Georgia Magazine - August 2020 - 29

The vivid, pink blooms of Weigela florida 'Snippet Dark Pink' are
attractive to hummingbirds. The flowers first appear in late spring
and continue all summer.

IST
OC

Don't forget the water
K.

C
OM

Hummingbirds prefer bountiful patches of nectar-rich
flowers, with some open space between plants to allow them
to dart, hover and back up.
A large swath of one type of flower makes for energyefficient pit stops, but you should also plan for a mix of plants
throughout the garden, including varieties that bloom in
different seasons. Hummingbirds will arrive in spring hungry
from their migration and will need to bulk up in fall before
returning to their winter homes.
See "Plants for hummingbirds" below for some of their
favorites. Many are native plants that have evolved to fit hummingbirds' beaks and nutritional needs. You also can use
non-native plants with bright, tubular, nectar-rich flowers, but
make sure the plants you choose are not invasive. For example,
stick with a native variety of red trumpet honeysuckle like
'Major Wheeler' instead of the white Japanese honeysuckle that
tends to escape gardens and run rampant in wild areas.
For more ideas of what to plant for hummingbirds,
download a guide tailored to your ZIP code from
Pollinator Partnership at pollinator.org, or
find a list of hummingbird-friendly plants
at audubon.org.

SPRING MEADOW NURSERY

Plant a hummingbird garden

/P

RE

If you have enough space, create several plantings around
your yard or offer multiple feeders-ideally, out of sight from
one another. Hummingbirds do not like to share and often
seem to spend as much time chasing one another as they do
feeding.

Provide a safe haven
As territorial creatures, hummingbirds like a spot where
they can sit and survey their domain. They also need safe
places to rest between their frequent feedings. Their feet are
too small and weak to stand on flat surfaces easily, so they need
perches such as dead, leafless twigs nearby.
Mother hummingbirds also need to take frequent feeding breaks while nesting. Try to offer a feeder or flowers close
to a tall tree so they can fuel up without leaving their eggs or
hatchlings for long.

HI

Offer enough to go around

KIC

Say no to sprays
While nectar is hummingbirds'
main food source, they and their
offspring also eat small insects, such
as ants and aphids. The birds' digestive systems cannot tolerate pesticide
spray residue. Plus, chemicals that
kill one type of bug (yes, even pesky
mosquitoes) will kill all bugs, including
beneficial pollinators such as bees and
butterflies. Preserve the delicate web of life
around your home by avoiding all pesticides, even
those made from "natural" formulas.

Now that you have provided food, shelter
and a place to raise their young, the final
requirement is a source of water. Hummingbirds are particularly drawn to sprays of
water. If it is possible to install a sprinkler,
they will delight in flying through the
droplets. Hummingbirds will come to a
birdbath, but because of their short legs,
the water must be shallow. Make sure your
birdbath is cleaned and filled regularly to
avoid spreading harmful bacteria.
Helen Newling Lawson is a freelance writer
and Master Gardener in Forsyth County.

Plants for hummingbirds

Many plants have flowers that attract hummingbirds, making
it easy to create a beautiful and varied garden. Having something in
bloom each season will help these birds recover from and fuel up for
their long migrations.

Spring
Columbine (Aquilegia)
Red buckeye (Aesculus pavia)
Weigela
Blueberry (Vaccinium)

Summer
Lantana
Zinnia
Penstemon
Bee balm (Monarda)
Salvia
Canna

Cardinal flower (Lobelia
cardinalis)
Hibiscus
Trumpet honeysuckle (Lonicera
sempervirens)
Butterfly weed (Asclepias
tuberosa)

Late summer/fall
Trumpet vine (Campsis radicans)

Pineapple sage (Salvia elegans)
Chaste tree (Vitex agnus-castus)
Coralberry (Symphoricarpos)

www.georgiamagazine.org

29


http://www.pollinator.org http://www.audubon.org http://www.georgiamagazine.org

Georgia Magazine - August 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia Magazine - August 2020

Contents
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Georgia Magazine - August 2020 - Cover2
Georgia Magazine - August 2020 - Contents
Georgia Magazine - August 2020 - 4
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