Annual Flowers and Herbs for Hummingbird Loversby Lou and Linda Gabric on 04/18/12
We plant annual flowers for the striking bursts of color they provide. Hummingbirds like the color too. Annuals are great for filling in those open spots in any flower bed. Spring and early summer blooming plants like snapdragons, the native wild flower Indian Paintbrush, and fuchsias give the hummingbirds a treat before the heat loving summer annuals appear. Annuals for a sunny spot vary in their water needs and heat tolerance. Geraniums, zinnias, salvias and pentas come in a variety of colors and all attract hummingbirds. They all appreciate well draining soil and a good drink of water on hot summer days. Lantana is more drought tolerant and puts on a real show mid to late summer. Scarlet runner bean is a gorgeous annual vine for a sunny area. Hyacinth bean vine is another, often overlooked hummingbird favorite. Both vines put on long season shows with flowers, greenery and then edible beans. Pineapple sage, a tender perennial usually grown as an annual puts up a late summer stem of fragrant red nectar rich flowers that are perfect for hummingbird snacks. Other herbs known to be visited by hummingbirds are anise hyssop, mints, all sages both culinary as well as flowering. Experiment, keep notes and feel free to send me a comment to help me learn about the dietary preferences of these important pollinators!