Caring for Hummingbirds in the Winter Garden

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Caring for hummingbirds that visit your winter garden requires knowing how to feed them from your garden, since they may struggle with malnutrition at this time of year. Help your feathered friends with the tips in this free video on winter garden care.

Part of the Video Series: Winter Garden Care
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Marci Degman, The Aspiring Gardener, and today we're going to talk hummingbirds in the winter garden. Now, some peoples don't have hummingbirds and some people do. If you're in a milder climate, you may have some that migrate itself and some that stay. In my area, some people have Anna's hummingbirds that stay in their garden. The other kinds of hummingbirds that might stick around are those that are not well, that are sick and that need extra nourishment. So, if you're seeing hummingbirds for whatever reason, it's a good idea to try to feed them. Now, most of the time in the summer, we have our nectar feeders and then we have plants that we put out. You do the same thing in the winter with the nectar and if you have problem with it freezing, you can put it near a light bulb, change it off and do your best. Sugar usually slows down the freezing process; so, it depends just how cold your climate is. But, if you're seeing hummingbirds, they really need your help. That means you got to keep them fed. The other thing you can do is you can try to have plants in your garden that will help feed them during the winter. What I like to do is have things that are late fall blooming, winter blooming and really early spring blooming plants. In my area, strawberry trees, arbutus, things like that get berries and fruit late. So, those are very late fall. And then, into winter we have hellebore, we have viburnum, witch hazel, sarcococca and different shrubs that bloom and they'll go right to those, those types of things. They're not going to be picky if that's all that's there. So, anything that you can put in your garden that blooms in the winter will be good for hummingbirds. Put them close up so you can really see them when they're there. Then, I like to put things like columbine, bleeding heart and different plants that bloom really early in spring so I can care them through to that part. And then after that, we have all of our summer blooming and our nectar feeders and plenty of things for them to eat. So, if you're lucky enough to have hummingbirds in your garden in the winter, definitely feed them.

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