Spring Blooming Flowers to Attract Hummingbirds

Female Ruby-Throated hummingbird
Female Ruby-Throated hummingbird

These spring-blooming nectar flowers are for attracting hummingbirds to your backyard, garden or balcony. Planting several flowers for each season creates your own hummingbird garden.

 

Red Buckeye (Aesculus pavia)

Hummingbird Migration and Blooming Flowers

Hummingbirds arrive in the spring months of March, April, and May in much of the northeast. And the flowers listed here will be in bloom when they arrive. All the plants listed are native to Philadelphia, the Delaware Valley, and the Mid-Atlantic region.

Scientific Studies have shown that the Ruby-Throated migrates northward as three key flowers come into bloom. Those plants are Red Buckeye (Aesculus pavia), Clove Currant (Ribes odoratum) and Wild Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis). These flowers are all red.

When these plants are in bloom, the hummingbirds have probably arrived in your area.

Ruby-throated Hummingbirds help pollinate 19 species of plants (U.S. Forest service) in eastern North America. We often find the bird in areas rich in flowers. This includes mixed woodlands, eastern deciduous forests, city parks or other spots with an abundance of flowers.

Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis) in my garden. Photo by Donna L. Long.
Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis) in my gardenPhoto by Donna L. Long.

Flowers to Attract Hummingbirds

  • Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis), red, sun/part shade, height 4′ – 6′
  • Columbine species (Aquilegia spp.), varies, sun/part. shade, height 2′ – 3′
  • Coral Bells (Heuchera species), red, part sun/shade, height  2′
  • Fire Pink (Silene virginia), red, sun to partial shade, height 1 – 2 feet
  • Fringed Bleeding Heart (Dicentra eximia),  pink, shade to sun, height 12”
  • Indian Pink (Spigela marilandica), red, part sun/light shade, height 2″- 18″
  • Lupine (Lupinus spp.), varies, sun, height varies
  • Penstemon digitalis (Foxglove Beardstongue, Tall White Beardstongue), white, sun to partial shade, height 24-48 inches tall)
  • Solomon Seal (Polygonatum biflorum), white, shade to partial sun, height 1 – 3 feet
  • Scarlet Bee Balm (Monarda didyma)
  • any of the many Salvia species which are indigenous across North America

Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis)
Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis)

Trees that Attract Hummingbirds

  • Black Locust (Robinia pseudoacacia), white, sun, height to 75 feet
  • Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis), deep pink, sun to shade, height to 25′
  • Flowering Crabapple (Malus spp. ), color varies, light sun/part shade, height varies
  • Flowering Dogwood (Cornus florida),  white,  sun/light shade, height varies
  • Red Buckeye (Aesculus pavia), red, sun/part sun, height 10′ – 25′
  • Tulip Tree (Liriodendron tulipifera), green with orange centers, sun, height 100+ feet

 

 

Common Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis)
Common Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis)

Shrubs for Hummingbirds

  • American Cranberry bush (Viburnum trilobum) white,  sun, part sun, height  5′ – 15′
  • Arrowwood Virburnum (Viburnum dentatum), white,  light shade/sun, height 6′ – 12′
  • Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occendentalis), white, sun, height to 9′
  • Red-osier Dogwood (Cornus sericea), white, sun/light shade, height 3′ – 10′
  • Rhododendrons (Rhododendron spp. ), color varies, partial sun/shade, height varies

 

Hummingbird Ground Covers

  • Bunchberry (Cornus canadensis), white, partial sun/shade, height 4′ – 10′
  • Creeping Mahonia (Mahonia repens), yellow, sun/shade, height 2′ – 3′

Trumpet Honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens). Photo by Donna L. Long.
Coral Honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens). Photo by Donna L. Long. Vines

Vines that Attract Hummingbirds

  • Coral Honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens), orange-red, sun/partial sun, height  4′ – 15′
  •  Trumpet Vine or Trumpet Creeper (Campsis radicans), orange to red, sun to partial sun, length 8′ to 33′

 

Related Posts on Birding

Hummingbird Migration Dates

Spring Bird Migration for Beginning Birders 

Spring Blooming Native Plants of Philadelphia

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