Best Plants for Attracting Ruby Throated Hummingbirds

Question: What are the best plants to grow for attracting ruby throated hummingbirds? I put up a bird feeder but was told that having the right plants is really important.

Answer: Yes, growing the right plants is critical for attracting these little jewels to your yard. These flowers provide not only the nectar the birds need but also habitat for all the little insects they like to eat. Best of all, flower nectar doesn’t require cleaning and refilling like bird feeders do!

Bee balm is a favorite flower of hummingbirds in my yard. Photo c Alice Raimondo

Bee balm is a favorite flower of hummingbirds in my yard. Photo © Alice Raimondo

Some of the best plants for landscaping for hummingbirds include the following (there are others plants that hummers can’t resist, but here are the plants they go nuts for in my yard):

  • Trumpet honeysuckle, Lonicera sempervirens
  • Cardinal flower, Lobelia cardinalis
  • Bee balm, Monarda didyma ‘Jacob Cline’
  • Anise-scented sage, Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’
  • Cuphea, Cuphea ‘David Verity’

On Wednesday, September 2, 2015, you can join me and my colleague Sandra Vultaggio for a presentation and tours about gardening for the ruby throated hummingbird. We’ll start at 3:30 p.m. with a PowerPoint presentation about this magical little bird, including how to attract them to your backyard and keep them coming back year after year. Then take a tour of two local backyard gardens to witness these natural jewels within garden habitats we designed just for them. The cost is $30. Click here to register for the hummingbird workshop and tour.

Alice Raimondo is Horticulture Consultant for CCE Suffolk. She can be reached at or 631-727-77850 x335.