By: Darcy Larum, Landscape Designer
“Flash of harmless lightning, a mist of rainbow dyes. The burnished sunbeams brightening, from flower to flower he flies.” In this poem, American poet John Banister Tabb describes the beauty of a hummingbird flitting from one garden flower to another. Not only are hummingbirds beautiful, they are also important pollinators.
Only the long, thin beaks of hummingbirds and the proboscis of certain butterflies and moths can reach the nectar in certain flowers with deep, narrow tubes. As they sip this hard to reach nectar, they also collect pollen that they take with them to the next flower. Attracting hummingbirds to the garden ensures that narrow tubed flowers can be pollinated. Continue reading to learn how to attract hummingbirds in zone 9.
Hummingbirds are attracted to the color red. However, this does not mean that they only visit red flowers or drink from feeders with red colored liquid. Actually, the red dyes in some store bought hummingbird nectar can be harmful to hummingbirds. You may be better off to make a homemade liquid for hummingbird feeders by dissolving ¼ cup (32 g.) of sugar in 1 cup (128 g.) of boiling water.
Also, hummingbird feeders need to be cleaned regularly, to prevent illnesses. When your garden is filled with plenty of nectar rich, hummingbird attractant plants feeders are not even necessary. Hummingbirds will come back, time and time again, to plants where they got a good meal. It is important to keep hummingbird gardens free of harmful chemical residues from pesticides and herbicides.
Hummingbird gardens in zone 9 may be visited by several different native and migrating species of hummingbirds such as:
Hummingbirds will visit flowering trees, shrubs, vines, perennials and annuals. Below are some of the many zone 9 hummingbird plants to choose from:
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Read more about Zone 9, 10 & 11
Growing butterfly plants for full-sun sites in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zone 9 encourages butterflies to pay a visit, but gardeners can do more to provide them with a safe home. Creating a butterfly-friendly garden also involves growing caterpillar host plants, providing shelter and reducing pesticide use. Butterfly plant flowers are usually attractive to many butterfly species. To attract a particular species, grow its caterpillar host plant.
Plant these beauties in your garden or hanging basket, and let the bird-watching begin.
As you're planning your garden, you might be looking at lists of the best shade perennials or the best annual flowers to add to your yard. You can't go wrong with our favorite types of sunflowers or any of the popular kinds of hydrangeas. But if you're looking to offer a welcoming spot for the all of the local pollinators, you'll want to check our lists of flowers that attract butterflies and flowers that attract bees. Pollinators are not just a fun addition to your garden, they're also a vital part of our ecosystem. They help transport pollen from the stamen to the stigma of a flower, fertilizing the plant and helping it to produce fruits, seeds, and young plants.
One of the most fascinating of the pollinators is that winged wonder, the hummingbird. Who wouldn't want to see more of this fast-flying marvel in their yard? You can add one of the best hummingbird feeders to help make your garden more inviting, but there are plenty of flowers that will attract hummingbirds, too. Hummingbirds are attracted to tubular-shaped flowers with plenty of nectar. Add some of these selections to your yard, and you'll be bird-watching in no time!
Also known as larkspur, delphinium is a vibrant perennial that can grow from 2 to 8 feet tall. This plant is winter hardy to USDA Zones 3 to 7 and not recommended for hot, humid climates. Butterflies and hummingbirds find them irresistible, and you'll love them as cut flowers, too.
Recommended for zones 4 to 8, foxglove is easy to grow and can top out at 5 feet tall. While the tubular flowers are appealing to hummingbirds, keep them away from children and pets as they can be highly poisonous.
This drought-tolerant evergreen is recommended for zones 9 to 11. It grows fast—up to 6 feet tall and can spread to 10 feet wide. Hummingbirds and butterflies love the showy flowers.
This perennial (recommended for zones 3 to 9) has long tubular flowers difficult for some pollinators to navigate, but not hummingbirds! The flower needs full sun to partial shade and soil that is never dry.
Salvia has the high nectar count that hummingbirds are looking for. It's a perennial that is winter hardy for zones 8 to 10.
This vibrant orange-and-yellow flower will add pizzazz to any garden. The flowers are packed with nectar, which attracts hummingbirds. Recommended for zones 5 to 9, it needs full sun and well-draining soil.
Also known as hummingbird vine, it's no surprise the birds love this flower. Plant in full sun for best flowering. This easy-to-grow vine does best in zones 4 to 9.
Chances are this popular, inexpensive flower (a perennial in zones 10 to 11) is growing in your yard already. Choose brightly colored blooms and plant them in a hanging basket to attract hummingbirds.
It's easy to see where this plant got its name. Recommended for zones 3 to 9, this perennial likes partial shade and well-draining soil. The flowers are a rich source of nectar.
This easy-to-grow perennial blooms from summer and into the fall (best for zones 3 to 9). Hummingbirds and butterflies are attracted to its showy blooms.
Zinnia, one of the most popular annuals, is easy to grow from seed and thrives in zones 2 to 11. Hummingbirds and other pollinators love the bright blooms, which also make for great cut flowers.
Of course, this flowering shrub is attractive to butterflies, but hummingbirds love the elongated clusters of blooms too. Butterfly bush prefers full sun and well drained soil. It works best in zones 5 to 10.
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Petunias are one of the most popular of all annual flowers since they are very easy to grow and quite inexpensive. They work well in just about any sunny garden location and are also favorites for containers, borders, and baskets in small spaces.
The flower thrives best in full sun and will bloom repeatedly, providing abundant nectar for hungry hummingbirds.
If your goal is to attract hummingbirds to your garden, don't remove any spider webs that appear among the plants. Hummingbirds use the delicate threads of these webs for material to build nests. And hummingbirds often steal insects that are trapped in spider webs.