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#409570 04/21/08 12:13 PM
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I have a small patio that has a wide ledge around it. I will be able to put several oblong planters on the ledge and want to attract hummingbirds. Beside my nectar feeder, what plants are best for hummingbirds? I want to be able to capture them with pictures to use as models for my drawings.


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Phyllis Doyle Burns
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Hi Phyllis! Pretty much any red flowering plant which produces nectar will attract hummingbirds, especially if they are trumpet shaped. For smaller containers on your ledge try some bright red petunias or red columbine. Red Salvia is also a good choice, and some of the drawf nasturtium or snapdragon will also do well. Having the hummingbird feeder close by as an added plus, and if there is a place where the hummingbirds can perch while being able to both watch 'their territory' and not be easily seen you will have created the perfect habitat.


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Hi Phyllis and Jessica,

If you're considering some small shrubs for your planters, I had great luck attracting hummingbirds with Butterfly Bush. They loved it and you'll get butterflies as well. Also, the scent is lovely. Lantana is another good plant for a container. The birds and butterflies love it and it, too, is sweetly scented.

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Jessica, you have some really good ideas, thanks. I did not think of providing some perches for the little birds. Thanks, Helen. I love the Butterfly Bush, but I don't think I will have enough room on the patio railing for that. My patio wall is 5' high and the railing is only 6" wide. I will have to use some planters that are long and narrow and only about 8" deep, so there will not be enough soil for larger plants. I will probably have to just get some smaller plants like lobelia and petunias, salvia, snapdragons (the small ones). I am tempted, though to try the Butterfly Bush. smile

Last edited by Phyllis NatAmEd; 04/29/08 11:16 AM.

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Phyllis Doyle Burns
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Hi Phyllis,

You could always put a separate container for the butterfly bush. One about 12 inches or so across should be enough for 1 bush, then stand it in a sunny corner. It would be lovely with the other colorful flowers above it. wink

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I love hummingbirds, they should be here in a few weeks!! No sighting yet though!


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I have such pretty flowers on my deck this summer - I picked up two hanging baskets of "millions of blooms" - one yellow and one red. The blooms look like the shape of the flowers on the humming bird feeders. The hummers love the and come around frequently during the day. They also stop by the hibiscus and petunias which are nearby. I just need to water them well each day.

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I've also had many hummingbirds at my red Impatiens planters. They do love bee balm and canna, but those are too big for patio planters. As everyone noted, red blossoms with trumpets are the little hummer's favorites. Inexpensive feeders with perches will also attract them. They love to rest while they feed.


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We have a hummingbird feeder on our deck, and it attracted hummingbirds throughout the days in the spring. But for the past 6 weeks, they've abandoned it! Is it because it's summertime, and the flowers are blooming? They're getting their nectar from natural sources? (which is better than refined sugar water!).

I love those little birds. We have blue ones and green ones. They sound like a little helicopter when you get close, and seem fearless!

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I've put out the hummingbird feeders and they do come around but I decided to try flowers instead. They are still coming and they stop at several places on the deck. I found I couldn't keep the feeders either full or if several days went by, clean. They get grungy looking. When I took them down to clean them, there would be mold. It gets very hot here. I often wondered if the sugar water fermented and if it were hazardous to the hummers.

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