Attracting Hummingbirds to your garden

Hummingbirds make your garden come alive. Whether you are watching them feed, fight one another for territory or simply rest in a tree’s branches, they are a colorful and fascinating additions to your garden. Two of the critical elements that draw hummingbirds into a garden and could potentially encourage them to stay are plenty of forage and access to water.

Hummingbird Forage should be selected with an eye towards plants that have staggered bloom time from May to September. Hummingbirds have a preference towards tubular flowers, including, but not exclusively, red. Some of their favorites, that are also hardy in Santa Fe are Hummingbird mint, Penstemons, Red Hot Pokers, Bee Balm, Salvias, Columbines, Crabapple trees, and Honeysuckle vine. Nectar from hummingbird friendly flowering perennials, shrubs and trees can be supplemented with Hummingbird feeders as long as the feeder has fresh food and is washed well between feedings.

Hummingbirds also benefit from a supply of fresh water, especially in the arid southwest. Hummingbirds have a preference towards spray and misting types of watering devices, but will make due with a re-circulating fountain or birdbath if that is all that is available. Design a garden with Hummingbirds in mind and you will be richly rewarded. To find lots more information about Santa Fe’s populations of hummingbirds, check out the Birds Unlimited website.

Peggy Wright (Masters in Landscape Architecture)