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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


  • Salvia leucantha 'Danielle's Dream'

    (Pink Mexican Bush Sage) Although native to Mexico and Central America, this elegant variety of Salvia leucantha was hybridized in South Africa. It is compact, long blooming and profusely covered by soft pink flowers surrounded by velvety white bracts.

    10.50
     


    This plant can now be ordered
    Preorder yours today, and your plants will be reserved for your selected shipping date.

    Due in stock and ready to ship on May 13, 2017


  • Salvia leucantha 'Greenwood'

    (Mexican Bush Sage or Velvet Sage) This variety of Mexican Bush Sage has purple and white flowers that bloom from summer into fall. Fuzzy leaves, stems and calyxes are characteristic of its species, so this native of Mexico and Central America is also called Velvet Sage.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia leucantha 'Midnight'

    (Midnight Mexican Bush Sage) The typical Mexican Bush Sage has purple flowers surrounded by furry white bracts. This clone from the San Francisco Peninsula has deep purple flowers, calyxes and stems. It is a good groundcover due to a mounding habit, smaller size and generous amounts of flowers.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia leucantha 'Purple Dwarf'

    (Mexican Bush Sage or Velvet Sage) Large purple and white flowers bloom abundantly on this compact dwarf plant. If you love the rich colors and velvety foliage of Mexican Bush Sage but have limited space or need a container variety, this one is is for you.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia leucantha 'Santa Barbara'

    (Santa Barbara Mexican Bush Sage) This compact Mexican Bush Sage was found in the Santa Barbara garden of Kathiann Brown. It is, without a doubt, the finest short Mexican Bush Sage -- hardy, tough and long blooming. Add drought tolerance and dark, rich purple flowers to its list of merits.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia leucantha 'White Mischief'

    (White Mischief Mexican Bush Sage) Profuse white blossoms and true white velvety bracts make the flowers of this South African hybrid a lovely choice for a wedding. In our experience, many of the plants sold as White Mischief are not the real thing. This tough, compact, long blooming sage is.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia libanensis

    (Giant Colombian Red Mountain Sage) In 1898, physician and medical plant researcher Henry Hurd Rusby (1855-1940) found this towering sage with large, deep red flowers in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta mountains of Colombia.

    15.00
     


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  • Salvia libanensis 'Pink Form'

    (Giant Colombian Pink Mountain Sage) In 1898, physician and medical plant researcher Henry Hurd Rusby (1855-1940) found the red-flowered variety of this towering species in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta mountains of Colombia. This one has large, reddish-pink flowers.

    15.00
     


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

    (Forysthia Sage)  This statuesque perennial grows up to 10 feet tall, but spreads only 3 feet wide. It is a late bloomer from Mexico's Sierra Madre Oriental mountains where it grows at altitudes of 4,000 to 5,000 feet and tolerates temperatures down to 20 degrees F.

    10.50
     


    This plant can now be ordered
    Preorder yours today, and your plants will be reserved for your selected shipping date.

    Due in stock and ready to ship on May 13, 2017


    Special Order Plant
    Special Order Plant   This plant is available by Special Order. Click for more information.
  • Salvia madrensis 'Red Neck Girl'

    (Red Stem Forsythia Sage) The thick, square, red stems of this variety of Forsythia Sage make it conspicuously different from the species and from everything else in your garden. Its jointed stalks look a little like rhubarb gone mad!

    11.50
     


    Special Order Plant
    Special Order Plant   This plant is available by Special Order. Click for more information.
  • Salvia madrensis 'Silver Leaf'

    (Silver Leaf Forysthia Sage) It's the foliage of this clone that makes it so different from its parent plant. The leaves are a lovely silver and smaller than the green leaves of the species. However, they both have buttery yellow, Forsythia-like blossoms.

    10.50
     


    This plant can now be ordered
    Preorder yours today, and your plants will be reserved for your selected shipping date.

    Due in stock and ready to ship on May 13, 2017


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

    (Grape Scented Sage) With the grape scent of its pale lavender blossoms and its long history of medicinal use, it is no surprise that this sage is so widely distributed.

    10.50
     


    This plant can now be ordered
    Preorder yours today, and your plants will be reserved for your selected shipping date.

    Due in stock and ready to ship on May 13, 2017


  • Salvia mexicana 'Blue Señorita'

    ('Blue Señorita' Mexican Sage) Smallish rich cobalt blue flowers come in large clusters on this unusually strong growing shrub.  From late summer through fall you and the hummingbirds will be delighted with this rare variety.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia mexicana 'Huntington Garden Form'

    (Huntington Garden Mexican Sage) In areas with mild end-of-year weather, this sage is a tower of nectar for hummingbirds. Large blue-to-purple flowers shaped like open parrot beaks reach out from dark calyxes. Their spikes stretch out horizontally and gently curve upward from the plant's mid-green foliage.

    10.50
     


    Special Order Plant
    Special Order Plant   This plant is available by Special Order. Click for more information.
  • Salvia mexicana 'Limelight'

    (Limelight Mexican Sage) The chartreuse green calyxes and deep violet flowers of this sage form an electric combination that lights up the partial shade garden from late summer through fall. The light gray-green leaves are a handsome finishing touch.
    10.50
     


  • Salvia mexicana 'Lolly'

    (Lolly's Mexican Sage) Our variety of Salvia mexicana 'Lolly' is the tall kind growing up to about shoulder height. A shorter form is often called "Lollie Jackson" or "Lolly Jackson." Who or what the mysterious Lolly is remains unclear.

    10.50
     


    Special Order Plant
    Special Order Plant   This plant is available by Special Order. Click for more information.
  • Salvia mexicana 'Ocampo'

    (Ocampo Mexican Sage) Growing from 7 to 10 feet tall each year, this is the largest of our Mexican Sages. Yet due to its erect form, this sage only spreads 36 inches. It has large, deep violet flowers with almost black calyxes that rise up on tall spikes and dark green, heavily veined foliage.

    10.50
     


    This plant can now be ordered
    Preorder yours today, and your plants will be reserved for your selected shipping date.

    Due in stock and ready to ship on May 13, 2017


    Special Order Plant
    Special Order Plant   This plant is available by Special Order. Click for more information.
  • Salvia mexicana 'Puerto de la Zorra'

    (Door of the Fox Mexican Sage) Purplish foliage contrasts attractively with the violet-to-purple flowers of this big sage, which grows 6 feet tall and 4 feet wide. Bloom time is autumn. This darkly dramatic Mexican Sage makes a particularly attractive entryway accent.

    10.50
     


    Special Order Plant
    Special Order Plant   This plant is available by Special Order. Click for more information.
  • Salvia mexicana 'Queretaro'

    (Querétaro Mexican Sage) Pump it up! Salvia mexicana 'Querétaro' is a Limelight Mexican Sage on steroids -- much larger all over and more vigorous. Honeybees and hummingbirds love its deep violet-blue flowers.
    10.50
     


    This plant can now be ordered
    Preorder yours today, and your plants will be reserved for your selected shipping date.

    Due in stock and ready to ship on May 13, 2017


  • Salvia mexicana 'Russell's Form'

    (Russell's Mexican Sage) Expect rapid, tall growth from this Salvia Mexicana . In the ground, Russell’s Mexican Sage can reach up to 10 feet tall and 5 feet wide, providing an effective screen of dark green, heart-shaped foliage. By late autumn it’s bursting with flowers.

    10.50
     


    Special Order Plant
    Special Order Plant   This plant is available by Special Order. Click for more information.
  • Salvia mexicana var. minor

    (Little Mexican Sage) This low-growing sage is a shrub in its warmest zones and a perennial in the cooler ones. It's just right for small spaces or tiny gardens. Short and compact, its flowers are similar to but smaller than those of S. mexicana 'Limelight'.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia mexicana x hispanica 'Byron Flint'

    (Byron's Mexican Sage) One of our favorite Mexican Sages, this large variety is reputed to be a hybrid between Salvia mexicana and S. hispanica -- a species of Chia Sage.

    10.50
     


    Special Order Plant
    Special Order Plant   This plant is available by Special Order. Click for more information.
  • Salvia microphylla 'Belize Form'

    (Black Stem Mountain Sage) Intense cardinal red flowers, stiff black stems and large, ribbed, green leaves make this Salvia microphylla stand out. Its color and upright growth make it dramatic amid a group of soft, rounded Salvias.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia microphylla 'Honey Rose'

    (Honey Rose Mountain Sage) So dark that they almost seem black, the stems of this Mountain Sage add drama to flowers the color of creamy tomato soup. The lush, mid-green foliage has distinctive ribbing and is stiffly upright; it makes a strong statement when grouped with soft, rounded Salvias.
    10.50
     


  • Salvia microphylla 'Hot Lips'

    (Hot Lips Sage) What a winner for fascinating flowers! Hot Lips Sage has solid red, solid white and two-tone combinations all on the same plant and often at the same time.The variations are random. You might say that this shrubby sage is mixed-up, but its confused coloring makes it highly desirable.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia microphylla 'Killer Cranberry'

    (Killer Cranberry Mountain Sage) Masses of magenta flowers on tall spikes lure honeybees and hummingbirds to the rich nectar of Salvia microphylla 'Killer Cranberry'. Its prolific flowers are a killer attraction for people too.

    10.50
     


    This plant can now be ordered
    Preorder yours today, and your plants will be reserved for your selected shipping date.

    Due in stock and ready to ship on May 13, 2017


    New!
  • Salvia microphylla 'Red Velvet'

    (Red Velvet Mountain Sage) This is one of the most intense red-flowering variety of Mountain Sage we grow. Medium-sized flowers are profuse on this large, vigorous plant -- particularly in spring and fall. Dark stems and calyxes intensify the plant's drama along with glossy green foliage.

    10.50
     


    This plant can now be ordered
    Preorder yours today, and your plants will be reserved for your selected shipping date.

    Due in stock and ready to ship on May 13, 2017


  • Salvia microphylla 'Royal Bumble'

    (Royal Bumble Mountain Sage) Almost black, the stems and calyxes of this UK hybrid form a pleasing contrast with its medium-size scarlet flowers and glossy green leaves. Bloom time is spring to fall. This Mountain Sage suckers freely and forms a dense clump.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia microphylla 'Variegata'

    (Variegated Mirto de Montes Sage) Over the years, we have seen a number of variegated varieties of Mountain Sage. None have been as lovely and sturdy as this one, from botanist Brent Barnes of the University of California at Riverside.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia microphylla var. neurepia

    (Big Leaf Mountain Sage) Nothing is little about this plant even though "microphylla" means "little leaf." The rough, wrinkly leaves are often 3 inches long and almost 2 inches wide. The pinkish-orange flowers are also large and bloom spring to fall.
    10.50
     


  • Salvia munzii

    (Munz's Sage) Densely branched and extremely fragrant, this drought-resistant shrub is named for botanist Philip Munz (1892-1974) of Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden and Pomona College. It is native to northern Baja California and the coastal mountains of San Diego.
    10.50
     


  • Salvia oxyphora

    (Fuzzy Bolivian Sage) Large, bright and fuzzy, the cherry-licorice red flowers of this sage top what at first glance appears to be smooth, glassy green foliage. Up close, the large, lance-shaped leaves are velvety with clear-to-white hairs.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia pachyphylla 'Blue Flame'

    (Giant Purple Desert Sage) It’s best to plant this flamboyant native of the Southwest in spring or summer. However, once established, it tolerates winters from USDA Zones 5 to 9. Purple tubular flowers and burgundy bracts flare up its 10-inch flower spikes like flames on this softly rounded shrub.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia pitcheri grandiflora

    (Big Pitcher Sage) As its scientific name indicates, this sage has very large flowers. They are almost two-tone, changing from deep violet to a light blue or white at their base where they are cupped by dusky purple calyxes.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia praeclara

    (Bolivian Sage) From early Spring to first frost, brilliant scarlet flowers on spikes up to 18 inches long adorn this Bolivian native in USDA Zones 9 to 11. Even if you live in a zone with colder winters, Bolivian Sage is spectacular as a bedding plant. has been called Salvia coccinea on steroids due to its .  needs rich, well-drained soil and full sun - but will grow in a wide range of soil, water and light conditions.

    8.00
     


  • Salvia pseudococcinea

    (False Tropical Sage) Sometimes plant naming is complicated. Such is the case with Salvia pseudococcinea, which is known by a number of scientific and common names. Sometimes it is called Salvia coccinea var. pseudococcinea.

    10.50
     


    New!


Take a Quick Look at a group of Salvias
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Reviews


This is a healthy beautiful plant. I have already seen this one in bloom and that is why I ordered it. It is incredibly cute in bloom. I can't wait.
Mrs. Carol Moreno
Mar 30, 2017