growing your container garden

Landscaping For Hummingbirds

Many people enjoy the presence of hummingbirds and often hang feeders or change their landscaping to accommodate them. If you like hummingbirds and are planning to renovate the landscape around your home or business, you may want to consider a hummingbird-friendly design. These designs don't only involve flowers, but a myriad of plants that have different functions. Landscaping for hummingbirds has the added benefit of attracting butterflies as well. Here are a few tips for a hummingbird-friendly garden.

Choosing flowers

Even though a hummingbird-friendly garden doesn't only involve flowers, they should be the foundation of any design of this type. Having the right food is the first step to attracting the small birds. Hummingbirds prefer red, tubular flowers, but will feed off of any flower that has a good nectar source. Butterfly bush, lantana, and bleeding heart are three good choices of flowers that do well in most North American climates during the warmer months. Flowering shrubs, such as azaleas, and trees like flowering crab apple can also be food sources for these birds. Have flowering plants that bloom at different times to keep a steady food supply.

Providing water

Hummingbirds get their water from the insects and nectar that they feed on, so a separate water source is not necessary. However, they do like to have a good bath now and then to get sticky nectar off their feathers. Traditional bird baths aren't practical for these tiny birds. These birds prefer to rub themselves on wet leaves to get themselves clean. A mister that sprays water onto a non-toxic, large-leafed plant is ideal. If you still want to add a bird bath, try to have one that has shallow areas where they can easily get in and out.

Nesting locations and materials

Hummingbirds like to build nests where they will blend in and be hidden from predators. They prefer trees with leaves that will shelter the nest from direct sunlight. They tend to nest anywhere from around 10 to 90 feet high. Aside from providing locations on where to nest, you can also install plants that provide nesting material. Try planting fibrous plants and silken flowers, such as pasque flower, to help provide nesting material.

Landscaping for hummingbirds opens up a wide range of choices that will not only beautify the landscape around your home or workplace, but provide the added pleasure of attracting these small, entertaining birds. For best results, space out resources to limit squabbles. Hummingbirds are territorial and often chase away any others. For more information, contact a landscape designer for more tips on designing the right landscape design to attract these types of birds.