What's best at attracting your hummers?

digsdahlias(z8WA)July 21, 2007

Hi, we planted a hummingbird garden last year, so this year I'm watching to see which plants they like best -- the beebalm just started flowering and so far it's the winner -- they spend a lot of time there and the coral bells -- didn't have quite as much activity at the penstemons or cape fuschia -- but they still visit the feeder the most frequently! How about everyone else?

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lanternboy(Z8 WA)

Howdy,
I see you are somewhere out near my neck of the woods. My hummers seem to love just about anything that blooms. I have some pretty big cape fuschias, they love them. I've seen them on my butterfly bushes, even on my passion flower vine. I have a hummingbird vine out back on the fence and they like that. They do still come to my feeders. When it gets cold in the winter I have to go out and bring the glass feeders in and stick 'em in the micro wave for a few minutes to thaw them out. You have to be careful not to let it get too hot! The things we do for our feathery buddies.
Lanternboy

    Bookmark   July 21, 2007 at 2:11PM
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ellix(augusta ga)

I posted above without seeing this post (sorry). I have lots of salvias, black and blue, blues, corals and hot pinks that they go to all the time. What surprized me is they love hysop, I have an orange (?) one and they are in it quite a bit. They also go to the butterfly bushes and dosen't seem to matter which color. Last year they loved the cardinial flowers which are just begenning to bloom now. I like to sit out in the garden and watch them experiment with several types of flowers.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2007 at 12:45PM
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digsdahlias(z8WA)

Hi Lantern Boy - yes, looks like we're in same area, we live in Edmonds - I used to go out every morning in winters and defrost plastic feeders with boiling water in teakettle - my husband thought I was crazy!! And then a friend asked why I just don't have a few extra feeders, keep them filled and indoors overnight and substitute them in the morning for the frozen ones like she did. Hmmmmm. Not a bad idea, lol - I've been doing that ever since - still have to trudge through snow to the feeders, but yes, what we don't do for our hummers!

I've got a lavender hyssop that they really liked last year, but it's just now starting to flower. got a scarlet trumpet vine last year, but it was a small 1 gal. size -- this year it's finally growing up the trellis, so I'm hoping it'll flower. Forgot, also tried scarlet runner beans running up the pole to the feeders and they like those too. Kathy

    Bookmark   July 22, 2007 at 1:56PM
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bird_oasis

Our bleeding hearts were very popular with the hummers this year. They even preferred them over the humingbird feeders.

John Patrick.

Here is a link that might be useful: Bird Oasis.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2007 at 2:27PM
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ctnchpr

Hi Kathy,
This is completely OT, but I've been wanting some information for almost 40 years, and I hope you can provide it for me. I live in Western Tennessee, but in the late 60's, I was stationed at a US Army Air Defense Missile site just across the Sound from you in Kingston. In those days, Kingston was nothing more than a ferry landing with a Post Office, a barber shop, and 2 bars, all essential to an Army outpost. My barracks was at the radar site, which you got to by turning right just after you got off the ferry, and going up a very steep and winding road. We had a fantastic view of the Olympic Range from our site. The nuclear-tipped missiles were at another site about 3 miles away. I've often wondered about the fate of that place. Any info you can provide will be greatly appreciated!!
Dennis

    Bookmark   July 22, 2007 at 3:29PM
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digsdahlias(z8WA)

Hi Dennis, sounds intriguing -just checked with my husband as he's lived here much longer than I have, and he wasn't aware of anything like you describe there. So, now next time we're over in Kingston we'll check it out. But you wouldn't recognize Kingston now - it has a small downtown area near the ferry, little retail shops, and then past that you have a couple larger chain stores - grocery and true value type -- but the residential development is what's most accelerated, as everywhere in the Puget Sound environs. And the ferry traffic, especially in the summer is terrible, huge line ups. But it's still a beautiful area and I love living here! Kathy

    Bookmark   July 23, 2007 at 1:20PM
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hummersteve

Yeah , Im here in the good ole midwest and I dont have some of the plants mentioned above but they do go after my black and blues, lady in red, greggi mangenta and primrose. Since the younguns have arrived they also hit salvia bonfire, the adults wouldnt even touch those. I have one lady in red that is so big I had to stake and tie it even though it was half supported by the b & b. I see between 6-10 hummers almost anytime of the day and Im loving it. Last year I didnt have this kind of activity till mid-august when the passer thrus were helping out. But still the feeder are number 1. But I did happen to find about 7 or 8 black and blues and I wouldnt be with out those. I am growing some cuphea david verity that a lot of people swear by, but havent been used much here.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2007 at 8:56PM
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gardengirlz2(7)

I have a ice patch of bee balm and saw my first hummer on it. stil awaiting it's return.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2007 at 9:52PM
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ctnchpr

Hi Kathy,
Thanks so much for your help. I'll keep an eye on this thread for any additional info.

One plant that's never mentioned as a hummer magnet is Cleome spinosa. I love these beautiful plants and so do my hummers! They bloom from early June 'til frost, and grow and reseed like weeds. Before I started feeding HB's, I would sit in a large bed of these in the afternoon (with mouth agape), and watch the hummers work them over. I don't know how they would do in the PNW, but they love our hot, humid summers.

Thanks again for your help.
Dennis

    Bookmark   July 24, 2007 at 11:12AM
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