What do Hummingbirds Like?

Gladiolus 'Atom' tempted hummingbirds in mid-summer.

The hummingbird and I scared each other this afternoon when he buzzed around the corner and right past my ear. He was busy, as most hummers always seem. Only this time of year, he's stocking up for his journey to a warmer place.

Fuchsia magellinaca 'Riccartonii' is considered hardy, but only to Zone 7.

Nasturtium 'Troika' bloomed all summer and into fall,
luring hummingbirds to their nectar.
I really thought he had already left, which is why I brought in the Fuchsia. The Salvia he likes are still in big-time bloom, but I grew four different varieties of Fuchsia in pots that I'm sure he'd love to visit. I hurriedly dragged them out of the garage.

Looking back over the summer, I got the feeling I'd let the little guy down because I'd concentrated on flowers for cutting, and plants with gorgeous leaves. But here are several I know any self-respecting hummingbird would never pass up.

Justicia carnea reaches just 12" tall in a summer, but what a bloom! 

Justicia brandegeeana, or shrimp plant.

Digitalis, or foxglove.
There is nothing like Salvia to make hummingbirds come buzzing over. 
Kniphofia 'Echo Yellow' (torch lily) has the
hummingbird's favorite flower shape.

Cape fuchsia (Phygelius x rectus) 'Winchester Fanfare'
is hardy to Zone 7, but made it through our mild winter.

Scadoxus (blood lily) grows from a bulb native to South Africa. It is related to Amaryllis.


  1. You always have the most interesting plants. Salvias are the favored bloom for our hummers. Of course they tend all the tubular flowers. I have seen Cardinals eat the berries off of Fuchsia Gartenmeister.

    1. Thanks, Lisa. I'll have to quit deadheading the plants.