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Hanging flower baskets can make a charming addition to any garden, and if you choose your plants thoughtfully you can also use them to attract hummingbirds.
The best hanging plants to attract hummingbirds have nectar-rich, tubular flowers that stand out from the foliage or hang down for easy access. Flowers that are brightly colored and bloom in clusters will be more enticing to your hummers.
Here are a few tips to help you set up your hanging baskets in a way that hummingbirds will love.
How To Choose Hanging Flowers That Attract Hummingbirds
Most potted flowers can also thrive in a hanging basket, but there are several things to consider when deciding which of these plants will work best to attract hummingbirds.
Hummingbirds love flowers that produce a lot of nectar and have a tubular shape to catch and store it. They have long, narrow beaks that allow them to access these openings easily.
Hummingbirds usually feed while hovering in mid-air, so plants with flowers that stick out from the rest of the foliage or hang down over the edge of the basket are perfect for them.
Hummingbirds rely heavily on their sight to find food, and they are attracted to flowers with bold, bright petals. They are well-known for their love of the color red, but they are also attracted to orange, pink, purple, blue, and yellow. As long as your flowers are brightly colored, you’re good to go.
The more blooms you have clustered close together, the more likely your basket is to attract hummingbirds. This can be achieved by selecting plants that naturally provide multiple small blooms in clusters rather than one large flower.
You can also arrange multiple flowers together in one container by placing taller flowers in the middle and encircling them with smaller plants.
Another factor to consider in whether your hanging plants will attract hummingbirds is their bloom time. If your flowers are only in bloom for a short period, you’ll only attract hummers during those times.
You can select plants that have a longer flowering season or match flowers together that have alternating bloom times. This way your local hummingbirds will have a buffet waiting for them no matter when they decide to visit.
How To Choose A Container For Hummingbird Flowers
Hummingbirds don’t have a preference when it comes to the shape or materials you use for your hanging planters. Your primary concern when selecting a container is going to be the size.
Because you want to cluster your plants close together, hanging baskets for hummingbirds should be at least 12 inches wide. It’s important to remember that no matter how lightweight your container is, it’s going to become very heavy once it’s loaded with plants and soil. If you are hanging your planters using hooks, make sure they are heavy-duty and anchor them to a strong support.
How To Set Up Your Hanging Planters
Here is a step-by-step guide to setting up your hanging planters safely.
- Choose a container that is at least 12 inches across at it’s widest spot. Using a larger basket will allow you to add more plants, but be mindful of the fact that a container this large can weigh up to 50 lbs. once fully loaded. Wire baskets with a moss lining make for a decorative piece, but plastic baskets will retain water better during the hottest days of summer.
- Choose where you will hang your basket. Most of the flowers that attract hummingbirds do best in a place that gets sun in the morning and shade in the afternoon.
- Securely install a heavy-duty hook and chain. Make sure your basket hangs low enough for you to reach it so you can water and care for the plants.
- Select a few different potted flowers that will attract hummingbirds, and arrange them in your hanging basket.
How to Plant Your Hanging Flowers
Now that your hanging baskets are ready to go, it’s time to get your flowers planted. You’ll want to choose a potting mix that is lightweight and will keep the roots aerated. Depending on which flowers you have selected and how big the individual plants are, you should be able to fit 5-7 plants inside a 12 inch container.
Fill your planter about 2/3 of the way full with soil, and begin by planting the largest flowers in the center of the arrangement. Place your smaller plants in a circle around the outer edge of your planter.
Be careful to place each plant at the same depth it was in its original container. This may require adding or removing soil in certain sections of the planter to accommodate each individual plant. Finally, add a final layer of topsoil and then water the soil.
The Best Locations for Hanging Hummingbird Flowers
Read up on how much direct sunlight the specific flowers you have chosen may need, and choose where to hang your planters accordingly. Most of the flowers that hummingbirds love will thrive with direct sunlight in the morning and shade in the afternoon.
You’ll want to be able to watch and enjoy the hummingbirds you attract, so try to place your hanging baskets in areas where you’ll have a direct line of sight. Placing them near a window is an obvious choice, but you can also consider other areas where you spend your time when you are outside.
Wherever you decide to place your hanging plants to attract hummingbirds, make sure you also put a comfortable spot nearby so you can relax and enjoy your hummers when they arrive.