Little Known Ways to Attract Hummingbirds to your Garden

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Get to know a few of my favorite tips and tricks for how to attract hummingbirds to your garden this summer.

Get to know a few of my favorite tips and tricks for how to attract hummingbirds to your garden this summer.
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You may not know this about me, but I absolutely love hummingbirds. They’re beautiful and astonishing little creatures and totally remind me of my Grandma and her house. Every year for Mother’s Day, my mom would give her a hanging basket with a Fuchsia plant in it. My grandma would hang it outside the living room window, and then all summer long we could sit on her couch on Sunday afternoons to watch the hummingbirds come and go from the plant.

It was such a special experience with my family to watch these wondrous birds move around with such agility, speed, and grace. I hope to instill the same love for them in my own children! In fact, I’ve picked up a few pointers for attracting hummingbirds to your own garden, so you can take in the sight of these colorful and quick birds in your backyard.

Get to know a few of my favorite tips and tricks for how to attract hummingbirds to your garden this summer.

1. Plant a variety of flowers

Hummingbirds prefer scentless, colorful, and tubular flowers. Red, orange, or blue flowers that grow in a manner that makes it easy for hummingbirds to hover above them and reach in to eat are best. A mixture of many kinds is key to hummingbird loyalty because they like to switch things up when it comes to their food, just like us! Like I mentioned, they love Fuchsia plants, as well as bee balm, phlox, lupine, red-hot poker, hollyhock, columbine, coralbells, and other perennial plants.

2. Make (or buy) a hummingbird feeder

Feeding hummingbirds is actually fairly simple. They like nectar, so to make a homemade nectar, all you need is four parts water and one part sugar. Be sure to boil the two ingredients for two minutes to eliminate any bacteria or other impurities. Keep it to two minutes of boiling, because if you evaporate too much of the water, all the sugar can be harmful to hummingbirds’ health. Let the solution cool before filling a feeder with it. Make sure you get a red or other brightly colored feeder (they LOVE colors because they reminds them of flowers), and place it near some colorful blooms in your garden.

3. Do NOT add food coloring to the feeder

Some people believe adding red food coloring to hummingbird feeders attracts more birds. But if you have a red feeder and place it near flowers, they’ll come. Food coloring chemicals may be bad for their health.

4. Clean out the feeder regularly

If you’re not seeing any birds visit your feeder, make sure the sugar solution hasn’t gone bad. Clean out the feeder every three days to a week to avoid spoiled solution by rinsing it with water. You can also add a bit of vinegar, dry rice, and water to the empty feeder and give it a good shake to break down any mold or mildew that might have grown. Rinse it with clean, warm water before refilling with fresh feeding solution.

5. Start in the spring

I know we’re getting close to summertime, so now’s the perfect time to start attracting hummingbirds to your garden. They begin migrating in the spring after bug populations build up after winter’s over (bugs are their source of protein, and the only other thing they eat than nectar!). Get your feeder and bright flowers ready in the spring and early summer so they know your yard is a spot they can find plenty of sustenance. Hummingbirds are super smart, and they’ll even return to your yard on next year’s migration if they know it’s a good place to find nourishment.

6. Design your garden space to be the most attractive to hummingbirds

Can you believe there’s actually somewhat of a science to how to set up a yard that hummingbirds love? They like open spaces because it makes it easier to move from one flower to the next, and it’s ideal to have a partially shaded, partially sunny yard. Curving your flower beds allows the birds to approach flowers from different angles, and make sure you put the shortest plants in front of taller ones so they can easily access any of them. They feed every 10 to 15 minutes (what a life!), and in between, they enjoy perching in trees and shrubs. A few plants that double up as food and shelter for hummingbirds include cape honeysuckle, desert willow, citrus, flowering quince, beautybush, and weigela.

Get to know a few of my favorite tips and tricks for how to attract hummingbirds to your garden this summer.

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  1. Marie Golka says:

    Hi Mellisa, I bought the usual hummingbird feeder with the tube and screw on bottom with the yellow flowers , filled it with homemade fee and found it leaked all out , I’ve found this happened with the next two I bought as well, do you have any idea how to remedy this ? Thank you?!

    1. Melissa says:

      Did you screw the lid on all the way?

  2. Michael Konschuh says:

    Hi Melissa, I live in Tacoma, Washington. I’ve been working on my .91 acre mini-farm and garden since I got the mortgage a week before the collapse of the market in 2008 and immediately went under water. Been working really hard to create something exceptional and unique with what I have to work with. I did a video in 2016 showing my place and talking about my plans. I’d be honored if you’d like to take just under an hour to watch it. It’s in 3 parts on YouTube at “Michael Konschuh”. I’m planning on doing another one in a week or two showing the progress and give an update on my plans. I have hummingbirds around and wanted to make sure I knew what I was doing. Your website came up in my Google search. I can see already that you have much more that I can glean from you, so I’ll be delving deeper into your valuable insights and expertise. Thank you for the great information. My Facebook page is “Michael Konschuh”. You might get a kick out of the things I’ve posted. Garden and animals and life in my world. I wish you great success and happiness. Thank you again. Have a great day! Mike

  3. Deanna Harmeson says:

    Is purified water okay to heat for Hummingbirds nectar?

    1. Melissa says:

      Sounds great!

  4. Dee Mello says:

    I live n the central valley of California, I’ve seen these beauties all yr long. I’m pleasantly surprised and luv’n EVERY moment!!

  5. Michelle Dehart says:

    I live in Florida on the west coast in the central part of the state. I’ve always been fascinated with hummingbirds. When I go to Georgia my brothers yard would be full of them. Well years have past n where I live I didn’t think I’d ever see a hummingbird again . But one day actually it was April 28th I was watering my grass n I saw something very small flitting down to the grass. I thought to myself wow that’s a big moth or butterfly but as I got closer it was a hummingbird. I got chills all over my body. I was so excited that I replay what I had seen in my head again. I know we have them but more out east of our town where there is woods n wild flowers growing. Yesterday I bought a real nice hummingbird feeder that is red n I’m hoping I’ll be able attract them. Going to the plant nursery today in hopes to find the kind of flowers that they like. Please wish me much luck in finding what I need. I’ve read ur post n how to make their food in my feeder. Can’t thank you enough for sharing ur information on hummingbirds.
    Michelle Dehart ♥️

    1. Melissa says:

      What a fabulous story! Thank you for sharing it with us to enjoy, I hope you have a fabulous day!

  6. Missy says:

    Hummingbirds are amazing they are just breathtaking I love the noise they make and just watching them fly is just gods creations. I live in northern Michigan Traverse city Michigan and was just wondering has anyone spotted any yet this season or is it to early?!

    1. Melissa says:

      I was just talking with a friend! Normally we see a few in Southern Utah about 2 weeks ago but I haven’t seen any! I do have a friend in Southern California who has his back now. I wonder if they’re a bit late this year?

  7. deb c }i{ says:

    They steal my heart too! A couple Black-chinned hummers show up every year around the last week of March. I see them hovering where the feeders were the year before. We hurry up and get some food out. By June, its not uncommon to have a few dozen living around us. I have feeders spaced all around the house as these guys are very territorial until later in the summer when the Rufus and the Broadtails move in and show them who’s boss. I don’t get it….the male will spend a half hour doing the courting flight trying to woo the female….she zips over to “his” feeder to get a drink and he chases her away chirping like a mad man! Flowers near “his” feeder belong to him also. They are a kick! We always leave a feeder or two out into November for the slow poke migrators. Hummingbirds remind us to enjoy the simple things in life and fill ourselves with love and joy…. they make me smile whenever I see them.

    1. Missy s says:

      Truly amazing all I have seen is red throated hummingbird I live in Tc Truly amazing all I have seen is red throated hummingbirds I live in TC Michigan. I am just waiting to see the little guys in my yard it is still cold here so hopefully it will start warming up I have about eight hummingbird feeder’s in my yard

    2. Coley says:

      Hi there ‘TC Missy,’ I adore these miraculous wee birds. I also live in TC (part time). The last couple years I’ve split my time between TC and the U.P. and was just surprised to see another Northern Michigander on here so wanted to say hello.