Plants that attract hummingbirds include bee balm, catmint, lily, foxglove, petunia, lupine, desert candle, delphinium, flowering tobacco, salvia, yarrow and hollyhock. Many of the plant species that attract hummingbirds also attract butterflies and bees.
Hummingbirds tend to favor plants with long blossoms in brilliant shades such as blue, red, yellow or orange. They tend to rely on colors to find food because they do not tend to identify plants by smell. Long flower shapes keep insects from feeding on the nectar inside the flower. Hummingbirds like flowers that are rich in nectar and have long slim beaks, which gives them special access to these plants.
Hummingbirds can burn up to 12,000 calories per day due to their rapid wing movements. Therefore, they must visit lots of flowers each day to replace the energy they burn. Gardeners can attract hummingbirds to their gardens by planting many flower species hummingbirds like to visit. To create an ideal feeding environment, plant tiered gardens consisting of trees, vines, shrubs and herbs, letting the birds feed from the ground upwards. Be sure to leave some space between plants so that hummingbirds can fly between different plants and flowers.
Find complete lists of plants that attract hummingbirds on the Hummingbird Society and Farmer's Almanac websites.