working on a plan for my first H and B garden

cb-garden(6b heatzone 7 Perry county tn)June 6, 2013

OK there have been a ton of posts on here about this and im finding it a bit overwhelming. I have huge list of plants and have done a ton of research. Im in middle southern Tennessee. Please help pick your absolute fave. Must have plant bush or vine thanks in advance.

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My hummers in western Pennsylvania love rose of sharon, delphinium, tango hyssop, and hosta. Of course, they love the feeders too. I am trying new plants this year like sunflowers, morning glories, columbine, and a rhododendron. Good luck:)

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 7:10AM
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docmom_gw Zone 5 MI(5)

Most people agree that salvias, both annual and perennial, are top performers for hummers. Milkweed, Asclepias of many types, are good for both. They provide a wonderful nectar source for hammers and butterflies, and are also the host plant for Monarch butterflies. There are lots of perennial Asclepias species and a common annual called Asclepias curassavica. Read up on which varieties of Asclepias do well in your climate before you buy any. But, I don't think you'll be disappointed with any of them.


    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 8:06AM
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MUST HAVE: Tithonia rotundifolia, aka Mexican Sunflower
It attracts tons of hummers AND butterflies, and is especially helpfull to MONARCH butterflies, whose numbers are down 60% from last year, and at an ALL TIME LOW!

Here's the problem. I've never seen them offered (as plants) in area nurseries, Wal-Marts or big box hardware stores. I'm in PA, your area nurseries may carry the plants. 'Torch' can grow to 5-6 feet tall, 'Fiesta Del Sol' is a dwarf cultivar that gets 2-3 feet tall. (read the seed packet)

These things flower like crazy from June through September, and do not require dead heading. Every year at least 3-5 people stop and tell me how beautiful they are, and want to know where I got them.

I buy seeds from Wal-Mart and start them indoors mid march and plant them outside after night time temps are ABOVE 50 degrees. Kind of a pain in the patootie, but when I see the Monarchs and Hummers jockying for position on the bright red-orange flowers, it's all worth it!!! (See link at bottom!)

For starters, or to make it simple, plant or but a hanging basket or container of RED flowers, and put out a hummingbird feeder. I like the "Hummzinger" because its design eliminates ant/bee/wasp issues.

Here is a link that might be useful: Mexican Sunflower Cultivars

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 2:45PM
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gyr_falcon(Sunset 23 USDA 9)

Seriously cb garden, stop stressing about it. There is no single magic plant. Hummingbirds are not that picky! Look at the favorites list, figure out what will grow well under your garden conditions, choose several or more from that best list that you like, and plant them. The amount of available flowers that they like, and their length of season, is at least as important.

Individual hummingbirds develop their own favorites. Sometimes they get into a groove feeding on a certain-shaped flower, and it is more energy efficient to feed from the same type than to switch between different species.

I planted 5 Agastache and 3 Salvia Amistad together, both top entries on hummingbird lists. Yet they were in bloom for several weeks, with hummingbirds feeding on plants beside them, before I saw a bird visit them for the first time. Maybe they are overwhelmed by the choices in my garden?

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 3:50PM
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eclecticcottage(6b wny)

I agree RE not stressing about it. I had petunias in window boxes last year which a lot of folks say their hummers love, and saw them visit them maybe 2-3x. I moved some hosta last year and they didn't visit those scapes once that I saw, but were all over them the year before when we were tending the place before we bought it!

If I had to choose, based on what I know up to this time, this year...I'll go with my goldflame honeysuckle. this is year #1 with it and it's only 2-3' tall, but it's already been found. IF it flowers from spring-late summer like I hear, it will stay as my #1, EVEN if it does get powdery mildew (and remains controllable so it doesn't invade a nearby crab apple). Otherwise, Cardinal Flower (can't recall the latin name) or Butterfly Bush would top the list for hummers.

For butterflies AND hummers, my #1 would then be the butterfly bushes, which attact both pretty regularly in their bloom season.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2013 at 10:16AM
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