What is your best hummingbird magnet?

may_flowersMay 8, 2013

We have a nectar feeder, but I'd like to plant something in a big pot on our deck to entertain our indoor kitty. Orange crocosmia and a dwarf 'Isis' hardy fuchsia seems to be their favorite in my garden. I am looking for specific cultivars you've had success with rather than a list of hummingbird plants. Thanks!

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Numerous flowers attract them here. I try to plant so I can see from inside the house as well as near outside seating.

Right now
Geranium phaem Samobar
Rhododendrons (all)
Lamium Aurea in a hanging basket near the window
Primrose Miller's Crimson

Later on
Monarda Jacob Cline & Raspberry Wine (plant them in more than 1 location & watch them go from clump to clump)
Hosta (all of them)
Crocosmia Lucifer

If you can keep the Monarda (bee balm) watered & protect from wind it might work in a 18" or larger pot. There are different cultivars of Monarda that are smaller & more pot suitable. It's our top H magnet. One trick to keep the blooms coming longer is to stagger your cutting back of it early on similar to what is done with daisies. It's not a reliable rebloomer for me, but in the garden I grow such a large swath of it there are blooms until frost. Plus the leaves make an excellent tea mixed with spearmint either cold or hot.

If you have a large enough pot you could put several blooming plants in there to keep blooms through the seasons. One trick I learned from Marianne Binetti's books is to sink a pot in a pot to hold the spot, so you can slip in a gallon pot of whatever is blooming or seasonally attractive. Swap out that one pot for others through the year. It's fast & easy to do. Either raise your own gallons of things for swapping out or purchase at the store when in bloom.

Earthworks in Covington has lots of fuchsia starts for only $.75 that will bloom for you this year! Once roots are coming through the bottom of the little pot you can transplant into a larger pot.

Sometimes they're out of upright fuchsias, so call ahead if that's what you want. They also sell apex fertilizer pellets you can mix into the soil for all blooms until frost, since fuchsias love to be fed!

18034 SE 248th, Covington, WA. 98042
Open March 1 to June 15th or so
Hours are 10:00 am to 6 pm 7 days a week

Here is a link that might be useful: Earthworks

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 12:48PM
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Grevillea victoriae subsp. nivalis 'Murray Valley Queen'

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 8:54PM
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If you have a shrub outside of a window that you are willing to let a vine climb through, Tropaeolum speciosum blooms almost all summer and the hummers Love it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Tropaeolum speciosum images

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 11:36AM
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It differs from season to season. Winter through to early summer, it's the Grevillea (thanks, Ian!!) and from summer through late fall it's Salvia 'Hot Lips'. And any fuchsia that happens to be around and in bloom - annual types or hardy :-))

Honestly, I found our local hummers to be pretty nondiscriminatory.......they visit anything blooming on my deck or tiny garden. And a good portion of those plants are hummingbird attractants!

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 1:39PM
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today I saw a hummer go to the Cestrum elegans I have in a pot and recently brought out of the greenhouse to the deck.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2013 at 2:20AM
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My Hot Lips salvia had its first bloom today. I moved it closer to the deck last fall, so we should enjoy some action from the dining room window this year. I also have a Red Rocks penstemon near the deck, but haven't noticed it being a favorite of the hummers. Great plant though.

Has anyone tried cuphea (cigar plant)?

    Bookmark   May 11, 2013 at 11:05PM
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In the ground, Twinberry and orange honeysuckle, when in bloom are top notch attractors, along with Lucifer Crocosmia and Jacob Cline Bee Balm. I have what is labeled as Dropmore Scarlet Honeysuckle in a 5 gallon pot, it is very popular, along with Chilean Glory Vine, also in a large pot. They have both overwintered in pots the past 4 years.

I have grown cuphea the past 6 years or so, Cuphea ignea does not overwinter for me but seems to get the most use. I grow it with the cuter Bat faced and Tiny Mice type cupheas in baskets.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2013 at 4:30PM
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they were going to the flowers on the rosemary in a pot on my deck today

    Bookmark   May 16, 2013 at 2:10AM
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Any red tubular shaped flower. They worked my red penstemons and cape fuchsias hourly when I grew them. The hummers like a lot of other flowers too.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2013 at 9:33AM
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My hot lips Salvia (mentioned by someone else also) is a huge magnet. I planted two more in different parts of my yard this year and have already been rewarded with more hummers.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2013 at 10:54AM
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The hummers are at my Hot LIps now almost constantly :-) And I have discovered they are rather attracted to honeybush, Melianthus major. MIne has numerous flowerheads present and I watch hummers fighting over the best positions!

I am waiting for the Lobelia tupa to start blooming later in the season. This was new last fall and I am anxious to see how it is appreciated.

Can you tell that much of my garden - at least the flowering portion - is planted primarily to attract hummingbirds ? LOL!

    Bookmark   June 1, 2013 at 1:58PM
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