The Best Annuals to Attract Hummingbirds

Hummingbirds have an unending appetite for nectar and will visit dozens of different flowers for sweet sips. Adding annuals to your landscaping is a great way to attract hummingbirds and provide them with a fresh, natural food source for their hearty appetites.

Why Plant Annuals?

Annuals are plants that flower and die within a single season, producing seeds for the next generation rather than surviving themselves to thrive again. These plants are generally very bold and bright, with large, luxurious blooms – true showstoppers in the yard. Because their lifespan is so short, they need to attract attention quickly in order to propagate successfully.

Many annual plants are less expensive than plants with longer lifespans, and because they focus their energy on creating flowers and seeds, they tend to be smaller when mature. This means more annuals can be planted in a small space, creating a burgeoning, beautiful garden sure to attract hummingbirds. Furthermore, annuals have longer bloom cycles and may bloom reliably for weeks or months, bringing beauty to the yard and sweet nectar for many hummingbirds to enjoy all season long. This makes annuals a true winner for gardeners and birds alike!

Best Annuals to Attract Hummingbirds

Not all annuals produce nectar that will attract hummingbirds. While the best plants for any individual yard will depend on the climate type, growing zone, soil condition, weather patterns, sunlight levels, and the care the plants receive, the top annuals that hummingbirds love include:

  • Black-eyed susan
  • Cleome
  • Fuchsia
  • Geranium
  • Impatiens
  • Lantana
  • Lupine
  • Mexican sunflower
  • Morning glory
  • Nasturtium
  • Petunia
  • Phlox
  • Salvia
  • Snapdragon
  • Spotted jewelweed
  • Zinnia

In some growing zones with milder conditions and less severe winters, these flowers may actually be perennials and could return in multiple years. Many gardeners still treat them as annuals, however, replacing and rearranging plants as desired from one year to the next.

Using Annuals to Attract Hummingbirds to Your Yard

There are many great ways to add annuals to your yard to draw the attention of hummingbirds. Beautiful and effective options include:

  • Creating a dedicated flowerbed or hummingbird garden with a variety of annuals for a colorful mix. Adding a bird bath or hummingbird feeder to the garden as a focal point can bring the design together and attract even more birds.
  • Using annuals to edge walkways, paths, driveways, sidewalks, or decks. These are highly visible spaces that hummingbirds will quickly notice, and the plants can boost the curb appeal of your property and make it the envy of all your neighbors.
  • Creating hummingbird-friendly window boxes to bring these tiny birds up close for spectacular views. Be sure the window is protected by a screen or decorated with decals, however, to warn visiting birds about the glass and prevent dangerous collisions.
  • Adding nectar-rich annuals to porch pots or containers on a deck, stairs, or patio. Because annuals are smaller, several beautiful plants will fill a pot and create a movable hummingbird feast to entice these birds to visit wherever the pot is placed.
  • Positioning hanging pots with hummingbird-friendly annuals from eaves or on hooks throughout the garden. These pots can easily be hung from an arbor or archway, or even used to decorate a gazebo, and hummingbirds will happily hover for every sip.

The more options you try with the best annuals to attract hummingbirds, the more successful you will be at bringing these birds back again and again. Even though individual annuals may last just one year, you’ll soon find you get years of enjoyment from using these beautiful plants to attract hummingbirds.

Melissa Mayntz

About Melissa Mayntz

Melissa Mayntz is a birder and a writer, naturally writing about birds. Her work has appeared with The Spruce, Farmers' Almanac, National Wildlife Magazine, Bird Watcher's Digest and other publications. She is the author of Migration: Exploring the Remarkable Journeys of Birds (Quadrille Publishing, 2020), and is transforming her suburban backyard into prime bird habitat. Be Your Own Birder.