Have you ever seen pictures of yards and gardens that have more hummingbirds than you can count?
Would you like to attract just 1 hummingbird, but struggle to do just that?
Or are you a casual bird watcher or gardener that just wants to know where to start?
TheGardeningDad is here to help with How to Attract Hummingbirds: 44 PROVEN Tips.
This article provides PROVEN tips that I have used with consistent results.
Also, this article will help teach you EASY ways to make your yard and garden more attractive to hummingbirds!
Best Nectar Tips (Tips #1-14)
Attracting hummingbirds is as easy as hanging up a nectar feeder right?
Sadly, we all wish it was that easy.
But it is not.
Lucky for you, it can almost be that easy.
In order to attract hummingbirds, you need to have the correct mix of food, water, and shelter.
The below tips are great ways to use nectar to attract more hummingbirds.
Tip #1 Use Handheld Hummingbird Feeders
Do you want one of the most memorable experiences in your life?
Then use a handheld feeder.
This will not only give you an up-close and personal view of hummingbirds but will allow you to provide them with valuable food.
Tip #2: Location, Location, Location is key!
Location is key to attracting hummingbirds.
You always want to hang your feeder close to native flowers that attract hummingbirds to increase your chances.
Also, you want to hang your feeder close to shelter and perching areas like shrubs and trees.
If you are interested in the best hummingbird feeder out there then I recommend First Nature Hummingbird Feeder.
Tip #3: Spacing is REALLY Important
Spacing is REALLY important if you want to attract more hummingbirds.
You want to space your feeders across your yard because territorial male hummingbirds can occupy a feeder for long periods of time, decreasing the likelihood of attracting other hummingbirds.
Tip #4: Keep your nectar out of the sun!
One of the easiest and most effective ways to attract hummingbirds is to keep your nectar and feeder out of the sun.
Nectar can spoil quickly if it is in direct sunlight too long and studies have shown that you can attract a handful more by hanging it in the shade.
Tip #5: Use Red or Bright Colors
Have you ever wondered why hummingbird feeders are red?
It’s because hummingbirds are naturally attracted to red and bright colors.
To attract more hummingbirds, use red hummingbird feeders and plant bright colors in your garden like purple, yellow, orange, and red.
Tip #6: Keep Your Feeders Full
Hummingbirds must eat every 10 to 15 minutes and can visit up to 1,000 flowers a day.
Also, hummingbirds are creatures of habit.
Hummingbirds will continue to visit your feeder until the nectar is gone. And once it is gone they will leave.
Because of this, you will want to keep your nectar feeder at least half-full all the time.
Tip #7: Change your Feeder frequently
Just like humans, hummingbirds won’t eat spoiled or old food (nectar).
As a rule of thumb change your nectar feeder every 3 days in the summer.
In the spring and fall, change your nectar feeder every week.
Tip #8: Don’t Clean with Bleach!
Every month I recommend cleaning your feeder.
Clean your feeder with 4 cups of water to 1 cup of (white vinegar).
NEVER clean your feeder with bleach. Leftover bleach will deter and sometimes harm hummingbirds.
Tip #9: Buy THIS Easy to Clean Feeder
Have you ever tried cleaning a nectar feeder?
It can be difficult and time-consuming. And this is the number 1 reason why bird watchers stop hanging their feeders.
Because of this, I recommend purchasing a dish feeder. Dish feeders are the easiest to clean feeders and the best on the market is Aspects Feeder.
Tip #10: Use a Moat
Have you noticed ants on your hummingbird feeder?
If you do you probably haven’t seen any hummingbirds. And this is a big problem.
Fix this problem by purchasing a hummingbird feeder Moat.
Tip #11: Durability Makes Life Easy!
As with most things you purchase, you get what you pay for.
When purchasing a hummingbird feeder make sure it is made of glass or heavy-duty plastic.
The stronger the material the less chance of it breaking if it falls and the longer it will last.
Tip #12: Use only a 12-ounce Feeder!
One of the most common mistakes beginner bird watcher make is purchasing too large of a bird feeder.
In order to reduce spoilage and the amount of maintenance you will need to perform, I recommend purchasing a bird feeder that is only 12 ounces.
And the best one for your money is Aspects Hummingbird Feeder.
Tip #13: Keep your Feeders out all Year
Keeping your feeders out all year may be a bit of an exaggeration.
But I would put your bird feeders out approximately 2 weeks before your last spring frost.
And then leave your feeder out 2-4 weeks after your first fall frost.
If you are interested in exact dates then I recommend reading Audubon Society’s article on hummingbird migration.
Tip #14: Use Window Feeders
Watching hummingbirds is an amazing experience.
Sometimes it’s hard to see them from your house.
If this has happened to you then I recommend purchasing a window feeder and the best out there is Aspects Jewel Feeder.
Tip #15: Use Several Hummingbird Feeders
The best way to attract more hummingbirds is to use multiple feeders.
I recommend using 3-5 feeders spaced evenly across the yard. Again, the reason for this is to help prevent territorial males from monopolizing your feeder.
Any 3 to 5 hummingbird feeders from the link below will do just fine for most gardeners and avid bird watchers.
Create the RIGHT Habitat (Tips #16-23)
No matter how great the bird feeder you use, the nectar you purchase, or the hummingbird garden you create is it may not be enough.
In order to have the best success, you will want to create the proper habitat for your hummingbirds.
Tip #16: Provide Nesting Options
If you want to increase hummingbirds coming to your yard and stay then you will want to provide several nesting options.
Please see below for more detailed information, but dense shrubs and small trees/plants provide great shelter for hummingbirds to rest and live.
Tip #17: Provide Perching Options
In addition to providing nesting options for hummingbirds, having a place for them to rest and perch is another great way to attract more hummingbirds.
Again, you will want to provide small trees/plants with lots of branches to increase the chances of hummingbirds staying in your yard.
If you want to create your own hummingbird perch then I recommend watching this video:
Tip #18: Provide Water
There has been some debate about whether you should provide standing water or dripping water for your hummingbirds.
One thing is certain though, water is a necessity to attracting and keeping hummingbirds.
I personally have had success with standing water, but if you have not then drip irrigation is also a great idea.
Tip #19: Don’t Use Chemicals!
Using pesticides is a common way to get rid of insects for gardeners. And using chemicals is a great way to promote plant growth.
But pesticides will kill valuable food for hummingbirds and chemicals that promote plant growth can be harmful to the existence of hummingbirds.
Tip #20: Hummingbirds love Bananas
Do you want to know a little known fact about hummingbirds?
They love old bananas. It is a great source of food.
Not only this, but hummingbirds love eating the flies that attracted to bananas.
Tip #21: Tie Ribbon Around Trees
As you know hummingbirds are fast. Real fast.
If you want to catch the eye of a hummingbird then tie bright orange or red ribbons around your trees.
By attaching ribbon around your trees it will catch the eye of hummingbirds and potentially attract them to your feeders.
Tip #22: Keep Spider Webs
I hate spiders. But I love hummingbirds.
Because of this, I keep spider webs.
Hummingbirds use spider webs for their nest. Also, hummingbirds eat spiders as a great source of their food.
Tip #23: Read THESE books
By reading this article you should have some easy and amazing ideas to attract hummingbirds to your yards.
Sometimes though it is nice to read a book to learn some smaller and lesser-known tricks to attracting hummingbirds.
I personally recommend:
DIY – Create Your Own Nectar (Tips #24-29)
Tip #24: Use This Recipe!
Making our own hummingbird nectar is a fun and rewarding way to attract hummingbirds. Not only this, but it is also a great way to involve kids and grandchildren.
To make nectar all you need to do is stir 1 cup of sugar with 4 cups of warm (or boiling if you prefer) water. It is literally that simple!
Or if you want more in-depth instructions and recipes then I recommend reading: The 2019 Hummingbird Food Guide (Easy Nectar Recipe + FAQ).
There are also numerous videos you can watch on youtube, such as this one:
Tip #25: Don’t Use Dye
Just because commercial hummingbird nectar is red, doesn’t mean your homemade nectar should be.
I advise against adding any type of dye to your nectar. The reason for this is potential health problems that it may cause to hummingbirds.
Tip #26: Don’t Sweeten your Nectar
You may think the sweeter the nectar the better.
Do not add anything besides sugar and water to your homemade nectar.
Different sweeteners may be harmful to hummingbirds and won’t attract more.
Tip #27: Properly store your nectar
If you ever have extra homemade nectar immediately put it in the fridge. Studies have shown that homemade nectar left in the fridge can last several weeks longer.
Tip #28: Purchase Nectar Defender
If you want to attract more hummingbirds then you need your nectar to last longer.
And if you want your nectar to last longer you need to purchase nectar defender.
This natural product extends the life of your nectar from a few days to at least 2 weeks!
Tip #29: Use a Nectar Shaker
Sometimes it is just easier to have a product that helps you make nectar then trying to do it on your own.
The Super Shaker Nectar Maker does just that.
This product is perfect for beginner nectar makers and kids!
Use These 15 Plants to Attract MORE Hummingbirds (Tips #30-44)
If you want the most success to attract dozens of hummingbirds then flowers, plants, and shrubs are better options than nectar.
There are approximately 20 species of hummingbirds and almost 40 plants that they visit.
Because of this, you want to make sure you plant native plants to your region.
If you do not know what plants are native to your region then check out my friends at audubon.org.
Also, you will want to have plants that have a continuous bloom. These plants can be both annual and perennial.
And the more colors, shapes, and sizes the better.
You should note that the 25 plants below are incredibly easy to find, are relatively expensive, and are low-maintenance.
Tip #30: Plant Trumpet Honeysuckles
Trumpet Honeysuckle plants are perennials with a bloom time from May to June.
These plants grow approximately 15 feet tall and are perfect for hardy zones 3-9.
What sets this plant apart from others is its bright orange and red flowers which attract the beautiful Ruby-throated Hummingbird.
Tip #31: Buy a Trumpet Vine (Creeper)
If you are looking for what may be the best way to attract hummingbirds then you want to purchase a Trumpet Vine.
Trumpet Vines are perennial plants that are so good at attracting hummingbirds that they are often called hummingbird vines.
Trumpet Vines grow in hardy zones 4 to 9 and bloom from July to September.
One should be warned that these vines can grow up to 40 feet tall and are known as a great nesting habitat for hummingbirds.
This a must-buy for all gardeners and bird watchers.
Tip #32: Bee Balm is the Best!
Are you interested in a drought-resistant, deer-resistant plant that attracts not only hummingbirds but also bees and butterflies?
Then Bee Balm is for you!
Bee Balm is a perennial flower that blooms from July to September in hardy zones 4-9.
The best part about this flower is that it can grow in both sun and shade!
Tip #33: Red Cardinal Flower
The Red Cardinal Flower is one of the most abundant flowers you can plant, as it grows in 48 states.
It is a smaller perennial flower (3 feet tall) that blooms in late summer.
Tip #34: Use the herb, Sage
Sage is a beautiful annual/perennial herb that flowers with amazing aromas that attract hummingbirds, bees, and sometimes butterflies.
There are numerous variations of sage that grow in almost any hardy zone and typically only have a height of 2-3 feet. Expect bloom times from May to October.
While sage is a great herb to add to any dish, hummingbirds love it because of its long, tubular-like spikes.
Tip #35: Hummingbirds Love Lavender
Lavender is another great herb that hummingbirds and other pollinators love.
Lavender is an annual herb that has an unbelievable aroma and uses.
This herb can grow in almost any hardy zone and typically has a height of 2 feet. Expect bloom times from May to October.
While there are many home remedies that lavender is used for, hummingbirds love it because of its long spikes that they can feast on.
Tip #36: Plant Lupine
Lupine is a perennial plant that grows in hardy zones 4 to 9.
This plant grows to about 3 feet and has beautiful blooms from May to July.
Hummingbirds are attracted to Lupine for its beautiful bright colors and its long spike flowers that make feeding incredibly easy.
Tip #37: Colorful Columbine is a great option!
One of my favorite plants to use to attract hummingbirds is the colorful flower Columbine.
Columbine is native to North America and typically blooms in May when most hummingbirds are heading back north.
Columbine is a perennial flower that grows in hardy zones 3 to 8, grows to about 3 feet tall, and is one of the most unique flowers you’ll find.
Why hummingbirds love this flower so much is that they are the only creature that can get out the nectar!
Tip #38: Lilies are the darling of the Garden
If you stroll your neighborhood or city for a day you are bound to find lilies.
Lilies are perennial flowers that grow to about 2 feet tall and are the darlings of most gardens.
Depending on the lilies you purchase they can bloom from early May to late October.
And while there are more lilies than you can count, hummingbirds especially love the Canada lily and the Columbia lily!
If you haven’t planted a lily yet, then make this your next garden project!
Tip #39: Plant the unique Rhododendron
The Catawba Rhododendron is a perennial plant that grows in hardy zone 4 to 8.
Out of all the plants on this list, it has the best and most beautiful bloom, which happens in May.
Hummingbirds will not only love the green foliage for perching, but the pink flowers can attract in from long distances away.
Tip #40: Azaleas are another great option!
Azaleas are another plant that has numerous options you can use.
Most azaleas grow in hardy zone 6 to 9, are perennial, and can bloom from April to September.
Like most other plants on this list, hummingbirds love the bright colors and strong aroma that this plant gives off.
Tip #41: Plant Golden Currants
Once you see Golden Currants you’ll understand why hummingbirds love it.
Golden Currants grow in hardy zones 6 to 9, are perennial plants, have a beautiful bloom from April to September.
Not only is this plant a great attractor for hummingbirds, but butterflies and bees have been known to visit it.
Tip #42: Use Deer-Resistant Coral Bells
Hummingbird-friendly, deer-resistant plants are sometimes hard to come by.
Lucky for you, thegardeningdad has the perfect solution for you.
Coral Bells are perennial plants that are deer-resistant, drought-resistant, and hummingbird friendly.
They grow 6 inches tall, bloom from spring to summer, and are perfect for hardy zones 4 to 9.
Tip #43: Don’t forget about Petunias
Petunias are amazing!
They are beautiful, bloom all summer and fall, and have an amazingly sweet aroma.
Petunias are annual flowers that grow to about 6 inches tall and bloom from May to October.
They are one of the most attractive flowers and can grow almost anywhere.
Hummingbirds love them because of their strong, sweet nectar!
Best of all is that they are the perfect flower for most flower beds and gardens!
Tip #44: Zinnias are another great annual option!
If you are looking for another great annual flower that attracts hummingbirds then look no further than Zinnias.
Zinnias are annual flowers that grow about 1 foot tall and bloom from May to September.
What attracts hummingbirds to Zinnias are its bright colors and beautiful smells. It should be noted that hummingbirds are one of the few creatures that will feed on Zinnias.
Hummingbirds are amazing creatures that can provide avid bird watchers and gardeners an experience of a lifetime.
If you want to have consistent success attracting hummingbirds then it is important to use my PROVEN and EASY tips.
The tips on the list include using commercial nectar the most effective way possible, making your own nectar, creating the perfect habitat, and using native plants.
Another great piece of advice is to create your hummingbird garden in an area where you will get to enjoy it.
Too often gardeners put their hummingbird feeders and flowers in areas that are not easily accessible or viewable.
And although hummingbird watching is an amazing experience it should be noted that your patience will be tested.
Take your time, relax, and your patience and hard work will pay off!
If you love talking about hummingbirds then I encourage you to join a bird watching group, find a community site on social media, or help your neighbors create a hummingbird garden.
I would love to hear what your favorite tip is to attract hummingbirds?
If you also like this article then I recommend you follow me on pinterest @TheGardeningDad Blog and check out some of my amazing pictures on Instagram @the.gardening.dad.
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