"Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees." ~ John Muir
Attracting hummingbirds to your garden is so easy. These flying treasures consume about half their weight in nectar every day. That means they may visit flowers 2,000 times a day. And, because everybody smiles when they see a hummingbird, you could be generating 2000 smiles a day!
What you need is a diversity of flowers that offer continuous blooms during the spring, summer and fall. Their favorite plants in my garden are Firebush (Hamelia patens), Cypress Vine (Ipomoea quamoclit), Flame Acanthus (Anisacanthus quadrifidus var. wrightii), Pentas (make sure you use pentas lanceolata and not the common dwarf variety that does not have nectar), Turk’s Cap (Malvaviscus drummondii), Crossvine (Bignonia capreolata), and any of the Salvias. My favorite salvia is Salvia Greggii because it is very easy to grow and the hummies visit it daily. A complete list of hummingbird plants can be viewed on North Haven Garden’s website.
If you have enough space, plant several beds around your garden. This is because hummingbirds are competitive and they will chase away any “intruders” to their territory.
In addition to flowers, I have a hummingbird feeder. In my opinion, the best feeders are the inexpensive plastic ones that have the red base. Red attracts hummingbirds. Avoid hummingbird feeders that have the yellow flowers (like the one in the piture below), because bees are attrated to yellow, and that feeder will attract bees! Make sure the feeder has several feeding ports or you will have one hummingbird dominating the entire feeder.
If you have space for several feeders, place them far away from each other so that a hummingbird that is drinking from (and guarding) a specific feeder does not see the other feeders. Hummingbirds, primarily male hummingbirds, are very territorial and they will focus on trying to keep all the feeders to themselves by attacking other hummingbirds. Keep feeders far away and the feisty hummingbirds will not see their "competitors".
If possible, place your feeder where it will get protection from the hot sun so that the sugar water does not get mold as quickly.
But most importantly, position the feeder where you can readily see it from inside your house. Our feeder hangs under the eave of the roof by the kitchen window so we get to see a hummingbird show as we cook and eat. Fun, fun!
To make their food, boil 1 part sugar and 4 parts water. You do not need to add any red coloring to the water. I make a large batch of this sugar water and keep the extra in the refrigerator. Clean and re-fill your feeder at least two times a week. If you do not do this, the water will get moldy, which may make the hummingbirds sick.
Lastly, don’t forget their water. I have a fountain and a pond in my garden which is often visited by these tiny birds. You should see them taking a bath – they love water, love to shower and dance around under the drops and love to drink from the top of the fountain where the water comes out. You do not want to miss this show!