Pacific Northwest winter plants for hummers

marene(Seattle)November 26, 2005

Any suggestions for plants in large pots on my deck overlooking Portage Bay, which will attract hummers? I have a feeder, and my summer/fall plants are fading fast!

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WetBug(PNW Z8)


I don't know of any plants that survive the cold down here in Vancouver, let alone up your way. I increase the feeder from 4:1 to 3:1 in winter to give the hummers extra juice. They seem to like it and visit daily. I did lose them the year of the ice storm, but I've had them stay in previous winters even thru the snowy days with that mixture.
Best I can share.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2005 at 8:42PM
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penny1947(z6 WNY)

Here is a link to a Native Nursery in Oregon. They have excellent info on setting up a hummer garden and list of native perennials, vines, shrubs and trees to attract and provide nectar for hummers. The whole website is chock full of useful info for your area of the country and well worth saving for future reference.

here is a link to nectar plants for the PNW. You will have to do some homework by checking out the plant's bloom times, etc. but you may find plants you can use that you had not thought about.


    Bookmark   December 3, 2005 at 6:24AM
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penny1947(z6 WNY)

Sorry I meant to make these clickable links.

Native Hummingbird Favorites for the PNW: Bosky Dell Natives for the PNW

PNW Hummingbird Plant List


    Bookmark   December 4, 2005 at 6:36AM
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OneTwoRedBlueFish(z8 WA)

Hi Marene : )

I watch Gardening with Ciscoe on NWCN from time to time and he had a neat winter bloomer that hummingbirds love - Mahonia media charity. Here's a link that talks about the plant:

It meets your large pot criteria and would be interesting even outside of winter : )

We still have a few flowers on our fuchshia baskets - they are fading fast though. A couple days ago the hummer that lives next door was visiting one of our half-dozen hanging baskets at just after 7AM and it was mighty cold and foggy outside - I had no idea he would be up and about that early. Anyway, he loves using the feeder but still checks the flowers daily - I bet he will be real excited when I get the Mahonia. This is our first year we have kept a feeder out past summer and given the many daily visits we still get I am going to get one of those Mahonia's for him too. There are many varieties of Mahonia so I would suggest ya look for that variety first for best results but there are other winter blooming Mahonias I think, as well - don't know if the other varieties work as well though.

Anyway, happy hummingbird'ing to you and happy holidays too : )


Here is a link that might be useful: Mahonia media charity for winter hummers

    Bookmark   December 12, 2005 at 4:17AM
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OneTwoRedBlueFish(z8 WA)

Hi again Marene : )

Here is another link that talks about using Sarcococca and Witchhazels below.

Here is some more great info from Ciscoe for Puget Sound gardeners and others in the Pacific Northwest:
"Add lively winter interest to your garden. Anna's hummingbirds tend to stay here during winter. To attract them, plant shrubs and perennials that bloom with nectar-rich flowers in winter. Fuchsias and Abutilons (flowering maples) are alluring food sources that often continue to bloom until Christmas. Another seductive perennial is Schizostylis coccinea (crimson flag). This 2-foot-tall South African native is totally hardy here and in a mild winter the red or pink flowers may bloom all winter long. Hybrid Mahonia 'Charity' and 'Winter Sun' bloom in the dead of winter and hummingbirds are crazy about the fragrant, yellow spikelike clusters. A surprising food source is witch hazel. Hummingbirds love the spidery flowers and rely on them for nourishment in midwinter. In late winter, they find sustenance in the fragrant flowers of Sarcococca and Darwin barberry. If you want to hear your hummingbirds shout "oh, la, la!," plant the Australian shrub Grevillea 'Canberra Gem' (there's a limited supply available at Jungle Fever Nursery in Tacoma). The dazzling red flower clusters last all winter and drive hummingbirds (and gardeners as well) into frenzies of lust!" - Ciscoe

Again, take care, Mike : )

Here is a link that might be useful: Winter hummers in the Puget Sound region

    Bookmark   December 12, 2005 at 4:46AM
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Thank you everyone! Now that my annual holiday party is over, I can begin the hunt for the plants you mentioned. I have feeders up with extra sugar, and waiting for my witch hazel, etc. to bloom. I think Wells Medina Nursery has the Mahonia media, and I am all over it! Maren

    Bookmark   December 12, 2005 at 11:07AM
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OneTwoRedBlueFish(z8 WA)

I just visited Jungle Fever nursery in Tacoma a couple days before Christmas and they have a VERY good selection of winter hummer plants. Make sure to ask the person who runs the place and he will point them all out to you. Happy holidays, Mike : )

    Bookmark   December 25, 2005 at 6:03PM
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