Monday, January 18, 2010

HABITAT GARDENING FOR HUMMINGBIRDS

I am not a huge fan of hummingbird feeders. Merely because cleaning it every 2-3 days is not something I would be willing to do. If you have one and don't clean it often then the sugar mixture could go bad, which is harmful to the poor bird. Instead I purpose creating a habitat garden that is much more sustainable and it's fun and pretty for you to look at. I am not just talking about planting any old plant but specific California natives that are loved by these birds. The best technique for designing to attract these birds is to use both sun loving and shade loving plants so that they will come to your entire garden and not just one area. These birds will also eat the nasty bugs in your garden so you won't need to use any pesticides.

Below is a list of California native plants that are recommended for hummingbird gardens...

Perennial
  • Aquilegia species - Columbine
  • Epilobium species - California Fuchsia
  • Heuchera species - Coral Bells
  • Linum lewisii - Blue Flax
  • Mimulus species - Monkey Flower (right picture with orange flower)
  • Monardella species - Coyote Mint
  • Penstemon species - Beardtongue
  • Salvia spathacea - Hummingbird Sage
Shrubs
  • Arctostaphylos species - Manzanita
  • Calliandra californica - Baja Fairy Duster
  • Galvezia species - Bush Snapdragon
  • Lobelia laxiflora - Mexican Lobelia Bush
  • Ribes species - Currant
  • Salvia clevelandii - Cleveland Sage
  • Salvia greggii - Autumn Sage (right picture with red flower)
  • Salvia microphylla - Summer Sage
Trees
  • Aesculus califormica - California Buckeye
  • Arctostaphylos species - Manzanita
  • Chilopsis linearis - Desert Willow
  • Parkinsonia aculeata - Mexican Palo Verde
Succulent/Cactus
  • Dudleya species - Live Forever (right picture)
  • Hesperaloe parviflora - Red Yucca
  • Opuntia littoralis - Coastal Prickly Pear
Note: Where it states species, indicates that there are a variety of species of that plant that would work.

As always it is very beneficial to do your homework on each plant to understand the specific needs of each plant.

4 comments:

Tom Fisher said...

I liked what you had to say, and for the most part I again. Plants, trees, shrubs, and flowers are GREAT ways to attract hummingbirds to your home.

Thanks for the lists of ones to use. I will be looking to see if I can also use them up here in the Pacific Northwest, specifically in Western Washington.

The only thing that I would not agree with, is that the feeders need to be cleaned 'daily'. Every 2-3, except in very hot climates, which you in California could have.

Thanks again,
Tom Fisher
http://BackyardHummingbirds.com

Rama Nayeri said...

Hey Tom,

I would love to do some research on Native plants to Washington, New York...etc. and all other states.

Lindy said...

Hanging hummingbird feeders is a huge responsiblity. I agree with what Tom said - Cleaning your feeders every 2-3 days is sufficient to keep them mold free. During hot weather, you'll want to keep a closer eye on them.

... That said, ... I love that I stumbled upon your blog. I've been planning (or trying to plan) a California native garden for about six months now. - Specifically one that's attractive to hummingibirds and butterflies. I'm hoping to break ground early spring!

Your blog has given me great inspiration. Thanks for the great information!!

ebw-pete said...

some other plants which are great for feeding hummingbirds:

Trichostema lanatum - Wooly Blue Curls [this seems to be the BEST around here - the Bay Area]

Ribes [currants and gooseberries] species - all of them, but particularly r. sanguineum, r. malvaceum, r. speciosa.

Styrax rediviva - California Snowbell.

Salvias - all of them.

nice article. thank you.

pete veilleux
http://www.eastbaywilds.com/