Q:

How do you design a hummingbird garden?

A:

Quick Answer

Hummingbird gardens need to be designed to meet three basic needs of hummingbirds: nectar-producing flowers, places to perch and water. Meet these needs, and you can have colorful hummingbirds as visitors year after year.

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How do you design a hummingbird garden?
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Full Answer

  1. Plant suitable flowers where hummingbirds can reach them easily

    Hummingbirds prefer tubular, brightly colored flowers that grow in full sunlight. They need a variety of flowers with different bloom periods to carry them through the warm months or even year-round in areas with very mild winters. Plant flowers in curved beds and borders to give hummingbirds easy access from many directions. Plant shorter plants in front of taller ones to allow hummingbirds easy access to both. Never use pesticides on flowers intended for hummingbirds' use.

  2. Provide sheltered perches

    Hummingbirds need shrubs, trees and vines not too far from their feeding areas to provide resting places, shade and shelter. In gardens with limited space, shrubs, trees and vines with suitable flowers can do double duty as sources of food and shelter.

  3. Provide water

    Use a sprinkler on a mist setting or a very shallow birdbath on an elevated pedestal to provide water to your little visitors. Hummingbirds are too small to use ordinary birdbaths and avoid birdbaths close to the ground.

  4. Consider adding a hummingbird feeder to your garden

    Feeders can help care for hummingbirds that arrive before nectar-producing flowers have bloomed or in between bloom periods. They also provide extra food for nesting hummingbirds. To make hummingbird food, mix one part sugar with four parts water and boil for 2 minutes; don't add dye, as this may hurt the birds. Let the solution cool before filling your feeder. Store any extra solution in the freezer. Clean the feeder regularly to prevent mold from building up.

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