Bee balm, delphinium, butterfly bush, Rose of Sharon and honeysuckle attract hummingbirds. Contrary to popular belief, flowers do not need to be red to attract hummingbirds.
Bee balm produces flowers in both red and light purple. A perennial member of the mint family, its blooms remain long enough to attract hummingbirds throughout the year. Delphiniums are very hardy in diverse climates. They flower in a wide variety of colors and reach heights of over 5 feet.
Another tall hummingbird attractant is butterfly bush. This 6-foot and taller shrub produces purple, pink, white and red flowers with orange centers. In some parts of North America, butterfly bush is an invasive species. With its red, pink, blue and white flowers, Rose of Sharon offers another alternative to attract hummingbirds. This shrub grows to 8 to 10 feet in height and typically spans 4 to 6 feet wide.
Various types of honeysuckle make excellent hummingbird attractants, and some even have brilliant red flowers. Choosing honeysuckle to attract hummingbirds requires care, however, since many species of honeysuckle are invasive.
Flowers that attract hummingbirds share several common characteristics. They all produce sufficient nectar and possess a shape that allows for the insertion of the birds' long bills. Brilliant colors, red or otherwise, help draw the birds' attention.