How to Turn Your Yard Into a Hummingbird Haven
Who doesn’t love watching the activities of hummingbirds as they zip about from flower to flower? As pollinators, their importance goes well beyond entertainment purposes. Here’s how to plant a container garden hummingbirds (and other pollinators) will love!
The goal here is to design a colorful display that creates beauty and fascination throughout the season. But it’s also a viewing station, so consider putting together your hummingbird haven near a deck, patio, porch or window, where you can sit and watch the traffic while you relax. It’s better than television!
To begin, you’re going to need a combination of hanging baskets and large basket-type planters, as well as a strong shepherd’s hook to hold the baskets. You’re also going to need a hummingbird feeder with red accents (store bought or homemade is fine) that signals nectar sources and entices the little birds.
From here, choose a combination of pollen-rich annuals and perennials to fill the hanging baskets and planters. Consider transplanting the perennials into your garden at the end of summer. The best plants to attract hummingbirds are tubular flowers, like lantana, salvia and pentas. These are all nectar-promising and very appealing the them. Keep in mind that hummingbirds are naturally attracted to colors in the red to yellow range, but it’s the nectar itself that is the biggest draw.
Bees, on the other hand, are drawn to purple and blue — flowers like agastache and lavender — and much like butterflies are attracted to pollen-heavy blossoms like bidens, cosmos and zinnias. Feel free to incorporate some of these into your display to create a haven for all pollinators, as opposed to just hummingbirds.
Once you’ve decided on the types of plants and location, simply plant your chosen hanging baskets and planters, and put your garden together. Be as creative as you like and make it an attraction. Let the fun begin!
TIP: Since plantings in hanging baskets are known to dry out quickly, consider using moisture-holding liners and potting mix so that they last longer between waterings. In particular, there is an outer liner called Supamoss that resembles natural green moss, and an inner liner called Magnimoist that is made from a natural fiber known to reduce water and fertilizer loss.