It is so much fun planning and growing a hummingbird garden. It’s one project that continues to bring surprise and whimsy to our yard. Seeing a hummingbird in flight while draining nectar from a flower is a sight you remember. To start planning your hummingbird area, you only need to know what plants attract hummingbirds to your garden. Luckily we have the complete list below! Easy peasy, I promise.
Feeding hummingbirds and welcoming them to your garden is good for you, the tiny bird, and your garden! Hummingbirds are pollinators, and although their long beaks and tongues draw nectar from tubular flowers, their beaks and feathers carry the pollen.
What Attracts Hummingbirds
This post may contain affiliate links. If you click one and make a purchase, I may receive a commission at no additional cost. You can read our disclosure policy here.
Hummingbirds love Brightly-colored blooms in shades of red and purple that provide the most nectar.
Beyond planting the flowers we recommend below, a few more things make your yard and garden attractive to hummingbird visitors.
Create a quiet environment. Hummingbirds are shy tiny birds; even the best flowers won’t lure them if the blooms are in a loud or seemingly dangerous climate.
Plant densely. Hummingbirds choose spots based on how much nectar is available to them—so they’re especially attracted to areas with dense vegetation of flowering plants that provide them with the food they need.
Add a hummingbird bath. Hummingbirds will often bathe in shallow pools of clean water, so setting up a small birdbath will encourage hummingbirds to continue to stop by your garden.
Stay organized and have the best gardening season ever with our Ultimate garden planner.
With 39 pages of planning and organizing and the ability to customize your planner with the pages you need, you won’t need another planner for the rest of your gardening life!
Perennial Flowers that Attract Hummingbirds
You can plant many wonderful perennials to attract hummingbirds to the garden. This is not an exhaustive list, but it does contain the most recommended flowers:
#1 Agastache (Agastache Foeniculum)
Agastache, better known as hummingbird mint or anise hyssop, is a lovely plant with coral flowers known for attracting hummingbirds.
Large spikes of fragrant dark red/pink tubular flowers bloom from early summer until early fall, making them an excellent continuous nectar source for hummingbirds.
Plant agastache in full sun with well-draining soil. The plant is semi-drought tolerant and will thrive in dry conditions. Be sure to plant hummingbird mint with other hummingbird-friendly flowers that like dry, hot conditions. Use agastache as a bedding or border plant, in a rock garden, or xeriscaping.
USDA Growing Zones: 5-9
#2 Beardtongue (Penstemon sp)
Beardtongue is a long blooming perennial that you can find in shades of blue, purple, white, pink, and red. Its predictable and available food source makes it attractive to hummingbirds all season long.
Penstemon flowers are native to North America and are deer-resistant, drought-tolerant, and easy to grow.
Plant Beardtongue in full sun in good soil with good drainage. The plants look great in cottage garden settings and rock gardens and work exceptionally well for xeriscaping.
USDA Growing Zones: Zones 4 to 8
- Learn More: See our complete list of deer-resistant plants and flowers.
#3 Bee Balm (monarda)
Hummingbirds love bee balm; the blooms are like a hummingbird magnet. The plants have brightly colored nectar-rich flowers that provide food for many months during the growing season.
The plants come in various colors, with purple and red being the ones you want if your goal is to attract hummingbirds plenty. Bee balm is also called bergamot, horsemint, and oswego tea.
Bee balm will spread very quickly in a garden, so plant it in a container before adding it to your beds or gardens to prevent it from taking over.
Plant bee balm in the sun to partial shade, where they will receive plenty of moisture.
USDA Growing Zones: 3-9
#4 Begonia (Begonia sp.)
The wax begonia is exceptionally easy to care for and provides masses of red, pink, and white blooms. Foliage is glossy and thick and can be green or red. If you’re looking for potted plants that attract hummingbirds, begonias are a great place to start.
Plant begonias in partial shade with consistently moist but well-draining soil. Begonias are at home in the shade garden, under open trees, or used as bedding or edging plants around the garden.
USDA Growing Zones: Zones 10 to 11
- Learn More: Learn how to grow begonia from seed to flower with our complete guide.
#5 Bleeding Heart (Lamprocapnos spectabilis)
Bleeding hearts make wonderful filler plants for shade gardens, and their tubular nectar flowers attract hummingbirds from mid-to-late spring to early summer. In addition, these plants have arching branches of heart-shaped flowers that dangle from the vines.
This herbaceous perennial is a reliable perennial that will return every spring.
Plant bleeding heart in partial shade in soil with good drainage. These plants look great at the back of a perennial border, at the edge of a woodland garden, and in a perennial shade garden.
USDA Growing Zones: Zones 2 to 9
- Learn More: Learn everything you need to know to grow healthy bleeding heart plants with our complete growing guide.
#6 Butterfly Bush (buddleia)
Butterfly bushes are attractive to several species of hummingbirds and butterflies. The plants put on quite the show with their long pointed spike-shaped purple clusters of tiny flowers.
Buddleia is heat tolerant and drought tolerant and blooms from mid-summer until early fall.
Plant butterfly bushes in full sun to partial shade with well-draining soil. The plants are heat tolerant and drought tolerant, so be sure to plant them with other plants that require similar environments.
USDA Growing Zones: Zone 5-9
#7 Cardinal Flower (lobelia cardinalis)
Cardinal flowers attract hummingbirds with their bright tubular red flowers on tall spike-like stems. These flowers grow from a long taproot and are clump-forming, with usually unbranched stems.
As short-lived perennials, plants typically live for two to four years but self-sow their seeds readily.
Plant cardinal flowers from full sun to partial shade in moist organic-rich soils. These plants do well planted near swamps and other types of wetlands.
USDA Growing Zones: 3-9
#8 Catmint (Nepeta sp)
Catmints have lacy gray-green foliage with long-lasting spikes of tubular blue/purple flowers. Flowers are abundant and continuously bloom from late spring until mid-summer.
Catmint is fast-growing, deer resistant, and has few pests or disease problems, making it a very easy plant to grow.
Although most catmints are purple/lavender, you can find varieties in white and pink.
This member of the mint family is best planted in full sun in well-draining soil. The flowers look lovely on a perennial border, in garden beds, or even added to a vegetable garden.
USDA Growing Zones: Zones 4 to 8
#9 Columbine (Aquilegia sp)
Columbine comes in various colors, from red, orange, yellow, blue, purple, white, and pink, and blooms from spring until summer. Red columbine is especially interesting to hummingbirds due to its bold color.
Columbines are one of the earliest spring flowers to bloom, providing hummingbirds with an essential food source when other food sources are scarce.
Plant columbine in partial shade in areas that have well-draining organic-rich soil. Columbine is perfect for the early spring garden in perennial garden beds, borders, and a shade garden.
USDA Growing Zones: Zones 3 to 8
#10 Coral Bells (heuchera)
Coral bells have brightly colored foliage in shades of purple, pink, and orange with stalks of clustered small bell-shaped flowers. These plants can quickly grow if they do not sit in waterlogged soil. The flowers make long-lasting, lovely cut flowers.
There are many different types of coral bells, so check the requirements before planting them out. Some will do well in the shade, while others will do well in the sun. Coral bells are great for ground cover or can be used for erosion control or planted in containers or shade gardens.
USDA Growing Zones 3-9
- Learn More: Learn how to grow coral bells from seed to flower with our complete guide.
#11 Fox Gloves (digitalis)
This wonderfully tall biennial produces tubular bell-shaped flowers down its stalk. The flowers are thimble-shaped and bloom in pink, purple, red, white, and yellow.
Foxgloves are squirrel and deer resistant due to their toxicity. All parts of the plant are poisonous to animals and humans. But the nectar-filled tubular flowers are perfect for hummingbirds.
Fox gloves will bloom in the second year. You can plant them in wind-sheltered areas in the back of the garden. Full sun is best only if summer temperatures are mild. Soil should be rich with organic humus and well-draining and kept consistently moist.
USDA Growing Zones: Zones 4 to 10
#12 Garden Phlox (Phlox paniculata)
Garden phlox have blooms in exceptionally vibrant colors, making them ideal for a hummingbird garden. The plants have long-lasting star-shaped blooms with a mild scent on sturdy stems. In addition, phlox make lovely cut flowers.
Garden phlox is easy to care for and should be planted in full sun to partial shade in well-draining soil. Phlox looks terrific at the back of a garden bed or in a cottage-style garden.
USDA Growing Zone: 4-8 (varies by type, please check before planting)
#13 Hardy Fuchsia (Fuchsia magellanica)
Hardy fuchsia flowers are like giant billboards welcoming hummingbirds to your garden.
The plants have clusters of purple and hot pink flowers along the tips of the plant that hang and drape. The plants are easy to care for and, once established, will reseed year after year. Fuchsia plants will also attract bees and butterflies in droves!
Plant hardy fuchsia shrubs in partial shade to shade in well-draining soil with plenty of organic matter. Fuchsias can be planted in the sun but may require more watering. These flowers look spectacular plated in a woodland garden with bleeding hearts and ferns.
USDA Growing Zone: 7-10 (varies by type, please check before planting)
- Learn More: We love our pollinators! Check out this list of flowers you can plant to attract bees.
#14 Hollyhocks (Alcea)
Nothing says cottage garden like the tall, slender showy blooms of hollyhocks!
The self-seeding biennial can reach 8 to 9 feet tall, sprouting multi-petaled rippled flowers that bloom all along the stem. Showy tubular blooms can come in white, pink, yellow, and lavender, but red will be the best color to attract hummingbirds.
Plant hollyhocks in full sun with support to protect them from the wind. Place these beautiful flowers at the back of garden beds or border in a cottage-style garden.
USDA Growing Zones: Zones 2 to 10
#15 Hosta (Hosta sp)
Hostas are the quintessential shade garden plant we all think of when we think of shade foliage. Hostas bloom mid-summer with small white, pink, or purple flowers and hummingbirds love the tubular flowers rich in nectar.
Plant hostas in full and partial shade with well-draining, rich, and consistently moist soil. Hostas do great under trees, in shade gardens, and along the woodland border.
USDA Growing Zones: Zones 3 to 9
- Learn More: Did you know you can grow hostas in containers? You can, and we have the complete guide to get you started.
#16 Lilac (Syringa vulgaris)
Lilacs have always been one of my favorite scents. Here in the North East you can open your door in spring and smell the lilac bushes in bloom, even if you don’t have any planted in your yard.
Hummingbirds will appreciate lilacs’ early spring blooms as they provide a food source when other sources are scarce.
Plant lilac bushes in full sun with well-draining soil. The plants require organic-rich soil and will benefit from yearly fertilizing early in spring. Lilac looks lovely planted in a cottage garden, as a hedge, or as foundation plantings.
Learn More: Lilacs make wonderful dried flowers. See our guide on how to dry flowers using 5 popular methods.
USDA Growing Zones: Zones 3 to 7
#17 Lupine (Lupinus x hybrid)
Around our neck of the woods, wild lupines are everywhere in the summer. You can find them in masses around ditches and dikes! Most lupines in gardening centers are hybrids of these wild lupines.
This North American native blooms in a wide range of colors (white, pink, red, yellow, blue, purple, and bicolored) and sizes, but all produce tall spikes of tubular flowers that attract hummingbirds and other pollinators to the garden.
Plant lupine in full sun in slightly acidic soil with good drainage. Lupines look great in the back of a perennial border, planted in a sunny woodland setting, or along a woodland path.
USDA Growing Zones: Zones 4 to 9
Learn More: Check out our full guide on growing lupins!
#18 Salvia (Salvia sp)
Salvia is a hummingbird favorite. The plants have bright-colored flowers that bloom all season in dry, warm conditions.
Salvia produces tall spikes of clustered colored flowers with lance-shaped leaves.
Flowers come in many colors, from blue, red, purple, orange, pink, yellow, white, green, and even brown, and bloom on dark green foliage. Hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies flock to every variety of salvia, but red is especially attractive to hummingbirds.
Plant salvia in full sun with well-draining soil. The flowers look wonderful in a bed, borders, containers, and mass plantings.
USDA Growing Zones: Zones 5 to 9
#19 Trumpet Honeysuckle (lonicera sempervirens)
Trumpet honeysuckle ( Coral Honeysuckle, Woodbine) is native to the eastern US and Canada. The plants have wonderfully fragrant clustered flowers that give way to red berries in fall. Hummingbirds frequently visit this beautiful climbing vine.
Plant trumpet vine in a sunny location with rich organic soil and good drainage. The plant will require a trellis or something to climb. They will grow up to 20 feet tall.
USDA Growing Zones – 5-9
Annual Flowers that Attract Hummingbirds
Here are the annuals that attract hummingbirds to your garden, be sure to choose varieties that are brightly colored, like red or purple, for the best impact:
#20 Impatiens (Impatiens wallerana)
Impatiens (Busy Lizzie or patience plant) is a top-rated annual because of its ease of growth, uniform habit, shade tolerance, and stunning blooms from early summer until fall. Flowers include white, pink, rose, red, scarlet, violet, salmon, and orange.
Plant impatiens in partial shade with good drawing organic-rich soil. They look fantastic planted en masse under trees, garden beds, and pathways and can be used as edging, hanging baskets, and windowbox plants.
#22 Petunia (Petunia Sp)
Petunias are one of the most loved summer flowers because they produce heavy blooms for most of the growing season. This long growing season is a boon for hummingbirds as it gives them a reliable source of food for an extended period. These easy-care plants come in various colors, but if you want to attract hummingbirds, plant red, pink or purple varieties.
Plant petunias in full sun with rich organic soil that is well draining. Fertilize every two weeks for continuously blooming flowers. Plant petunias in garden beds, hanging baskets, window boxes, and containers, used as endings or as skirt fillers for shrubs.
- Learn More: Learn how to grow fantastic hanging baskets of petunias, or how to properly deadhead your petunias.
#23 Zinnia (Zinniaviolacea)
Ah, zinnias, a must-have flower for our cut flower garden. Zinnias are boldly colored flowers that thrive in rugged hot locations. The flowers come in every color except blue; for hummingbirds, plant red, violet, and purple varieties. Zinnias are also beautiful to butterflies and bees. Zinnias have always been one of my favorite flowers as they cost little to grow but provide constant blooms all summer.
Plant zinnias in full sun with well-drained soil in the back of mixed garden beds, containers, and cut flower gardens.
- Learn More: See our complete guide on how to start a cut flower garden.
#24 Lantana (Lantana camara)
Lantana always impresses. The incredible brightly colored flowers are impossible to miss. The flowers are tiny but bloom in tight clusters. Hummingbirds flock to lantana and will attract butterflies and bees. We love lantana in our annual gardens because it’s both beautiful and deer resistant.
In areas with below-freezing winter temperatures, lantana survives as an annual but thrives year-round in warmer climates.
#25 Snapdragon (Antirrhinum majus)
With their wide range of heights, Snapdragons are suited to nearly every garden situation. In addition, the flowers come in all colors except green and blue, making exceptional cut flowers. The pouched tubular flowers are present on dense upright spikes.
Plant snapdragons in sunny locations with good drainage and rich soil. Snapdragons work everywhere in the garden, from mixed borders, containers, window boxes, cut flower gardens, or used as a show-stopping mass planting.
Annual in colder climates but perennial in zones 7-11
- Learn More: Learn how to grow snapdragons from seed to flower with our easy-to-follow guide.
#26 Flowering Tobacco (Nicotiana alata)
Most flowering tobacco varieties are annual, although some can survive year-round in warmer climates. These delicate flowers bloom in the evening from summer through to autumn.
Hummingbirds and butterflies love Nicotiana’s white, red, pink, and green fragrant flowers.
Plant Flowering tobacco in rich soil with good drainage.
Annual in colder climates but a hardy in zones 10-11
Hummingbirds do not eat flowers in the same way that many other animals do. They do not consume the petals or other parts of the flower itself. Instead, hummingbirds are primarily nectar feeders and obtain their food from the nectar found within flowers.
Hummingbirds are primarily attracted to brightly colored flowers that are rich in nectar. Lavender, with its vibrant purple flowers, can indeed attract hummingbirds, but it may not be their absolute favorite choice. Hummingbirds tend to prefer flowers that are red, orange, or pink, as these colors are more visible to them and often signal a high nectar content.
Succulents are not typically known for their ability to attract hummingbirds because they do not produce the same types of nectar-rich flowers that hummingbirds are most drawn to. However, there are a few succulent species that produce flowers with nectar that may attract hummingbirds, albeit to a lesser extent compared to many other flowering plants. Here are a few succulents that can occasionally attract hummingbirds:
Aloe Vera (Aloe barbadensis miller): Aloe plants produce tubular flowers containing nectar. While not a primary food source for hummingbirds, you may occasionally see hummingbirds visiting aloe blooms.
Agave (Agave spp.): Some agave species produce tall flower spikes with tubular flowers that may contain nectar. Hummingbirds might visit these flowers on occasion.
Hesperaloe (Hesperaloe parviflora): Also known as red yucca, hesperaloe produces tall flower spikes with red or coral-colored tubular flowers that can attract hummingbirds.
Kalanchoe (Kalanchoe spp.): Some kalanchoe species produce small, colorful flowers that may contain nectar. While not a primary hummingbird attractant, they could still occasionally draw hummingbirds.
Looking for more flower gardening inspiration?
Now that you know what flowers to plant to attract hummingbirds to your garden, you might want to do a bit more down the gardening rabbit-hole:
- How to Keep Squirrels Out of Garden Beds Naturally
- Drought-Tolerant Plants For Hot, Dry Summers
- Flowers that Grow in the Shade: The 14 Best Options
- How To Grow Strawberries In Pots and Containers For BIG Harvests
- How Long Do Dried Flowers Last?
- 12 Fastest Growing Flowers to Grow in Your Garden (2022)
- How to Dry Rose Petals In Under Two Minutes Flat (2022)
- 12 Beautiful Yellow Perennial Flowers
- 26 Perennials that Bloom All Summer
- How to Keep Cut Roses Fresh as Long as Possible
- 9 Best Flowering Bushes for the Front of Your House
- How to Grow the Rarely Seen Queen of the Night