Plant it and they will come

RetiredFlorida(9)April 11, 2014

Hello,
Came in year a little over a year ago interested in creating a butterfly/hummingbird garden. I have lived in the same home in Tarpon Springs for almost 20 years and never seen a hummingbird. Visited a fellow GW'er here and saw her hummers in amazement. Here we are now and the hummers visit daily. In the process we've learned a lot about the various plants and can now recognize many plants, which I could not do so a year ago.

I now can recognize the difference between a passion flower and honeysuckle ;-) "inside joke".

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RetiredFlorida(9)

Coral Porterweed, guaranteed to attract hummers!

    Bookmark   April 11, 2014 at 11:14PM
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RetiredFlorida(9)

Ok, last one.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2014 at 11:15PM
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raee_gw

Hehe, I thought you were talking about deer...

Beautiful!

    Bookmark   April 11, 2014 at 11:35PM
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wallisadi

Beautiful pictures!!!

    Bookmark   April 12, 2014 at 5:49AM
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ritaweeda

Coral Honeysuckle (kind of hard to find) and Bottle Brush trees are the big winners here. But they also visit Zinnia, Red Tropical Sage, Firecrackers, Cardinal Vine, and I've also seen them occasionally on Blue Nile lilies and Lantana.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2014 at 7:21AM
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katkin_gw

Great Photos!!

    Bookmark   April 12, 2014 at 7:36AM
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carolb_w_fl(zone 9/10)

I recall the 1st time I saw a hummingbird here - it was visiting an old Ixora hedge bordering our backyard.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2014 at 11:35AM
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RetiredFlorida(9)

Thank you all. Rae my pest here is actually rabbits. They killed a few of my young passion flower vines, cut them off at the base of the stem. They hit just about every blooming plant I have in the yard Rita.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2014 at 12:40PM
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Michael AKA Leekle2ManE - Zone 9a - Lady Lake

I would also add Firebush to the list of hummingbird-attracting plants. The one hummer that visits my yard (he just returned last week or so) likes to make his rounds from my firebush to the Tropical Salvia. Actually, right now it's Tropical Salvia and Blue Firespike as my Firebushes are still recovering from winter die-back. He hovered near my porterweed today, but didn't sip from it. At least not while I was watching.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2014 at 9:54PM
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tom123_gw

Blue firespike? That's probably what many of us call the purple firespike (Odontonema callistachyum).

The pictures above are of a female ruby-throated hummingbird almost certainly. You should get the ruby-throateds in Tarpon Springs with the annual migration that starts in early March and ends around the end of September. You may also get some in the winter months (over-winterers)--as long as you don't get a freeze. In the winter months there are also some rufous in your area and perhaps some black-chinned.

They are a joy to watch. Good luck with your hummers. You sure know how to take good pictures.

Here is a link that might be useful: Purple Firespike

    Bookmark   April 14, 2014 at 7:35AM
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sultry_jasmine_nights (Florida 9a)

Really beautiful photos. They look magazine worthy!

    Bookmark   April 14, 2014 at 10:22AM
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Michael AKA Leekle2ManE - Zone 9a - Lady Lake

I will take a pic of it (the firespike) when I get home. When I purchased it (at a MG sale) there were three varieties to pick from. The Reds were in bloom and easy to identify, but there was a group of firespike that weren't in bloom, some were labeled as purple and others were labeled as blue. I was told they would bloom in January, and indeed most of them were budding around then, but all the ones that were budding got hit by frost and wilted before they could bloom. The ones in bloom now were in a more sheltered area and were smaller in size. They did not bud up whe the others did and I figured I would be waiting another year for them. But then they surprised me at the beginning of March by sending up their spikes. And they're still going.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2014 at 2:10PM
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joflo723(9b)

Beautiful! We've been trying to get hummingbirds since we moved into our house a couple of years ago. Last year, I put out firebush, but I haven't seen any blooms yet this year. Could it be because it's in a shaded area? Also, my coral honeysuckle has really taken off! It's not shaded. I'm hoping it attracts them to the yard. What about jasmine? I have night-blooming jasmine, another vining jasmine (not sure the variety), and confederate jasmine...are these good for attracting hummers?

    Bookmark   April 14, 2014 at 2:26PM
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katkin_gw

I have 4 firespikes, a pink, a red, a magenta, and a purple. I would love to see a blue. :o)

    Bookmark   April 14, 2014 at 3:58PM
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tom123_gw

Magnenta? I've never seen one. In fact I've never seen a pink one either. Do they bloom at different times?

I'd like to know where I might purchase them.

Joflo, I've not heard that Jasmine attract hummers. The firebush should bloom later in the summer. Mine have a few blooms on them now, but will really start blossoming in late May or so. We are in the same plant zone, so yours should be similar. I have some in the sun and some in the shade. They do bloom in partial shade and they are excellent hummer plants.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 8:31AM
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katkin_gw

Gee, I have had them so long now I don't remember where I got them. The pink or some call lavender came from a nursery in Davie I think. I've gone to plant swaps and gardens fests all over the state, so it is hard for me to say. Both are blooming now. Don't forget I am in zone 10A, so my bloom time might be different then you. :o)

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 9:13AM
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Michael AKA Leekle2ManE - Zone 9a - Lady Lake

This is the 'Blue' Firespike that I have. Granted, it's not blue in color, probably closer to Katkin's Magenta, but that was the name they had on the pot at the sale. Also granted, it has been discussed to some degree that the knowledge of so-called Master Gardeners can be somewhat lacking, but I would think that if they are having a sale of plants that they propagated and grew, that they would make the effort to properly identify each plant. As stated earlier, at the sale they had "red", "purple" and "blue" varieties for sale, but only the reds were blooming at the time. Anyways, without further ado:

    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 8:52PM
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tom123_gw

Thanks for posting the picture. That looks very much like the ones that I have been calling "purple." Being male I'm really color challenged, but I think that it could also be called "magenta" and even "pink."

Could it be that the ones we are calling purple, magenta, and pink are really the same plant?

It sure isn't blue, though.

It's quite common that plants are mislabeled in my experience.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 1:25AM
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katkin_gw

Tom, no they are different colors, for sure. The purple is deep purple and the magenta has more red in it, while the pink is baby pink. I have all four and you can see the difference when they bloom. :o)

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 7:30AM
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Michael AKA Leekle2ManE - Zone 9a - Lady Lake

This has prompted me to start a test. Given how easy it is to propagate Firespike, I am going to get a few different pots going with different ph levels; two acidic, two neutral and two alkaline. It will be a year before they bloom again, if I can keep them from getting frosted, but it should be interesting to see if soil ph plays any part in their color, a la hydrangeas.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 1:42PM
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katkin_gw

That is an interesting idea, and I would like to see your results. How ever, mine are planted in my garden, 3 are in nearly in the same spot, red, purple and pink. The magenta came from a friend an hour north of me with a lot of sand and it is still magenta in my garden with much improved soil. They are at least 8 years old and haven't changed color in the least. :o)

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 2:48PM
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tomncath(St Pete Z10a Heat 10)

Hi folks,

I still pop in now and then ;-)

Working the pink salvia and red pentas last fall, first time I've had them too, work in progress now! I've never seen them on the purple firespike but I'll post a picture of the "purple" and "pink" for comparison since we're all interested in the firespike variations.

Tom

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 7:29PM
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tomncath(St Pete Z10a Heat 10)

Purple

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 7:35PM
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tomncath(St Pete Z10a Heat 10)

Pink

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 7:36PM
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katkin_gw

Tomcath, the one you are calling pink is the one I call magenta. The pink one I have is much more like a baby pink. My magenta is in a lot more shade so maybe the color is a bit darker then yours. The pink I have is more the color of you pink salvias. :o)

    Bookmark   April 19, 2014 at 6:18AM
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tomncath(St Pete Z10a Heat 10)

Hi Kathy, can you post a picture of your pink, I'd love to see it.

RF9 - I neglected to state that those are amazing pictures, can you tell me about your camera, I'm in the market for a new one....

Tom

    Bookmark   April 19, 2014 at 5:32PM
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katkin_gw

Hi Tom, I am sorry but I've never learned to use the camera, much less get pictures on the pc and then GW.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2014 at 6:00PM
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Delisa(z9a Central FL)

Your photos are amazing! I have also found the hummingbirds to love the coral porterweed. Thanks for the photos!

    Bookmark   April 20, 2014 at 7:42PM
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MariaTR(9b)

My first site of these heavenly birds was while visiting my mom in Cuba. On my return to the states I planted anything and everything for hummers. The first site was on the Pink Tabebuia Tree after that it was the Red Firespike, Hong Kong Tree, Red Salvias, and the Glory Bower.

Wanted to share some of my pictures.

Darren beautiful shots.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2014 at 9:11PM
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RetiredFlorida(9)

Tomcath, nice shots! Love that purple firespike! You're not the only one color challenged. I'm shooting a Nikon D7000 with an 80-400mm lens usually at 400mm to get me the closest to the hummers. It is not the sharpest lens but it has reach.

Once you see the hummers once, you're hooked. Can't wait to see and smell your garden Maria! Thank you Maria,Delisa, Tomcath.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2014 at 9:40PM
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tomncath(St Pete Z10a Heat 10)

It is not the sharpest lens but it has reach.

Surely you jest, amazing clarity! Which specific D7000 do you have, looks to be about five variations.

Tom

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 6:20PM
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afishlady(8b)

Amazing pictures! I have a new respect for hummingbird photos after trying to take pictures of the ones at my feeder this spring. Yours are beautiful.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 3:56PM
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wallisadi

#1 in our garden....flock to it........

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 4:53PM
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wallisadi

Did you shoot those pics, if so, love to learn. Hard time here catching them in flight or feeding....

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 4:59PM
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tomncath(St Pete Z10a Heat 10)

So, what is it M? Can it stand my summertime Zone-10/Heat-10 heat and humidity?

Tom

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 5:50PM
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gardenper(8)

Great pictures and stories.

The first time I saw some at my house, I wanted to show my mom, since I thought maybe she had not seen one before. She just said, "Oh those birds? I see plenty at home". Apparently even when I was younger and living with parents, I had never seen them at the house. Now I work on making them visit my house.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 5:53PM
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katkin_gw

Tom, I think it might be a justica.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 6:38PM
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MariaTR(9b)

That's a beautiful bloom.
Katkin is right that is a Justicia chrysostephana âÂÂOrange FlameâÂÂ.
Much loved by hummers!

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 10:25PM
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RetiredFlorida(9)

Tomcath, I'm not aware of "other" versions. Perhaps you are referring to lens packages with the camera? I bought mine in the winter of 2011 just before nuclear plant meltdown in Japan which halted their export for some time. I bought the body only as I have had Nikon lenses for some time.

Thank you afishlady & gardenper! Wallisadi, yes those are my images. A telephoto lens and a camera capable of 1/2500th of second expsore or faster along with a tripod make shots like this possible.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2014 at 8:47AM
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tomncath(St Pete Z10a Heat 10)

Thanks everyone, gotta have that camera and that justicia :-) :-(

Tom

    Bookmark   April 23, 2014 at 6:05PM
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wanna_run_faster

and I gotta have that Magenta / deep pink firespike, lol! Off to google for it now :)

    Bookmark   April 25, 2014 at 8:55PM
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AuntBarbie

How 'bout lantana? My red/orange one is like a magnet for them.....

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 4:37PM
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tomncath(St Pete Z10a Heat 10)

and I gotta have that Magenta / deep pink firespike, lol! Off to google for it now :)

You know we GW'ers will send it to you for free if you don't have a trade we're interested in, that's what we do ;-)

Tom

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 7:37PM
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petrushka

retiredfl,
your pics are spectacular! do you keep you camera on a tripod and wait for them to come?
do you do multiple shots seq? it is very hard to catch them in open wing position, they are so-o fast!
do you point at a certain area? and then watch?
i've tried, but found it impossible to catch them!

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 10:01PM
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gardengeek63

I would love some of those magenta firespikes as well! I never knew there was such a color. I have the lavender and red.

retiredfl, The pics are awesome - professional quality. Are you a 'retired' photographer? LOL ;-)

I purchased a new lens for my Canon camera this year, but it's only a 55-250mm. I got if off ebay. When I can afford to, I'd like to get one with a longer range, but this will do for now.

Have a great day!
Annette

    Bookmark   April 27, 2014 at 6:52AM
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RetiredFlorida(9)

petrushka, yes I sit in my entryway, tripod in front of me and sip my coffee. This morning first visit was 8am. I have a continuous fire mode that shoots I think 5 frames or 7 frames a second. So I can get that stop action shot. I have to wait for sufficient light tho, so no shots usually first thing in the morning. I do focus on a plant I want to capture them at, then wait. With them I usually don't have to wait more than an hour, LOL. Sometimes they visit 3 times in a hour, sometimes only once.

ifionlyhadabrain, nope not a retired photographer. Portrait photographer is my 2nd career. As you can see, I like to photograph anything I find interesting, unusual or beautiful. Many animals, especially birds and blooms. Sounds like you have the tools to get the shots as well. Good luck.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2014 at 11:21AM
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flowerladylorraine

Dear Retired ~ Your photos are amazing! So wonderful to see hummers caught in standstill motion.

Thank you for sharing. I have the normal firespike, but am about to get some other colors hopefully.

FlowerLady

    Bookmark   May 7, 2014 at 6:53PM
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ritaweeda

I got a Wendy's Wish salvia this year and the hummers love it, thought I'd drag this post back up and let everyone know.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 7:35AM
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starryrider(9)

Hummers love my blooming aloe

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 9:37AM
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