7 Best Plants To Attract Hummingbirds To Your Garden

Did you know hummingbirds don’t flap their wings when they fly?

They do this slight figure-8 pattern which allows them to not only hover but fly backward too! Crazy cool, right? It’s no wonder you want to attract these amazing little birds to your garden.

But, you have to have the best plants to do so.

You can choose from dozens of species and then hundreds of their subspecies, but that is a lot of plants and flowers to go through. After going through all of them you start dreaming of gardens full of flowers and hummingbirds (well, I did at least).

You don’t have to do that. Instead, you can use the knowledge right here on this page to find hummingbird-friendly plants.

The 7 best plants to attract hummingbirds are bee balms, columbines, lilies, red cardinal flowers, sage, trumpet honeysuckle, and lupines. For a few of these, hummingbirds are the only creature that can reach its nectar. These flowers can attract both hummingbirds and compliments.

Let’s take a look at these amazing plants that can spice up your Nashville garden.

Don’t forget to check out our online garden center before you go >>

1. Bee Balm

If you like the smell of mint you may end up loving this plant. The foliage gives off a strong aroma so it’s pleasing to smell and see. You’ll love their drought and deer resistant qualities as well as the fact that they are easy to grow.

Bee balm was also used in making a variety of medicines back in the early days of America.

Hummingbird flying near a bee balm as it is one of the best plants to attract hummingbirds

We recommend the Monarda didyma variety as its classic red coloring makes it one of the best plants to attract hummingbirds. It is a perennial plant that grows 3-4 feet tall and can grow out to 3 feet wide depending on the type you select.

Bee balms love full sunlight but can tolerate some shade every so often. You’ll see it bloom from July-September.

2. Columbine

These beautiful bell-shaped flowers are sure to be a hit in any garden! Well, as long as they have plenty of shade or you don’t mind watering them all the time if they are in the sun.

You may think they look delicate, but they are in fact deer and drought resistant, plus they too were used for medicinal purposes.

Columbine flowers are a favorite garden plant for attracting hummingbirds

This perennial plant grows around 3 feet high and loves the shade. You’ll see it bloom during May, and while it may only be for about one month it’s beauty makes it worthwhile.

3. Lily

This perennial plant will come back year after year to dazzle you and the hummingbirds, and it doesn’t need much help to do so.

As long as you plant them in areas with 6-8 hours of sunlight. Then they can grow strong and beautiful, attracting hummingbirds and compliments.

White lilies beautifying a garden as they wait to attract nearby hummingbirds

Lilies tend to grow 3-8 feet high depending on the type you get. They do bloom during summer and with enough variety, you can have lilies blooming throughout the summer:

  • Asiatic lilies bloom early to midsummer
  • Trumpet lilies bloom midsummer
  • Oriental hybrid lilies bloom mid to late summer

Daylilies and water lilies are not true lilies so we aren’t including them here.

4. Red Cardinal Flower

You will notice that only hummingbirds visit red cardinal flowers, making them one of the best plants to attract hummingbirds and only hummingbirds.

Hummingbird getting the nectar from a red cardinal flower

This is because they are the only ones that can reach the nectar and pollinate the flowers. Insects just don’t have what it takes to pollinate this flower.

You will see it bloom during mid to late summer as this perennial plant grows to around 3 feet in height.

Read about the differences between annuals and perennials >>

5. Sage

You have a wide range of choices when it comes to adding sage to your garden. There are annuals and perennials, each with different blooming times and colors.

Hummingbird enjoying the nectar from the sage plant that attracts it
Photo by Nikita – creative commons license 2.0

Almost every type can be grown in Nashville, and since they attract hummingbirds and butterflies it makes them the perfect addition.

They work best in full sun and well-drained soil.

6. Trumpet Honeysuckle

This flowering vine is a wonderful addition to Nashville gardens.

Trumpet honeysuckle attracting a hummingbird
Photo by Mike’s Birds – creative commons license 2.0

It can grow up to 15 feet tall by 6 feet wide, making it perfect for walls, fences, and outdoor structures. Plus it won’t grow too heavy and knock down whatever it is attached to.

You’ll see this perennial plant bloom from around May-June in an array of dazzling red and orange colors.

7. Lupine

This is another flower that comes in such a wide variety of colors and types that you’re sure to find one you want for your garden.

It may be on here last, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t one of the best plants to attract hummingbirds!

Lupine beautifying a garden in shades of blue and purple

You can choose from annual, perennial, color, and even size if you wish. The average size is 3 feet tall by 3 feet wide and they grow best in sunny to partly shady areas. You’ll see them bloom typically starting in May and ending around July.

Find these plants in one of these 5 garden centers >>

Create Your Ideal Garden

One of the most fun parts of gardening is that you can change it every year if you want to. You can focus on attracting hummingbirds this year and do something else the next. Whatever you choose, we just want to help you create your ideal garden.

You can check out these 7 decoration ideas for gardens 2019 >>