Red perennial flowers have bright petals that attract attention from humans and hummingbirds alike. These tiny, fascinating birds are not only beautiful to watch, but they also pollinate thousands of plant species. Attracting hummingbirds to your garden is a lot easier than you might think.
Hummingbirds live on a diet consisting mostly of flower nectar, though they also rely on small insects and spiders for protein. While there are many varieties of flowering perennials that hummingbirds find attractive, they especially love red tubular flowers.
TIP: Our expert gardening advisor, Karen Thurber adds, "When planning your hummingbird garden, think about adding shrubs as sheltered areas for the birds to perch."
Ten Common Red Flowering Perennials
Coral Bells (Heuchera sanguinea 'Bressingham Hybrids') - These tiny bell-like flowers bloom late May through July.
Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis) - With tall spikes of bright red flowers, they bloom August through September.
Red Hot Poker or Torch Lily (Kniphofia uvaria) - With flower spikes above grass-like foliage, this blooms July through August.
Red Beebalm (Monarda didyma 'Jacob Cline') - Aromatic with dense terminal clusters of flowers, this blooms June through July.
Trumpet Vine (Campsis radicans) - A vigorous climbing vine with clusters of trumpet-shaped blooms, it blooms July through September.
Crocosmia (Montbretia) - A clump-forming plant with sword-shaped foliage and tubular, one-sided flowers, blooming June to August.
Penstemon (Penstemon) - These spiky flowers with green foliage bloom June through September.
"Cambridge" Beard Tongue, aka Rondo (Penstemon barbatus "Cambridge") - These spiky flowers bloom late June through July.
Maltese Cross (Lychnis chalcedonica) - These clusters of flowers on tall stems bloom in early summer.
Red Columbine (Aquilegia canadense) - With spurred flowers with attractive foliage resembling a maidenhair fern, these bloom May and June.
Plant flowering perennials in the ground, in containers or in hanging baskets to attract hummingbirds to a garden of any size. Hanging baskets and flowering vines, such as the trumpet vine, offer a nice way to enjoy hummingbirds from indoors. Hang a basket in front of a window and allow a vine to grow along the frame on an outside wall.
Avoid chemical insecticides on your perennials, as they will not only kill the insects and spiders that hummingbirds eat, but can also contaminate the nectar and make the birds ill.
Once a hummingbird has found its way to your garden, it will likely return. Hummingbirds are territorial and will defend their favorite resting and feeding spots.
TIP: Karen advises, "Sometimes when hummingbirds sleep they enter a hibernation-like state called "torpor." They may even hang upside-down and be unresponsive to your presence. If you find a hummingbird in this state leave it alone, as it warms up it will again become active."