15 Tips To Attract Hummingbirds

No flower garden would be complete without hummingbirds. I have 15 tips to attract Hummingbirds to your yard and flower gardens.

If you were like me, I could watch these little birds for hours. In fact, I put a bench in the flower garden for that very reason. My husband and I will sit and watch as they sip nectar from the feeder or flowers.

Today, I wanted to share fifteen tips to attract Hummingbirds. Believe me when I say, it will bring to your garden a sense of peace and tranquility. There is something magical about watching these birds and hearing the fluttering sounds of their wings.

Hummingbird at White Lilac Farmhouse Last Spring

I grew up on an 88-acre flower farm. We had an abundance of flowers of all kinds raised for my grandparents’ florist as well as local florists. There was always an abundance of butterflies of all kinds, bees, and birds. We had no shortages of Hummingbirds. Sometimes, they would get into the greenhouses and my mother or father would rescue them.

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15 tips to attract hummingbirds

1. Add Plants to Your Garden that attracts hummingbirds

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Common Columbine

Some of the best plants that attracts Hummingbirds are:

  • Bee Balm
  • Bleeding Hearts
  • Butterfly Bush
  • Cardinal Flower
  • Columbine
  • Coral Bells
  • Daylilies
  • Fuchsia (annuals)
  • Geraniums (red or hot pink – annuals)
  • Hibiscus (annuals in some areas)
  • Hosta – Hummingbird love the tubular purple blooms.
  • Impatiens (annuals)
  • Larkspur
  • Lilacs
  • Lupine
  • Petunias (annuals)
  • Rhododendron
  • Salvia
  • Sage
  • Trumpet Vine
  • Weigela
  • Zinnias (annuals)
Perennial Salvia in Purple
This was the beginning of my Hummingbird garden. It was filled with lots of favorites, from Bee Balm, Lupines, Zinnias (annuals), Petunias (annuals), etc. I have a combination of perennials and annuals mixed into my garden.

Add plants and flowers to the garden or around the house that blooms continuously. It ensures that there is an adequate food source in the spring, summer and into the early fall.

2. ADD A WATER SOURCE

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Fountains can be especially attractive to Hummingbirds if there are spots that are shallow where the water runs over ledges, lips, and rims. It is a great place for Hummingbird to perch to wash. The stone type of fountains that have bubblers are great options to add to your garden. My fountain in the photo above has a bubbler on top also.

Most bird baths are too deep for Hummingbirds. However, if you have a birdbath that has a mister or bubbler it would work.

If found that adding a mister sprinkle to the yard, the Hummingbirds love to fly through it. It not only helps the flowers and water our grass, but the little birds also love it as well.

My water fountain above has two water sources. None of my photos had the top feature that bubbles. I have seen the Hummingbird go to both sources the top and the bottom dripper.

3. ADD FEEDERS

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Personally, I prefer glass Hummingbird feeders in red, orange, pink or turquoise colors. The glass cleans up much easier than the plastic feeders. The ones that I use are listed below under Feeders and Homes for Hummingbirds. They have little perches for the Hummers to rest while feeding.

Unfortunately, the pink feeder shown in the photo was found at a local nursery.

4. Keep Your Feeders Cleaned & Filled

It is very important to keep your feeders clean from mold building up and filled with fresh nectar. Nectar will spoil so it is important to empty, clean and refill. If your feeders are in full sunlight, you will need to clean and refill every three days. If the feeders are in full shade, you should clean and refill every 5 days.

To clean your feeders, empty them and put them in the sink of hot soapy water. You need to rinse with water thoroughly before refilling. Cleaning them will prevent any harmful mold growth inside the feeder.

5. Do Not Use Red Dyes or Food Coloring

Red dyes and food coloring are very harmful to Hummingbirds. Do not purchase the store-bought nectar that contains dye. It is easy to make homemade nectar. See the recipe in tip number 6.

6. Feed them quality nectar

It is easy and cost efficient to make your own homemade nectar. You know the quality of making it homemade.

I follow the recommendation from the Smithsonian’s National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute. Two ingredients: refined white sugar and water. To make safe nectar: mix one part of sugar with four parts waters. I use 1 cup of sugar to 4 cups of water. Do NOT add red or any color food dyes to it. Stir the water and sugar mixture until it has completely dissolved. Tap water is fine and you do not need to boil the water.

Fill your Hummingbird feeder with sugar water and place outside. The extra nectar can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week. Then you will need to make a new batch.

7. The Ideal Spot

Find a good spot in the yard to place your feeders. You can hang them from the porch, shepherd hook in the garden/yard or from a tree in the yard.

8. Safe Spot

When you are thinking about where to put your feeders, it is important to keep them out of the reach of cats or another predator. You do not want your feeder hung low. Keep them also far enough away from windows and doors. You don’t want the little birds flying into the glass or screen.

9. Attach Your Feeder to an ant moat

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Ants love nectar too. Although I did not have this problem last year, I have in past years. Then I discovered ant moats. You attach it to the hook and then simply fill the moat with water. you can see it in the photo above. The ants go in, but they can’t get out and they cannot get into your feeders. Your feeder will hang from the Ant Moat.

This Hummingbird Feeder for Outdoors is 30 oz and Hand-Blown Glass Hummingbird Feeder that comes with an ant moat. It is at a great price point. I have two of them in my yard. You can find them here.

10. Use Bee Resistant Feeders

Most feeders these days are designed for bee resistance. The bee resists the feeding flowers and it will allow your Hummingbirds a great feeding experience.

11. Create Distance between the feeders

In the past, I would group of feeders together. Then I realized that one overly aggressive bully Hummingbird could keep the rest from feeding. So, I did a little research and found that it is best to have several feeders spaced out at least 15-20 feet apart from the other feeder. It will provide more space for Hummingbirds to feed, especially if you have one bird that seems to be more aggressive and scares the others away. 

12. Place feeders at the beginning of the season

You will want to get your feeders out early. Before you think the Hummingbirds will show up. Sometimes, they will show up earlier than expected. It is best to be prepared. You don’t want them to find favor in your neighbor’s yard.

A rule of thumb that I have been using is I hang up my Hummingbird feeders when the Cherry Trees in our area begin to bloom. Not sure when to put your feeders out. I got you!

list by state for putting out hummingbird feeders

Here is a list by state of when to put out the feeders. At least, it will give you a general idea for the state that you live in.

For Maryland it is saying late April but the Cherry Trees are starting to bloom. Therefore, I am getting my feeders ready now.

STATEWHEN TO PUT HUMMINGBIRD
FEEDER OUT
STATEWHEN TO PUT HUMMINGBIRD FEEDER OUT
AlabamaLate April/Early MayMontanaLate April/Mid-May
AlaskaLate April/Early MayNebraskaMid-May
ArizonaEarly-Mid April or Year-RoundNevadaEarly April or Year-Round
ArkansasLate March/Early AprilNew HampshireEarly May
CaliforniaMid March/Early April or Year-RoundNew JerseyLate April/Early May
ColoradoMid-AprilNew MexicoLate March/Early April
ConnecticutLate April/Early MayNew YorkLate April/Early May
DelawareLate March/Early AprilNorth CarolinaLate March/Early April or Year-Round
FloridaEarly-Mid MarchNorth DakotaMid-May
GeorgiaLate February/Early MarchOhioMid-Late April
HawaiiNo Hummingbirds/Banned By State LawOklahomaMid-April
IdahoEarly-Mid AprilOregonLate February/Early March
IllinoisLate April/Early MayPennsylvaniaEarly-Mid April
IndianaLate April/Early MayRhode IslandLate April/Early May
IowaLate April/Early MaySouth CarolinaMid-March or Year-Round
KansasMid-Late AprilSouth Dakotarare/Mid-May
KentuckyEarly-Mid AprilTennesseeEarly-Mid April
LouisianaMid-March/Early AprilTexasMid-March/Early April
MaineEarly MayUtahLate April/Early May
MarylandLate April/Early MayVermontEarly May
MassachusettsLate April/Early MayVirginiaMid-April
MichiganMid-April/Early MayWashingtonLate February/Early March
MinnesotaEarly MayWest VirginiaMid-April
MississippiMid-March/Early AprilWisconsinLate April/Early May
MissouriEarly Mid-AprilWyomingMid-May
When to place your Hummingbird Feeders Out – Table By State

13. Hang Baskets of tubular flowers or Bright Color Flowers

Baskets of Fuchsia, Geraniums (red or pinks) or Petunias (purples and pinks) are Hummingbird favorites. Not only do they look gorgeous hanging from your porch. The beautiful colors will draw the sweet little hummers to feed.

15 Tips To Attract Hummingbirds

14. ADD THE COLOR RED, Purple, Orange, and Hot pink

Hummingbirds are drawn to bright vivid colors of red, purple, orange, and hot pink. Even turquoise will have them eating from your feeder. You should incorporate these colors into your flower beds and hanging baskets. Bright colored yard flags could catch these little hummer attentions too. Just make sure you have lots of flowers that they love nearby or a shepherd hook with a feeder.

Large tubular plants such as Hibiscus, Daylilies or Lupines are particularly attractive to hummingbirds. Tubular flowers hold the most nectar.

15. Create a Custom Perch for Your Hummingbirds

You can make an easy little perch/swing for Hummingbirds with basic materials found around the house. I made mine from a yard twig and some floral wire. It gives the little hummers a place to rest.

You can use a dowel and copper wiring to make it fancier. You can drill holes into the twig or dowel to add bright color beads or crystals to help attract the Hummingbirds. If you don’t want to make one, I have some cute options listed below.

For your Hummingbirds

Feeders and homes for the little hummers

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Perches/swing for the little hummers

Fountains

I hope you found these 15 tips to attract hummingbirds useful. These tips have worked for me over the years and experienced years of enjoyment watching Hummingbirds in the gardens.

Thank you for stopping by the blog today. If you have any questions about attracting hummingbirds or have a tip that works for you, please share it below.

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Have a blessed day,

Tammy WLF Signature Logo

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36 Comments

  1. Thanks for all the tips Tammy! Thankfully, I have most of the flowers you listed. But yikes, looks like for Delaware I am a little late getting my feeder out!! I’ll go do it now!! Pinning this post for sure!

    1. Thanks, Cindy. I appreciate you reading the post. I need to add Coral Bells, Hostas and Bleeding Hearts to my garden. A friend has Hostas for me from her yard. The best kind of plants are free ones.

  2. Appreciate these ideas … and forwarding to my husband who is obsessed with attracting these cute little birds to our garden. Love the sound of them buzzing by! xo

    1. Thank you so much, Juliet for reading the post. Last year, my neighbor had more of them than me. I know it was because my feeders were up later than hers so they got use to her feeders.

  3. I just saw our first hummingbird of the season last week. We have them every year & it’s always such a treat to see them. They love our Jasmine this time of year. They are also attracted to our Petunias & our Impatiens and even our Lantana.

    I stopped hanging the feeders years ago when I saw they were gravitating to our flowers. We had some pretty aggressive Raccoons that were terrorizing all of our birds feeders. Same with the squirrels. We tried every bird feeder we could find & no luck running off the little rascals (remember we live in a swamp = Florida).

    I do love your glass hummingbird feeders & your nectar recipe. I’ve considered buying the little houses & the perches before. Seeing your selection has be inspired. Thanks Tammy!
    ~Scarlett

    1. Scarlett, sounds like you have a beautiful yard. With all of the flowers they are bound to come back to your yard every year. I do believe in natural plants are the best overall. It’s why I started a cottage garden here filled with all kinds of flowers and shrubs for butterflies, bees and Hummingbirds. Definitely hang some of the little houses for them to have babies. I would love to see what a baby Hummer looks like! Thank you for stopping over and reading this post.

  4. The hummingbirds in my garden love to bathe on the water. One of them scares the other birds out. He thinks he is in charge of the water feature. LOL!

  5. I love hummingbirds! They have been so busy and happy at my feeder. I think this year I may add a second…there are always a few that scare others away! Mercy! I had no clue you grew up on a flower farm! How glorious! I would have been in heaven!!

  6. Thanks for the tips. We always have a few around and I wanted to see how to attract more and make the one I have feel at home. I appreciate your insight!

  7. Such a good, well written post that is very informative! I love hummers and I really feel bad, people do love these little birds but don’t do their research and put those horrible hummingbird feeders full of red grossness that can make them so sick! Thank you for educating the public!

  8. Such a great post! We have an abundance of hummingbirds here in MO right now! We just love them! Looks like my feeders are too close together! We do have some bossy ones that like to control the feeders!

  9. Great post! I have ordered be glass feeders and I can’t wait to get started. I’m making a list of the new plants I’ll need. So exciting. 😘

    1. Do, I love these glass feeders. Not only are they beautiful, the Hummingbirds love them. I bought the blue, red and yellow glass colored ones last year. They really are pretty.

  10. These are such fantastic tips, Tammy! We so enjoy our hummingbirds in the summer! You’re hummingbird garden is just beautiful, and I will definitely refer to this very thoughtful and thorough post this spring! Thank you for the great information!

    1. Kim, thank you so much and glad you enjoyed the post. Hummingbirds are so majestic. Last year, I had one curious about me and flew up to my face looking at me for a few seconds. It was magical!

  11. I love it when those hummingbirds come calling. I have honeysuckle, well two in my yard and they seem to enjoy that most of all. Thanks for all the info.

    Thanks for sharing at the FWF link party
    Rachelle

  12. What a great blog! I love hummingbirds and want to attract them this summer so this was wonderful to read. I definitely need the ant moat!

  13. This is so helpful! Hummingbirds are one of my favorite birds. They really like our lavender plants. Your list of plants that attract them is great. I’ll refer back when I add new plants to the garden.

  14. This was such a great post on attracting hummingbirds, Tammy! I can’t believe you have them on video and in pictures too – that is so cool. They really do make the garden a magical place and yours is definitely a sight to behold. Every plant and flower is just beautiful! Hugs, CoCo

    1. CoCo, last year whiling sitting on my front porch rocker, a hummingbird hovered in front of my face. I kept very still and watched him in amazement. It was one of God’s blessings that day. This precious little bird was just as curious about me as I was with him. They really captivate me! Thank you for your sweet comments. xoxo

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