Want to Host Some Hummingbirds, hmmm …?
It’s about that time when hummingbirds will be returning from their winter stay in Mexico and Central America (lucky them!) In this post, we will advise you on ways to make your yard their first choice for a summer home.
Plants for Hummingbirds
Putting out hummingbird feeders will definitely help bring these fast fliers to your yard, but to help them locate the feeders, you should also plant some native flowers that will appeal to them as well. Bee balm is a great one for attracting not only hummingbirds but butterflies as well. There are several varieties, but the bright red ones (like the scarlet or fireball) work best and are very striking. Columbine grows well in Missouri and comes in different sizes, colors, and varieties. Salvia is another beautiful and appealing flower that comes in several varieties. All three of these are perennials, so they won’t require replanting every year. The zinnia is a popular annual that is appealing to hummers and easy to grow.
*Extra Tip: Break the deadheads off the zinnias and save them to plant next spring.
Feeders for Hummingbirds
While hummingbirds are attracted to the color red, some dyes can be harmful to birds. As an alternative to the artificial red nectar, you can fill a red feeder with clear nectar. There are all kinds of feeders, but we have an inexpensive 24-Ounce Strawberry Feeder that works well.
One drawback of putting out a hummingbird feeder is that ants love the nectar as well. There are solutions, though.
The Nectar Protector, Jr. is basically a moat to keep ants from crawling into the feeder. You fill the container with water and hang your feeder underneath.
The Perky-Pet Antguard contains permethrin, which kills the ants and is protected by a dome. With both of these options, the hummingbird feeder is simply hung from the bottom hook.
A Welcoming Environment for Hummingbirds
Putting out feeders is inviting for hummers, but they will more likely stay in an area that has everything they need: food, water, and shelter. Encourage them to nest nearby by maintaining some shrubbery or small deciduous trees at the edge of your yard. They’ll use soft, fluffy material for nesting, so you can grow plants that have those qualities (like lamb’s ear, ornamental grasses, or plants with seed heads like honeysuckle, milkweed, or clematis). Also, provide a water source like a birdbath.
We hope this post has got you thinking about the ways that you can attract hummingbirds to your yard. If you have found this information helpful, please leave us a comment and follow us on Facebook. Thanks for reading and we hope your summer is humming with activity!