planting for the hummers

digginforu2(7)December 10, 2008

Hi, everyone. I need help selecting a shrub or flower for the hummers that will grow well in shade and very hard clay soil. Not used to this type of soil since coming from NJ. I really find dealing with the soil here difficult overall.Anybody have suggestions?

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Here in my yard they love the lobelia and weigelia wine and roses. They love the gardenia. I am in virginia also.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2008 at 12:29PM
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I have clay soil here in PA too. Impatiens seem to do well here in part shade. Mine only got about two hours of direct sun and thrived. Hummingbirds loved it. Mine were bright pink and red. I would definitely suggest red if you have to choose. To top it off they are cheap and never stop blooming.

If you don't want to amend the soil in entire sections of your garden, I would suggest mixing some compost into each plant hole you dig to aerate it more and to allow for better drainage. You can buy compost at first. Then consider making your own. It's great for your plants.


    Bookmark   December 12, 2008 at 3:13PM
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Create a bog: Dig a shallow basin - line it with pond liner or heavy duty plastic - backfill with the clay to within 1" of the surrounding grade - fill with water - press the roots of Lobelia cardinalis (Cardinal flower) seedlings into the mud. You can spiff up the edge with stones or ferns & mosses. Your clay most likely won't have many nutrients, so every 2-3 weeks, let the water level drop down to the mud, and refill with dilute Miracle-Gro (1/2 teaspoon per gallon). When the flower buds begin to form, switch to a 'bloom-booster' food.

Lobelia cardinalis. I have seeds if you want 'em.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2008 at 12:27PM
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Thanks to gardenjunkie4life, kr222 & ctnchpr! I appreciate the feedback from all of you.


    Bookmark   December 15, 2008 at 8:07PM
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Try tilling in peatmoss. It should change your clay into a loam. My hummers love my butterfly bush,passion vine, and mandevilla. All do well in the shade.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2008 at 2:08PM
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butterflymomok(7a NE OK)


I have been trying to find how to get in touch with you. Can you email me at butterflymombixby at yahoo dot com? I'd like to talk to you about trading some seeds.



    Bookmark   December 28, 2008 at 4:05PM
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For soli treatment, try composted sawdust and composted horse manure. These will make a world of difference in how friable your soil is in one season.

For plants, try Miss Huff lantana, pink and yellow angel trumpets, red bee balm and Turks Turban malvaviscus.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2009 at 12:38AM
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We have TN red clay too and I saw a hummer at the Rose of Sharon bush/tree. It is a lavendar color.

I have been amending my soil with grass clippings and shedded leaves and making raised beds using the lasagna gardening method. I put cardboard down & watered it, picked up some coffee grounds free from Starbucks and put them on the cardboard, added kitchen scraps, leaves, grass clippings, shredded paper and dryer lint and put more leaves on top. (the list of ingredients weren't in any particular order other than the cardboard on the bottom and leaves on top) :-) It turned into a nice garden soil area.

I planted agastache, salvia lady in red and some foxglove in it that are doing really well.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2009 at 11:04PM
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Mark Fellman

I'd love to get some lobelia seeds...

    Bookmark   February 1, 2009 at 11:58PM
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Mark, e-mail your mailing address to me and some will be on the way.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2009 at 10:42AM
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