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Hummingbird Plants

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Hummingbird Plants

We love hummingbirds, and they love us back with lots of visits. That's because our gardens are abundant in the tubular-shaped, nectar-rich flowers of sages and companion plants. Almost any sage (Salvia spp.) will attract hummingbirds. However, this list is based on the plants that hummingbirds regularly swarm in our garden and sneak into our greenhouses to sip.

You'll find a wide range of Salvia species and varieties here, especially ones from the Western Hemisphere. Over the years, we have noticed that hummingbirds seem to prefer mint-family plants (Lamiaceae) from the West. This makes sense considering that these flying jewels aren't found in the Eastern Hemisphere; native animals prefer native flora.

Plants and pollinators in a region coevolve to meet each other's needs. For example, the tube-shaped flowers of North and Central American Lamiaceae particularly fit the beaks of hummingbirds living in those areas whereas some South American sages with longer blossoms require the longer beaks of South American hummers for pollination.

North or South, the super-rich nectar of Salvias and other mint-type plants keep tiny wings whirring. Also, insects attracted to their nectar give the birds an added dietary boost of protein.

We have discovered some happy contradictions to the Hemisphere rule. So we include some Eastern Hemisphere plants here that hummingbirds crave, especially ones from South Africa. These include Salvia companions that are also Lamiaceae. Birds in South Africa, with similarly long beaks, go crazy for the nectar in their trumpet-shaped blossoms.

In addition to basing our selections for this list on years of observation, we also listen to what you have to say. Based on customer feedback, all these plants seem to be hummingbird favorites wherever they are grown. But keep in mind that just because a sage is not listed here does not mean it won't attract and nourish hummers.

Plants


  • Lobelia 'Starship Deep Rose'

    (Starship Deep Rose Cardinal Flower) What a great, long-blooming perennial! The bright pink flowers of Starship Deep Rose are plentiful and attract lots of buzz from butterflies and hummingbirds.

    10.50
     


    New!
  • Lobelia cardinalis 'Queen Victoria'

    (Queen Victoria Cardinal Flower) Calling all butterfly and hummingbird lovers in areas with chilly winters: This one's for you. Lobelias are well known for attracting pollinators. This one is extremely cold tolerant and even does well in the Rocky Mountain West.

    10.50
     


  • Lobelia laxiflora var angustifolia

    (Sierra Madre Cardinal Flower) Butterflies and hummingbirds love the long, scarlet and orange trumpet blossoms of this Lobelia native to the Sierra Madre Occidental Mountains of Southern Arizona and Northern Mexico.

    10.50
     


  • Lobelia x speciosa 'Compliment Deep Red'

    (Giant Red Cardinal Flower) Similar to the plumage of a Northern Cardinal, the flowers of this Lobelia hybrid are startlingly red. The tubular blossoms have lips that flare at their openings into petals shaped like poinsettia bracts.

    10.50
     


  • Phygelius 'Lemon Spritzer'

    (Lemon Spritzer Cape Fuchsia) Slender, hot pink trumpet blossoms of Lemon Spritzer Cape Fuchsia dangle from red flower spikes. They hang over variegated foliage that looks like someone sprayed it with lime, forest green and cream accents.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia 'Amistad'

    (Friendship Sage) Thank you Rolando Uria of the University of Buenos Aries for this very fine plant. Discovered in 2005 at a plant show in Argentina, this truly unique hybrid sage has generated a great deal of excitement in the Salvia world. We are very excited to be able to offer this plant for the first time in the Spring of 2013.

    10.50
     


    New!
  • Salvia 'Blue Chiquita'

    (Blue Chiquita Sage)  This unusual and now rare variety was first discovered by the Yucca Do Nursery during their 1997 expedition in Mexico.  Growing into a small, tight mound with silvery-blue leaves, it explodes in the fall with pale blue flowers on tall spikes.

    11.50
     


  • Salvia 'Fancy Dancer'

    (Fancy Dancer Sage) Sages can be such tough plants withstanding heat and drought. Yet so many, including Salvia 'Fancy Dancer' have delicate looking blossoms. This one has bicolor flowers combining light and hot pink tones.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia amarissima

    (Bitter Mexican Sage) Hummingbirds love this heat-tolerant Salvia, which is one of our best choices for shady, moist areas. The large-lipped, baby-blue flowers with white striations bloom from late summer through fall.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia atrocyanea

    (Dark Flowered Bolivian Sage) Here is a water-loving beauty with dusky blue flowers --a native of the moist Yungas piedmont forests of Northwestern Argentina and Bolivia. Salvia atrocyanea is well adapted to both full sun and partial shade.

    12.50
     


    New!
  • Salvia BODACIOUS 'Rhythm and Blues'

    (Rhythm and Blues Anise-Scented Sage)  New for 2017, this variety is a superior version of the older standby 'Black and Blue'.  Easy to grow and rewarding, this hummingbird favorite is our very best Anise Scented Sage.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia brandegeei x munzii 'Pacific Blue'

    (Pacific Blue Sage) Whorls of deep lavender-blue flowers contrast brightly against the dark maroon stems of this likely hybrid of Salvia brandegeei and Salvia munzii.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia carnea

    (Temascaltepec Sage) In full bloom, which is all year in mild climates, this mid-sized Salvia has far more flowers than foliage. Each 1/2-inch-long, bright pink bloom has two dark pink/purple spots and a pair of white stripes. The small, slightly furry leaves add to its soft, pleasing look.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia chiapensis

    (Chiapas Sage) This partial-shade Salvia produces magenta flowers year round for us on the Mendocino Coast. It's compact, free flowering and not bothered by pests whether large or small. It is native to Mexico's coastal mountains at an elevation of 7,000 to 9,500 feet.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia cinnabarina

    (Cinnabar Sage) Think of this plant as Pineapple Sage on steroids. It grows 5 feet tall and can be twice as wide and bursts with large, intensely red, furry flowers all winter. Our overwintering hummingbirds adore it. This cinnabar-red sage is hard to forget once you see it in full bloom.

    11.50
     


  • Salvia clevelandii 'Alpine'

    (Alpine Cleveland Sage) Powerfully fragrant and incredibly long blooming, Alpine Cleveland Sage is also the cold-hardyest variety of its species, tolerating temperatures well below freezing.
    10.50
     


  • Salvia clevelandii 'Deer Springs Silver'

    (Silver Cleveland Sage or California Silver-Blue Sage) Unlike other Cleveland Sages, this drought-tolerant, violet-flowered evergreen blooms in summer. This compact, aromatic shrub has distinctive silver-grey foliage. It was discovered in Northern San Diego County.
    10.50
     


  • Salvia clevelandii 'Whirly Blue'

    (Cleveland Sage or California Blue Sage) A California native plant garden is not complete without a Cleveland Sage. This particular cultivar has deeper blue flowers with a purple overlay as well as deep purple calyxes. Due to its height and drought resistance, it is ideal for back of border in a dry garden or for use as a screen.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia clevelandii 'Winnifred Gilman'

    (Cleveland Sage or California Blue Sage) This drought-tolerant, evergreen, California native is a compact, aromatic shrub with electric blue-purple flowers that bloom in summer. Discovered in a Berkeley, California, garden, Winnifred Gilman is a fine variety of the species.
    10.50
     


  • Salvia coccinea 'Brenthurst'

    (Brenthurst Tropical Sage)Tropical Sage is popular as an annual throughout America and as a perennial in warm zones. It is particularly beloved in the Deep South where it withstands heat, wind, heavy rains and excessive humidity to bloom prolifically season after season. Brenthurst is a coral-flowered cultivar with dramatic, dark bracts and bright green, heart-shaped leaves.

    7.00
     


  • Salvia coccinea 'Coral Nymph'

    (Coral Nymph Tropical Sage) What a cutie! This award-winning cultivar of Tropical Sage is short and compact yet has a multitude of pastel salmon flowers larger than those of its bigger cousins. It is perfect for annual flower beds or patio containers.

    7.00
     


  • Salvia coccinea 'Forest Fire'

    (Forest Fire Tropical Sage) Butterflies love the abundant, fire engine red flowers of this mostly annual sage. It's a popular cultivar of one of the first Salvias used for ornamental purposes -- Tropical Sage. The flowers are dramatically framed by reddish black bracts.

    7.00
     


  • Salvia coccinea 'Lady in Red'

    (Lady in Red Tropical Sage) Lady in Red is a variety of Salvia coccinea Juss. ex Murray, which is often called Texas Sage. It is the best red-flowering Tropical Sage that we grow.

    7.00
     


  • Salvia coccinea 'Snow Nymph'

    (Snow Nymph White Tropical Sage) Butterflies, hummingbirds and honeybees enjoy this award winner, which is an outstanding choice for pure white color from June to autumn. This type of Tropical Sage is generally the first to flower for us.

    7.00
     


  • Salvia coccinea 'Summer Jewel Lavender'

    (Summer Jewel Lavender Tropical Sage) Butterflies, hummingbirds and honeybees enjoy this All American 2016 winner, which is an outstanding choice for dusty lavender purple color from June to autumn. The Summer Jewel varieties of Tropical Sage is generally the first to flower for us.

    7.00
     


    New!
  • Salvia coccinea 'Summer Jewel Pink'

    (Summer Jewel Pink Tropical Sage) Butterflies, hummingbirds and honeybees enjoy this Fleuroselect Gold Medal winner, which is an outstanding choice for bright pink & white color from June to autumn. This type of Tropical Sage is generally the first to flower for us.

    7.00
     


  • Salvia coccinea 'Summer Jewel Red'

    (Summer Jewel Red Tropical Sage) Butterflies, hummingbirds and honeybees enjoy this Fleuroselect Gold Medal winner, which is an outstanding choice for bright red color from June to autumn. This type of Tropical Sage is generally the first to flower for us.

    7.00
     


  • Salvia coccinea 'Summer Jewel White'

    (Summer Jewel White Tropical Sage) Butterflies, hummingbirds and honeybees enjoy this All American 2016 winner, which is an outstanding choice for pure white color from June to autumn. The Summer Jewel varieties of Tropical Sage is generally the first to flower for us.

    7.00
     


    New!
  • Salvia coccinea 'Vermilion'

    (VermilionTropical Sage) Tall and full of large, orange flowers, Salvia coccinea 'Vermilion' is a strain from the Lousiana gardens of hummingbird guru Nancy Newfield.

    8.00
     


  • Salvia concolor

    (Blue Black Mexican Sage) This spectacular and hardy native of Central Mexico is exciting to watch as new growth shoots upward rapidly from its root stock in spring. Its large, vibrant, purple-blue flowers bloom for about 10 months and are profuse from late autumn through winter on flower spikes up to 20 inches long.

    10.50
     


    Special Order Plant
    Special Order Plant   This plant is available by Special Order. Click for more information.
  • Salvia confertiflora

    (Red Velvet Sage) Reaching up to 18 inches tall, the floral spikes of this exotic looking Salvia are crowded with small, velvety, orange-red blossoms from mid-summer to late autumn. Its large, dark green, pebbly leaves are beautiful in their own right, making this one of our favorite sages.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia cuatrecasana x guaranitica 'Elk Magenta'

    (Elk Magenta Hybrid Sage)  Combining the best characteristics of both parents, this robust, large leafed hybrid has deep magenta and white flowers that delight hummingbirds.

    10.50
     


    New!
  • Salvia darcyi 'Pscarl'

    (Vermilion Bluffs® Mexican Sage) The brilliant red flowers of Vermilion Bluffs bloom abundantly from August to October. This variety of the Mexican native Salvia darcyi is cold hardy to Zone 5b at altitudes up to 5,500 feet.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia darcyi x microphylla Windwalker®

    (Windwalker® Royal Red Salvia) Salvia darcyi x S. microphylla 'PWIN03S' is one of the top 2015 plants for USDA Cold Hardiness Zone 5 selected by Colorado's Plant Select®, a nonprofit organization that focuses on promoting plants for low-water gardens.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia dichlamys

    (Scarlet Rooster Sage) From the mountains of Mexico we have this stunning Sage, which seems never to be out of bloom. A superior hummingbird plant, the warm orange flowers that cover this shrubby perennial make it a standout in the garden.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia discolor

    (Peruvian Sage or Concolor Sage) Native to the high Andes of Peru, this is a distinctive Salvia with apple-green leaves that are smooth on top and silver-haired fuzzy on the bottom. The flowers are such a dark purple that they almost look black.

    10.50
     




Take a Quick Look at a group of Salvias
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Reviews


Blooms pretty continuously from late spring through fall, planted in full sun wit 45 minutes of drip every 5 days in summer. Attracts various pollinators.
Mary Smith
Aug 12, 2017