Create a hummingbird garden to attract everyone's favorite pollinator.
Seeing a hummingbird flit about your garden is one of those moments when you experience pure joy. Not only are they beautiful, tiny creatures to watch, but also helpful, ensuring our plants get pollinated. While you can cross your fingers and hope they'll choose your yard as a stop this summer, there are several ways to better attract hummingbirds to your garden.
What do Hummingbirds Eat?
If you provide hummingbirds with all that they desire, they'll be more likely to come back year after year—that's right, they remember the best nectar spots and will return there! Hummingbirds drink sweet nectar from flowers to get their nutrients, so one of the best ways to attract them is by growing some of their favorite plants. You can dedicate your entire yard to hummingbirds, a small area, or a few containers.
Choose flowers with staggered bloom times so that there's always something for the birds to snack on. Instead of planting a flower here and there, plant in groups of five or more so that they stand out better to passing hummingbirds. These pollinators are most attracted to flowers in shades of pink and red. Bee Balm, Cardinal Flowers, Impatiens, and Zinnia are among the best flowers to attract hummingbirds to your backyard in Iowa. While you can do your best to plan for constant blooms throughout the season, there may still be times when there are no flowers in sight. That's where hummingbird feeders come in!
Choose one with pink and red accents, fill it with clear nectar, and clean the feeder often. We have several hummingbird feeders available, including top-fill feeders that are super easy to fill — you don't have to worry about turning the feeder one way then the other way, which more often than not leads to spills.
We also have nectar to fill your feeder, like EZNectar. This ready-to-use nectar is dye and preservative-free and is a blend of sugar and water, ideal for hummingbirds. Some nectars on the market have color in it, for the best interest of our hummingbird friends, you'll want to avoid those. Red dye has chemicals in it that can be harmful to ingest. Plus, red nectar isn't necessary to attract the birds since most feeders have red and pink accents.
Other Basics to Provide HummingbirdsBesides making sure hummingbirds have a food source, there are many other things to keep in mind.
- Provide a source of water. While known for their love of sweets, hummingbirds of course also need water to survive. They prefer moving water since this keeps the water clean. Because hummingbirds have tiny mouths, they like to take sips from fine mists. So, set up a mister or create a water feature where they can drink up the fine offspray.
- Add trees and shrubs for shelter. While we often see hummingbirds buzzing around, they do need a break sometimes. Trees provide perches, plus a spot to hide out from poor weather and predators. Hummingbirds also build their nests in trees or shrubs. If you see some old spider webs hanging around, consider leaving them instead of tidying them up — hummingbirds use the webbing to build their nests!
- Avoid chemical herbicides and insecticides. These can be harmful to pollinators, plus they can eliminate the insects that hummingbirds eat.