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Seasonal Tip

Attracting Hummingbirds to Your Garden
June 21, 2009

We all love catching a glimpse of a hummingbird in flight, with their zippy aerial maneuvers and amazing wing speed. If you are looking to draw these tiny birds into your garden, all you need are some very tempting flowers. Hummingbirds, as well as Butterflies, love colorful, tubular flowers that are rich in nectar, especially if they are planted in mass. You should also have a variety of flowers that bloom from May through the summer.

Early in the season, Azaleas and Rhododendrons are good choices, along with Bleeding Hearts and Columbine (Columbine canadensis). Many summer perennials are great sources of nectar, and they'll come back year after year, just like the hummingbirds. A few of our favorites include Agastache, Monarda (Bee Balm), Penstemon, Butterfly Weed, Liatris, Phlox, Crocosmia, Hollyhock, Delphinium, Coral Bells, Cardinal Flower, and Hosta. Trumpet Creeper, Bignonia, and Trumpet Honeysuckle are fantastic vines if you have the space, and don't forget annuals such as Petunia, Lantana, Salvia species, and Fuchsia for long-lasting color. Larger shrubs for your hummingbird landscape might include Weigela, Butterfly Bush, and Rose of Sharon.

Most importantly, beware of pesticide use on these plants. Hummingbirds eat small insects for protein, and they may ingest pesticides still on the flower.

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