18 Annual Flowers That Attract Hummingbirds

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Every hummingbird garden benefits from a diverse collection of perennials, but what do you do when the blooms of spring and summer fade away? Including annual flowers in your garden will provide a natural food source for your hummingbirds for a longer period. While the nectar we supply in hummingbird feeders certainly helps, there’s nothing like the natural nectar of a flowery garden in bloom.

Start by choosing annual flowers that are native to your region. You can check with your local nursery for a list of plants that thrive locally. As a head start, here is a list of 18 annual flowers you can select from to help your local nursery get an idea of what you like.

Top 18 Annual Flowers That Attract Hummingbirds To Your Yard

Annual Cuphea

Cuphea is a plant that comes in many beautiful varieties, from the common trumpet shape to a bloom that looks like the face of a little mouse. These plants do well in containers and can be planted in pots, window boxes, or hanging baskets.

Calibrachoa

If you need a fast-growing plant that can fill out a barren-looking pot or climb up a lattice for a lovely accent, Calibrachoa is the way to go. Its 5 round petals give it a classic charm and it is a favorite of both hummingbirds and butterflies.

Cleome

Cleome, also known as Spider Flower, is an elegant annual that you won’t have to replant year after year. This flower does an excellent job of reseeding itself as long as birds don’t get to its seeds. Cleome is wispy, colorful, and is a great choice for attracting hummingbirds.

Cypress Vine

This plant is the perfect bold statement if you want to get a hummingbird’s attention. Its star-shaped red flowers stand out brightly from its green foliage like a bullseye that hummers can’t resist. Cypress Vines are also called Cardinal Climbers due to their habit of crawling up walls and trellises.

Cypress Hummingbird Vine Flower

Drummond Phlox

Drummond Phlox is another star-shaped flower that hummingbirds love, especially with its light fragrance. In hotter regions of the US, this plant fades earlier in the summer, but in colder climates, they can last much longer.

These flowers are a great choice for edging your flower beds or filling in around the outside of your larger potted plants.

Flowering Tobacco

Flowering Tobacco has a lovely fragrance that makes it a great plant to place near your doorway or beside a bench, wherever you like to spend time in your garden. It can grow as tall as 5 feet high and sports brightly colored flowers in green, pink, lavender, and multiple shades of red. If you enjoy fragrant flowers, you’re likely to enjoy being near them just as much as your hummingbirds do.

Four-o’clocks

This annual gets its name from its predictable habit of opening its flowers late in the afternoon, usually around four o’clock. It will stay open until the next morning and then close again during the hottest part of the day. These beautiful flowers are perfect for edging your flower beds or filling out your containers, but beware if you have pets or any animals roam freely in your neighborhood. This plant is poisonous to many animals that may try to eat it.

Fuchsia

Fuchsia thrives in partial shade, making it a good annual for the darker corners of your garden. With over 100 varieties, you’re likely to find one that is native to your local area and also suits your taste. Depending on which type you choose, this plant can act as a low filler for your flower beds or grow into a stately shrub.

Geraniums

Geraniums are versatile plants that can blanket your garden or provide a potted accent piece. Their lilac and pink flowers stand out brightly against their leaves, providing a beacon to local hummingbirds. Geraniums are relatively low-maintenance, which makes them excellent for beginner gardeners.

Impatiens

Impatiens forms a tight mound of blooms around any pot it’s planted in, making it an excellent choice for creating borders or filling a container without mixing in other plants. This flower thrives in the shade and attracts hummingbirds to the less sunny parts of your yard.

Indian Paintbrush

The spiky flowers of the Indian Paintbrush look a lot like, well, a real paintbrush. Its bristling petals look as if they’ve been dipped in bright red or orange paint, and it’s very easy to incorporate into your garden if it’s native to your area. This plant pops out in a way that demands attention and provides a stark contrast to any surrounding foliage.

Lantana

Beyond just attracting hummingbirds, Lantana also brings butterflies to your yard and attracts songbirds later in the growing season with the black berries it produces. This plant blooms an array of tiny flowers that can either trail in hanging baskets or form a mound, depending on the variety.

Mexican Sunflower

When you think of sunflowers, you probably think of dozens of yellow petals surrounding a dark center. Mexican Sunflowers, on the other hand, are often bright orange with an orange or yellow center that stands out brightly to attract hummingbirds. They also attract pollinators and songbirds of multiple varieties with their plentiful seeds.

Morning-glory

Morning-glory is a trailing or climbing plant that thrives best in direct sunlight. Its flowers will provide a food source for your hummingbirds well into the fall, as this plant blooms from June to October.

The Morning-glory got its name much the same way as Four-o’clocks, and it opens its blooms under the gentle morning sun. Ironically, it closes again in the afternoon just as Four-o’clocks begin to open. 

Nasturtium

Nasturtium does best in flower beds where it can spread out and cover the ground. Also known as Monks’ Cress, this plant blooms bright orange and yellow flowers that stand out starkly against its mass of green leaves. Its leaves are its most interesting feature for many gardeners, growing in broad flat discs that resemble lily pads. Nasturtium blooms from spring until late fall.

Petunia

Petunias are a classic choice in any garden and might be one of the most popular annuals among novice and seasoned gardeners alike. Their trumpet-shaped flowers are available in almost every color under the sun, along with many different striped and spotted patterns.

Salvia

Salvia produces tube-shaped flowers that bloom up and down its stalk. This provides a plentiful source of nectar for your hummingbirds. This plant comes in many varieties, some perennial and some annual. Depending on the variety, it can grow as tall as 2 feet high with pink, purple, blue, orange, red, or white petals.

Zinnia

Zinnia is a favorite of hummingbirds, as well as multiple varieties of birds and butterflies. It’s a great choice for beginners that is easy to grow and blooms quickly. Zinnia’s round, almost geometric bloom sits on top of its stem like a colorful pom-pom in shades of purple, pink, red, orange, and yellow.

Next Steps

Any of these 18 different annual flowers that hummingbirds love would make a great choice for attracting hummingbirds to your yard. Speak with your local nursery, find out which varieties are local to your area, and choose a combination that balances well with the other flowers in your garden. Remember to consider each flower’s blooming season so that you can create a rotation that reliably provides nectar to your local hummingbirds.

About author
Robert has been an avid birdwatcher pretty much his entire life. Living in the suburbs he does his best to bring wild birds into his backyard. He currently has 13+ bird feeders in his yard and also raises and races homing pigeons. Robert writes part-time for Wild Yards, mostly about the subject he cares most about - birds.

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