Ruby-throated hummingbird with Red Buckeye (Aesculus pavia). Photo: Mervin Wallace

Nectar-rich Natives for Hummingbirds

Plant a variety of native perennials and blooming shrubs to create a continual feast for Ruby-throated Hummingbirds.

Hummingbirds seem to prefer bright red or orange colored flowers, but also are attracted to blue, purple and white colored flowers. The hummingbird’s long bill is best suited for sipping nectar from tubular or funnel shaped blossoms. Many of these plants also attract butterflies.

There are a number of hummer-attracting native plants from which to choose. Select plants with your site’s requirements of light and moisture in mind as well as available space if you are adding plants to an existing bed. If you want to create a special hummingbird garden, consider a variation on Grow Native!s Hummingbird Haven. Be sure your new hummingbird habitat is easily viewed from a deck or window.

Annuals
  • Indian Paintbrush (Castilleja coccinea)
Herbaceous Perennials
  • Bee Balm (Monarda bradburiana)
  • Blue Lobelia (Lobelia siphilitica)
  • Blue Sage (Salvia azurea)
  • Butterfly Milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa)
  • Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis)
  • Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis)
  • Copper Iris (Iris fulva)
  • Fire Pink (Silene virginica)
  • Foxglove Beard Tongue (Penstemon digitalis)
  • Garden Phlox (Phlox paniculata)
  • Indian pink (Spigelia marilandica)
  • Lanceleaf Coreopsis (Coreopsis lanceolata)
  • Marsh Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata)
  • Meadow Phlox (Phlox maculata)
  • Missouri Primrose (Oenothera macrocarpa)
  • Prairie Beard Tongue (Penstemon tubaeflorus)
  • Prairie Coreopsis (Coreopsis palmata)
  • Purple Beard Tongue (Penstemon cobaea)
  • Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)
  • Rough Blazing Star (Liatris aspera)
  • Royal Catchfly (Silene regia)
  • Wild Bergamot (Monarda fistulosa)
  • Wild Sweet William (Phlox divaricata)
  • Yellow Coneflower (Echinacea paradoxa)
Shrubs
  • Golden Currant (Ribes odoratum)
  • New Jersey Tea (Ceanothus americanus)
  • Witch Hazel (Hamamelis virginiana)
Trees
  • Ohio Buckeye (Aesculus glabra)
  • Wild Plum (Prunus americana)
Vines
  • Cross Vine (Bignonia capreolata)
  • Trumpet Creeper (Campsis radicans)
  • Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia)
  • Yellow Honeysuckle (Lonicera flava)
Ruby-throated hummingbird

A Ruby-Throated Hummingbird flies while attempting to drink a nectar from Trumpet Creeper in Moberly, MO. Photo courtesy of Missouri Department of Conservation

Learn More: 

Did you know that hummingbirds are vital pollinators of royal catch-fly? Read the study here