Hydrangeas are beloved for their large, showy blooms and ability to thrive in various climates. But do they attract hummingbirds? The answer is not straightforward. While some anecdotal evidence suggests that hummingbirds may be attracted to hydrangeas, there is no scientific consensus.
Hummingbirds are attracted to brightly colored, tubular flowers, which provide them with nectar as a food source. While hydrangeas produce flowers, they are not typically tubular and may not provide the necessary nectar to attract hummingbirds. However, some hydrangea varieties may produce more attractive flowers to hummingbirds than others. In this article, we will explore the relationship between hydrangeas and hummingbirds in more detail, examining the evidence for and against the idea that these popular garden plants can draw these tiny, fascinating birds to your yard.
Table of Contents
Hummingbirds’ Attraction to Hydrangeas
There is some anecdotal evidence that hummingbirds may enjoy visiting hydrangeas. While hydrangeas are not typically known for being a hummingbird’s favorite flower, they produce nectar, a food source for hummingbirds. However, the shape of the hydrangea flower may not be the most conducive to hummingbird feeding. The flowers of hydrangeas are often large and round, which may make it difficult for hummingbirds to access the nectar.
In addition, the color of the hydrangea flower may play a role in attracting hummingbirds. Hummingbirds are attracted to bright and bold colors, particularly red and orange. While hydrangea flowers come in various colors, including pink, blue, and white, they may not be as attractive to hummingbirds as other brightly colored flowers.
Hydrangeas as Hummingbird Feeders
Hydrangeas are a great source of nectar for hummingbirds. The nectar-rich blooms of hydrangeas make them a popular choice for gardeners looking to attract these beautiful birds. The bright colors of the flowers also make them stand out, catching the attention of hummingbirds from afar. However, not all hydrangeas are created equal when attracting hummingbirds. Some species provide more nectar than others, so choosing the right variety is important.
Hydrangeas most attractive to hummingbirds have large, showy blooms with lots of nectar. Some of the best hydrangeas to attract hummingbirds include:
It’s important to note that while hydrangeas are a great nectar source for hummingbirds, they should not be the only source in your garden. Hummingbirds need a variety of nectar-rich flowers to sustain their energy and health.
Hydrangeas as Hummingbird Habitat
Hydrangeas not only provide a source of food for hummingbirds but also serve as habitat for them. The dense foliage of hydrangeas provides shelter and nesting sites for hummingbirds. The thick branches of hydrangeas also provide a place for hummingbirds to perch and rest.
When planting hydrangeas to attract hummingbirds, choosing a location that provides adequate space and sunlight is important. Hydrangeas need plenty of space to grow and thrive, requiring at least six hours of sunlight daily. In addition, planting hydrangeas near other hummingbird-friendly plants like bee balm, salvia, and butterfly bush can also help attract hummingbirds to your garden.
Reasons Why Hummingbirds Might Not be Attracted to Hydrangeas
While hydrangeas produce nectar, there may be other reasons hummingbirds are not attracted to them. One reason may be the timing of the hydrangea bloom. Hydrangeas typically bloom in the late spring or early summer, which is also the time when many other flowers are in bloom. Hummingbirds may have other options for food sources during this time, making hydrangeas less attractive to them.
Another reason hummingbirds may not be attracted to hydrangeas is the plant’s location. Hydrangeas are often planted in shaded areas or areas with limited sunlight. Hummingbirds prefer sunny areas where they can easily spot and access food sources. For example, if a hydrangea plant is located in a shaded area, it may not be as visible to hummingbirds, making it less likely to visit the plant.
Overall, while there is some evidence that hummingbirds may visit hydrangeas, they may not be the most attractive flower to hummingbirds. However, if you want to attract hummingbirds to your garden, it may be best to plant various brightly colored flowers that bloom throughout the season.
How to Attract Hummingbirds to Hydrangeas
To attract hummingbirds to your hydrangeas, choosing the right type of hydrangea is important. Hummingbirds are attracted to brightly colored flowers, so consider planting hydrangeas with pink, red, or purple blooms. Some popular varieties include the Pink Diamond, Lacecap, and Oakleaf hydrangeas.
When planting hydrangeas, choosing a location that receives plenty of sunlight is important. Hummingbirds are attracted to warm, sunny areas with easy access to nectar sources. Ensure the soil is well-draining and rich in organic matter to support healthy growth.
To keep your hydrangeas healthy and attractive to hummingbirds, it is important to provide regular care and maintenance. Water your hydrangeas deeply once a week, and mulch around the base of the plant to help retain moisture. Prune your hydrangeas in late winter or early spring to promote new growth and flowering.
Fertilize your hydrangeas with a balanced fertilizer in the spring and summer to provide the nutrients they need for healthy growth. Avoid over-fertilizing, as this can lead to excessive foliage growth at the expense of flowers.
Other Ways to Attract Hummingbirds to Your Garden
In addition to planting hydrangeas, there are other ways to attract hummingbirds to your garden. Add other nectar-rich plants, such as bee balm, salvia, and butterfly bush. Place hummingbird feeders in your garden filled with a solution of four parts water to one part sugar. Then, change the nectar every few days to keep it fresh.
Create a water feature, such as a fountain or bird bath, to provide fresh water for hummingbirds to drink from and bathe in. Place perches throughout your garden to give hummingbirds a place to rest and observe their surroundings.
Following these tips, you can create a hummingbird-friendly garden to attract these fascinating creatures to your hydrangeas and other plants.
In conclusion, hydrangeas do attract hummingbirds. These birds are drawn to the bright colors and nectar produced by the hydrangea flowers. While not all hydrangea varieties are equally attractive to hummingbirds, those with brightly colored flowers and easy-to-access blooms are the most popular among these birds.
It’s important to note that while hydrangeas can be a great addition to a garden or landscape for attracting hummingbirds, they should not be relied upon as the sole food source for these birds. Hummingbirds require a diverse diet that includes insects and other sources of nectar and the nectar produced by flowers.
If you’re interested in attracting hummingbirds to your garden, consider planting various flowers and shrubs that are attractive to these birds. The best options include bee balm, butterfly bush, and salvia.