Plants that please hummingbirds


Salvia: This is your best bet for bringing in the hummers. Look for tall varieties (rather than overbred short bedding plants), such as Salvia coccinea 'Lady in Red,' blue anise sage, Salvia guaranitica 'Black & Blue' and deep pink Salvia 'Mulberry Jam.' Pineapple sage, Salvia splendens, is often advertised as a hummer-magnet, but it doesn't bloom soon enough here in Minnesota.

Agastache (hyssop): Most varieties are a hit with hummingbirds. I get lots of visits with 'Summer Breeze.'

Canna: Try species versions, like red Canna indica, rather than more ruffled hybrids.

Flowering tobacco: Nicotiana mutabilis, taller than bedding varieties, in shades of pink, is a good choice.

Annual vines

All of these vines are easy to start from seed or find in garden centers:

Scarlet runner bean: Phaseolus coccineus

Cypress vine: Ipomoea quamaclit

Cardinal climber: Ipomoea x multifida


Columbine: Aquilegia canadensis, plant this native red variety rather than the double-petal versions.

Bee balm: Monarda didyma, 'Jacob Kline,' offers brilliant red color and is mildew-resistant.

Royal catchfly: Silene regia, bright red. Needs good drainage.

Cardinal flower: Lobelia cardinalis. Likes moist soils; can be used in water gardens. Will tolerate shade, too.

Perennial vines

Trumpet creeper: Campsis radicans. Plant the original orange variety, hardy to zone 4.

Coral honeysuckle: Lonicera sempervirens, 'Dropmore Scarlet,' hardy to zone 3.