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Garden Plan to Attract Hummingirds

Ruby Throated Hummingbird This guide features regional native plants for the Great Lakes that are highly attractive to pollinators and are well-suited to small-scale plantings in gardens, on business and school campuses, in urban greenspaces and farm field borders. These plants are particularly attractive to ruby-throated hummingbirds.

There's no question that hummingbirds make use of plant nectar--or the sugar water from your feeders--as a source of quick energy. But while they're visiting those flowers, they may also be gobbling up tiny insects and spiders--both excellent sources of protein. In fact, some authorities think of hummingbirds as insectivorous birds that happen to also eat plant nectar. Here’s a list of nectar-producing plants that should attract them to your garden.

Bloom Common Name Scientific Name Color Height Light Soil Moisture
EARLY Beardtongue Penstemon grandiflorus Lavender 2 to 4 feet S D
Columbine Aquilegia canadensis Red, Yellow 1 to 3 feet L, S D, M
Downy Phlox Phlox pilosa Pink 1 to 2 feet L, s D, M, O
Fire Pink Silene virginica Red, Pink 1 to 2 feet L, S D, M
Lupine Lupinis perennis Blue 3 feet S D
Virginia Bluebells Mertensia virginica Blue 1 to 2 feet C, L, S M, O
MID Swamp Milkweed Asclepias incarnata Pink, Red 3 to 5 feet C, L, S O, W
Smooth Penstemon Penstemon digitalis White 2 to 3 feet C, L, S M, O
MID-LATE Butterflyweed Asclepias tuberosa Orange 2 to 3 feet C, L D, M
Common Milkweed Asclepias syriaca Pink, Lavender 2 to 4 feet C, L, S D, M
Lavender Hyssop Cirsium discolor Lavender 2 to 4 feet L, S D, M
New Jersey Tea Ceanothus americanus White 2 to 3 feet L, S D, M
Obedient Plant Physostegia virginiana Pink 1 foot C, L, S M, O
Prairie Blazing Star Liatris pycnostachya Pink, Purple 3 to 5 feet C, L, S M, O
Scarlet Beebalm Monarda didyma Red 3 to 5 feet C, L, S M, O
>LATE Bergamot Monarda fistulosa Lavender 2 to 3 feet C, L, S D, M, O
Cardinal Flower Lobelia cardinalis Red 2 to 5 feet L, S O, W
Fireweed Epilobium angustifolium Pink 2 to 6 feet L, S M, O, W
Great Blue Lobelia Lobelia siphilitica Blue 1 to 4 feet C, L, S M, O
Harebell Asclepias syriaca Pink, Lavender 2 to 4 feet S D, M
Purple Coneflower Echinacea purpurea Purple 3 to 4 feet D, L, S D, M
Rough Blazing Star Liatris aspera Pink, Purple 2 to 5 feet L, S D, M
Tall Bellflower Campanula americana Blue 2 to 5 feet C, L, S M, O

SOIL: L = Loam     C = Clay     S = Sandy     R = Rocky
MOISTURE: D = Dry     M = Medium     O = Moist     W = Wet