbine reseeds itself when the older plants start to lose their vim and vigor in about three to four years.

You can find the columbine in a variety of colors, but hummingbirds adore the eastern red columbine (Aquilegia Canadensis) with is bursts of bright red and sun-kissed yellow stamens, reported Birds and Blooms

Bloom Season: perennial

USDA Growing Zone: 3 to 8

Growing Conditions: needs full to part shade

Soil Type: average moisture, well-drained soil

Size: one to three feet high (via High Country Gardens).

10. Petunias

One of the most popular flowers out there is the common garden petunias (Petunia x hybrida) — maybe because they are inexpensive or the vibrant blossoms have so many color options. Petunia's look good in a flowerbed, in a window box or container, as an edging plant, or from a hanging planter ... and the hummingbirds do like them, said Country Living. After all, petunias often appear on plants lists recommended for hummingbird visitation.

But hummingbirds don't love them. Yes, they supply the birds with some of that nourishing nectar, but if there are better, brighter flowers (which produce more food) in the neighborhood the birds might just visit them instead, reported Hummingbird Gardener.

Bloom Season: annual

USDA Growing Zone: 10 to 11

Growing Conditions: needs full sun

Soil Type: moisture level should be medium with well-drained soil

Size: six inches to 18 inches (via Better Homes & Gardens). 

11. Daylilies

This so-called charm for hummingbirds, dubbed so because of their bright colors that allow the creatures to find their food easily, daylilies (Hemerocallis) provide nectar beneath their tubular petals.

These perennials stay in bloom all summer long, providing you keep them in full sun or partial shade, and their soil stays dampened. You'll also want to keep the mulch fresh; you can use shredded bark, leaves, or other materials that will prevent weeds and allow the earth to stay moist, reported We Love Hummingbirds. Daylilies can grow, too — anywhere from 10 inches to four feet high! 

Bloom Season: perennials

USDA Growing Zone: 4 to 9

Growing Conditions: needs full sun or partial shade

Soil Type: moist soil

Size: 10 inches to four feet high, with a width of one and a half to four feet

12. Foxgloves

For those of you that love the cottage garden feel in your landscaping, foxgloves (Digitalis purpurea) offers blossoms in purple, pink, yellow and white that can grow up to six feet tall. You'll need to provide full sun to medium shade and moist earth that drains well. There are a few caveats with the foxglove, however: It's poisonous to people, pets, and livestock, so it's not appropriate for interactive gardens you walk around in and touch. Plus, foxglove is not welcomed on the West Coast and certain places in New England where it's looked at as invasive, as noted by HGTV

Still the pink, purple, red, white, and yellow flowers are eye-catching with their lean, tubular blossoms, and hummingbirds are attracted to them. Their height makes them especially good for the back row of any garden, so keep that in mind when you are planting foxglove seeds at the end of the summer (via Gardener's Path). 

Bloom Season: biennials; early summer to late spring, depending on region's temperature

USDA Growing Zone: 4 to 9

Growing Conditions: full sun to medium shade

Soil Type: moist and well-drained soil

Size: grows up to about five feet high

13. Hollyhocks

Often found in cottage gardens, hollyhock's (Alcea rosea) bloom all summer long in single and double clusters (depending on how they are cultivated), featuring the hues lavender, pink, purple, red, salmon, apricot, and yellow. Not only will the biennial flowers encourage hummingbirds to visit, but butterflies like them, too. Plus, the Hollyhock will reseed itself in your garden, ensuring that its pretty colors will come again and again, according to HGTV

The easy-to-grow flower likes a warm, sunny spot in your garden. You should plant them in the spring and fall — although if your winters are rough, plan your gardening for the warmer season.

Bloom Season:bBiennials; mid-summer to early fall

USDA Growing Zone: 3 to 8

Growing Conditions: needs full/partial sun

Soil Type: moist and well-drained soil, slightly acidic to alkaline

Size: up to eight feet tall (per Burpee

14. Catmint

If you're looking for something simple to maintain, then search no further: catmint (Nepeta) offers a plant that blooms for weeks, and it can sustain heat. But best of all, pesky deer and pests don't bother the shrub at all.

Hummingbirds enjoy the catmint's lavender-blue flowers best (known as Nepeta sibirica), although other colors such as white and pink are available. Be careful to isolate catmint plants since they can overtake your garden quickly — they are particularly good for edging. Once the flowers disappear you'll want to trim the plant, removing about one-third of the stalk. Then the blossoms will re-generate beautifully, noted Birds and Blooms

Bloom Season: perennial; spring to fall

USDA Growing Zone: 5 to 9 (via Gardenista)

Growing Conditions: needs full sun to partial shade

Soil Type: dry and well-draining, acidic to alkaline

Size: one to four feet high; often wider than its length

15. Verbana

While the dainty flower verbana (Verbena) seems small, hummingbirds love its bright colors — such as red, pink, and purple — and manage to get a powerful punch of nectar from it, said The Columbus Dispatch

With more than 250 varieties, you'll have plenty of choices, whether you want to plant a mass of verbena or just edge a flowerbed. Annuals are usually planted during the springtime, and will grow fast and furious. Keep the plant in the sun; it needs a minimum of 10 hours of light a day. A monthly slow-release fertilizer hit will increase the plant's longevity, keeping it lively until the first frost, as per Nature Bring.

Bloom Season: perennial and annual; spring to fall

USDA Growing Zone: 5 to 11; all zones (annuals), warmer areas (perennials)

Growing Conditions: requires full sun

Soil Type: needs dry to medium moisture and well-drained, acidic (5 to 6 pH) soil

Size: reaches up to three to six feet high; width can go to one to three feet (via Fine Gardening).