Our gardens are abundant in the tubular-shaped, nectar-rich flowers that attract hummingbirds. Insects attracted to the nectar of flowering sage plants add protein to hummingbird diets. This list is based on the sages (Salvia spp.) that hummingbirds swarm in our garden and sneak into our greenhouses to visit.
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.
Nevertheless, hummingbirds crave some Eastern Hemisphere plants, especially ones from South Africa. These include Salvia companions that are also mint family plants. South African birds with 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 pay attention to customer feedback. But keep in mind that just because a sage is not listed here does not mean it won't attract and nourish hummingbirds.