We’re here to help! Wild Yards is a completely free website that is 100% dedicated to helping you create a wildlife-friendly, sustainable yard. Read more
Snapdragons are popular plants just about everywhere – and they can do wonders for your garden. They can bloom multiple times during the warmer seasons and grow impressively tall, making them statement pieces in any garden. They also appear to be very beneficial for some wildlife that may visit your yard. But – do hummingbirds like snapdragons?
Hummingbirds love snapdragons – they’re among some of the first flowers they’ll choose in a garden full of blooms. This shade-loving plant may also appeal to other pollinators in your area.
Why do hummingbirds love snapdragons so much?
Snapdragons boast bright, beautiful colors of different shades, such as reds, yellows, oranges, whites, and pinks. In some cases, you may even find multicolor snapdragons growing in the wild. These colors are perfect for attracting the hummingbirds’ attention – the brighter, the better. The same applies to other potted plants hummingbirds love – but there’s a little more to the snapdragon than color alone.
Snapdragons stand impressively tall and will have cascading flowers blooming down their stems in full bloom. These make them easy for a hummingbird to navigate. Keen gardeners may even find they can grow snapdragons three to four feet tall under the right conditions!
Hummingbirds will prefer snapdragons thanks to their ease of access. These pollinators will never fly too close to the ground, nor will they especially hunt out very tall plants. Snapdragons grow tall enough to hit that ‘sweet spot’ – they are easy for birds to find, and not too tall for you to miss seeing pollinators.
Snapdragons are also known as cool-season bloomers. This means that they will be at their best at the beginning and the end of the hummingbird season in your garden.
Finally, each flower has a tubular sort of shape that, again, is ideal for the hummingbird and its probing beak and tongue, which it uses to suck out nectar. As these flowers are trickier for some other pollinators to get access to, they can often prove to be exclusive treats for hummingbirds.
When is the best time of year to grow snapdragons?
Snapdragons typically grow as perennials that do best in the cooler parts of the warmest months. While they can withstand a deep chill, it is best to wait for the last big frost of the year to pass before planting them.
Do not worry about it freezing over a little while in the ground, as they will normally withstand the temperature change. However, it is indeed best to plant them in early spring, when it is still cool and plenty of warmth is coming to help thaw out your blooms.
Snapdragons don’t tend to bloom for very long, so it is worth planting them in the optimum window of late winter to early spring. Perennial snapdragons will usually grow hardily in USDA zones 7 through 11. However, you may also find that snapdragons can grow annually outside these zones.
Don’t be too alarmed if your snapdragons stop blooming a little at the height of summer when hummingbirds come around. Provided you give them enough balance in sun and shade, there is every chance they will flower again before the fall.
Will I attract other animals with snapdragons?
Snapdragons attract all kinds of fantastic pollinators with their bright colors, nectar-filled flowers, and perfect stems. For example, these hummingbird flowers are likely to attract butterflies, bees, wasps, and other hovering bugs.
However, given just how appealing they are, snapdragons will also attract more destructive insects such as caterpillars, cutworms, and even cabbage loopers. Sadly, these creatures are prone to eating through the leaves and the stems. You will notice their presence largely by various holes in the plants.
It’s, therefore, a good idea to use a safe insect repellent or non-chemical pesticide to keep snapdragon munchers away. Otherwise, you may find that there are no flowers left for you to attract hummingbirds with!
Are snapdragons the best flowers for attracting hummingbirds?
Snapdragons are highly recommended for attracting hummingbirds to a sunny, partially shaded garden. However, hummingbirds will take in a feast of other flowers and plants, too, so it’s a good idea to provide a variety for pollinators to enjoy.
Snapdragons tend to offer the color and nectar that hummingbirds famously look for from flowers. However, consider growing other hummingbird-friendly annuals, too. You can grow plants in raised beds and pots that will readily attract these pollinators.
With regard to specific plants, consider growing butterfly bushes, dipladenia, and vines such as the mandevilla or the clematis to keep hummingbird interest strong. If you have more shade than sunshine in your yard, don’t worry – as there are a handful of shaded plants hummingbirds enjoy, too, such as the fuchsia, the foxglove, and the columbine.