One of the most rewarding aspects of planting a garden is viewing the wildlife that it attracts. Hummingbirds, in particular, are a welcome sight as they flit from flower to flower. Due to their inquisitive nature, hummingbirds will investigate any flowering plant as a potential food source, even those grown in pots. Many of the plant varieties most attractive to hummingbirds can thrive in pots, which allows for close-up viewing on a porch or patio.
Hummingbird fuchsia (Fuchsia magellanica) is a shade-loving plant that thrives in hanging pots or baskets. Despite having a reputation for being high maintenance, fuchsia is actually fairly easy to care for if given abundant water and high-nitrogen fertilizer once a month. Among the most attractive flowers to hummingbirds, it is also a highly ornamental plant with pendant, bi-color flowers in shades of pink, red and coral. When grown in a pot or hanging basket, fuchsia is a compact and attractive plant that will draw hordes of hummingbirds to any porch or patio.
Native to the eastern United States, scarlet beebalm (Monarda didyma) is a perennial herb grown for its scent and bright red tubular flowers that are attractive to hummingbirds, bees and butterflies. Numerous cultivars are available, some of which grow readily in pots. "Scorpio," a purple flowered variety, is especially well-suited to growing in pots due to its mildew resistance and less vigorous spreading habit. No matter the cultivar, scarlet beebalm attracts hummingbirds with its abundant nectar and the tubular shape of its flowers.
Nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus) is a common garden plant that is wildly attractive to hummingbirds during the peak of its bloom in midsummer. It is an herbaceous annual that comes in trailing and upright varieties with large, coin-shaped leaves and five-petalled flowers. The blooms come in a wide range of colors, from creamy white to vibrant reddish-orange. Both the mounding and trailing types work well in pots and hanging baskets, attracting hummingbirds to even the smallest container garden.
Mexican bush sage (Salvia leucantha) is a shrubby evergreen plant growing 2 to 4 feet in height. Best suited to larger pots, Mexican sage is grown for its downy, slender foliage and tall stalks of furry purple flowers. It is a late-blooming variety, attracting hummingbirds when other flowers have stopped blooming for the season. Like other species of salvia, Mexican sage produces abundant, high-quality nectar that will draw hummingbirds from July until September.
- "The Hummingbird Garden: Turning Your Garden, Window Box, or Backyard into a Beautiful Home for Hummingbirds"; Mathew Tekulsky; 1999
- "Desert Hummingbird Gardens: Creating Garden Habitat for Hummingbirds Throughout the Year"; Sylvia Yoder; 2000
- Photo Credit hummingbird hovering image by Clarence Alford from Fotolia.com
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