Do Hummingbirds Like Pansies?

do-hummingbirds-like-pansies

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Pansies are very popular flowers across the nation due to their unique shape, their varied colors and patterns, and their propensity for handling colder weather. They are better suited to cooler temperatures, often offering gardeners some of their last chances to see beautiful, vibrant flowers before the cold weather hits. However, they are not necessarily known for attracting too many pollinators. For example, do hummingbirds like pansies? 

Pansies aren’t known for attracting hummingbirds. Anecdotal evidence suggests this is likely due to a lack of nectar. While pansies may look nice, they don’t tend to provide much interest or practical use for pollinators.

Why don’t hummingbirds like pansies?

Pansies are unlikely to attract hummingbirds as they produce very little nectar. This is thought to be as a result of their breeding. Modern pansies are fairly infertile over years of selective planting and propagation by gardeners. This means they give off little pollen and nectar, the latter of which hummingbirds need in high doses!

Hummingbirds, unfortunately, can’t afford to visit every flower in your garden. Flowers such as pansies and even some hydrangeas are unlikely to hold their interest – they need almost constant food while awake. This is due to their incredible metabolisms, which they will only slow down when they enter states of torpor.

That doesn’t mean pansies are pointless. If you suffer from hay fever, they may be beneficial as gorgeous blooms without irritation. If you choose to grow pansies, remember that they are biennial plants in USDA zones 4 to 8, and are annual plants in zones 8 to 11. They don’t tend to live long once flowering, so cherish them!

Are pansies harmful to hummingbirds? 

Pansies won’t harm hummingbirds. While they will get no nectar from a pansy, they might still use the flower as perches or even as a resting spot throughout the day. It’s a myth that hummingbirds never stop – they still need spots where they can rest their wings before taking off again!

Pansies are generally harmless. Many gardeners simply plant and care for them because they look pretty – they don’t serve much of a practical purpose in a wild yard! Thankfully, there are plenty of annual and perennial plants that do.

What flowers are great for attracting hummingbirds? 

Hummingbirds like bright colored flowers with plenty of nectar. Their favorite blooms have tubular shapes their beaks and tongues can easily feed from.

If you want to keep growing pansies but still want to welcome hummingbirds to your yard, consider growing bee balms, butterfly bushes, cardinals, coral bells, honeysuckles, petunias, salvias, azaleas, trumpet vines, zinnias, or sunflowers. 

The great thing about these flowers is that they come in various sizes, shapes, and colors. If you are interested in attracting more hummingbirds into your garden, it is best to host as many different flower species as possible. The more versatile your garden, the better it will suit various pollinators. 

Hummingbirds and other pollinators seek out varied diets. Therefore, just as it wouldn’t be worthwhile growing a garden full of pansies, the same applies to sunflowers. Over time, hummingbirds will lose interest and look for a wider variety of plants elsewhere.

If you prefer to grow pansies alone and still wish to attract hummingbirds, consider setting up a feeder. Ideally, they should get raw, organic nectar from plants as a priority – but you can sustain them with a little sugar water at a dedicated station. Hummingbird feeders can also attract bees and butterflies thanks to sweet smells, but be warned, the hummingbird itself tends to bully other birds off its food.

If you’re really set on purely attracting pollinators, we’d advise avoiding pansies altogether – and focusing on growing colorful blooms hummingbirds are proven to love. Why not choose a few hummingbird-friendly shade plants or even flowers for hanging baskets?

About author
Graham Pierrepoint is an avid wild gardener, spending much of his spare time creating exciting spaces for local birds, bugs, and other beasties to explore! He writes regularly for Wild Yards to help share his years of flora and fauna expertise with other birdwatchers and horticulturists.

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