Hummingbirds are birds unlike any other. With their dazzling colors and energetic flight patterns, it's no wonder that so many cultures across the globe see them as symbols of joy. If you've never had a hummingbird visit your Bettendorf garden, you're missing out big time! Don't worry, though; with the right feeders and flowers, you'll have hummingbirds flocking to your outdoor space in no time! Here are our top picks for the best hummingbird-friendly flowers to plant today for a bountiful and buzzing backyard!
Plants That Attract Hummingbirds in Bettendorf, Iowa
You might have noticed your neighbors getting a lot of hummingbird traffic last summer, and you may have wondered what their secret is. While there are a few different factors at play when attracting hummingbirds, the most important one to keep in mind is that their favorite color is red! Red tells a hummingbird that some high-octane fuel is available, so it's the first color they look for in the flower and feeder department. For this reason, here are some of the best flowers to try in your Bettendorf garden to attract a gathering of everyone's favorite bird:
Firefly Coral Bells
These tiny little red bell flowers grow on thin stems atop a canopy of foliage and are an absolute hummingbird favorite! This early-blooming perennial attracts all species of hummingbirds and gives them a great early start after a long, cold winter. You can prolong blooming with regular deadheading of spent flowers.
If you're looking to attract hummingbirds, look no further than the penstemon! Specifically, the red firecracker penstemon has perfect tube-shaped flowers that hummingbirds love! Blooming from late spring to early summer, you're sure to attract a bounty of hungry hummingbirds with these bursting out of a flower patch or container garden.
Begonias are rich in the sweet nectar that attracts hummingbirds, and so make amazing additions to your garden. Look for varieties with large blooms in reds, oranges, and pinks to draw their attention. The 'nonstop red' and 'surefire red' varieties are particularly excellent choices for their bold red color.
Bee Balm (Monarda)
This beautiful bloomer has always been a hummingbird favorite, especially the deep red 'scarlet' variety. A member of the mint family, this perennial must-have is a magnet for pollinators like hummingbirds, butterflies, and–of course–bees! A great addition to any garden or patio container, bee balm is an essential selection if you're looking to attract hummingbirds to your garden or patio paradise.
Hummingbird Fuchsia / Hardy Fuchsia
While this stunning flower grows as a perennial shrub in warmer and humid climates, like its native South America, many Iowa gardeners and hummingbird lovers alike plant the hummingbird fuchsia as an annual to attract hummingbirds all summer. The flowers of this hummingbird favorite dangle like earrings and bloom all summer, providing a fantastic food source to hummers and adding a delightful pop of color to your garden. If you don't want to keep replanting fuchsia year after year, try overwintering it indoors during the colder Iowa months.
You couldn't pick a better hummingbird-attracting flower than this bountiful perennial's 'Lucifer' variety. A vibrant scarlet red flower, crocosmia lucifer grows up to 4 feet tall on corms and blooms during mid-late summer, coming back year after year. Their tall, sword-shaped leaves are equally as impressive. When it rains, many gardeners can enjoy watching hummingbirds use these broad leaves for bathing. You may need to use supports for your crocosmia, however, as they do have a tendency to topple over if not anchored properly.
Unfortunately, we can't keep these gorgeous red flowers in bloom all year here in Iowa, which is why hummingbirds migrate to warmer pastures for the winter. When they do return in the spring, they will be hungry! Hummingbirds have excellent memories and will remember a good food source once established, and they're known to leave feeder sites that are inconsistent, unclean, or otherwise dangerous, so keeping a reliable, well-maintained food source available will ensure your hummingbird guests return year after year!
For migrating hummingbirds, put out feeders before their expected arrival, often before many blooms are available. If they find a good feeder early on, you're sure to keep their attention all season, but make sure to change the sugar solution often–especially in hot weather–and keep it clean and ant- and wasp-free. Also, never use red dyes in your sugar/water solution; instead, rely on the red coloring of hummingbird feeders and your vibrant red flowers to keep them interested.
If you're ready to shop for the best hummingbird flowers in the Bettendorf, Iowa area, we'd love to see you! We're all about hummingbirds and love the beauty, joy, and excitement they spread, and we know you will too! Stop by and visit us at Wallace's Garden Center today to see what we've got in stock.