How to Attract Hummingbirds to Your Balcony or Backyard

Tips for attracting hummingbirds to your backyard or balcony.

Photo: Shutterstock

Hummingbirds are among the most beautiful wild birds in North America. Some cultures even consider them an omen of happiness. On a more practical level, they eat insects like mosquitoes and, along with bees and butterflies, are pollinators crucial to the life cycle of plants and trees.

If you want to have a hummingbird-friendly garden, choose flowers that are not just attractive but that provide the nourishment hummingbirds need to support their extremely fast metabolisms. In addition to providing flowers for nutrition, provide them with resting space in the form of shrubs or trees, and ensure that fresh, clean water is available.

When it comes to plants, hummingbirds’ long, slightly curved beaks are specially adapted to eat nectar from tube-shaped flowers like honeysuckle and lupine. Be sure that the plants you choose are not invasive—in fact, use native plants whenever possible—and that they’ll survive in your plant hardiness zone. Check the USDA’s Plant Hardiness Zone Map to find out what zone you live in, and get your flowers based on what will flourish in your area. Local garden nurseries and garden clubs can also be a good source of information about flowers that do well where you live.

If you have pets that go into your garden area, be sure that what you’re planting will not be toxic to them. The ASPCA’s toxic and non-toxic plant list is a good place to start.

Some of the hummingbird-friendly plants that should do well in your backyard garden include bee balm, begonia, lobelia, columbine, dahlia, delphinium, flowering tobacco (Nicotiana alata), geraniums, petunia, phlox, sweet William, verbena, and zinnia. As a bonus, many of these plants smell wonderful.

If you’re looking for plants to hang in pots on your balcony, try fuchsia, phlox, begonia, nasturtium, petunia, scarlet sage, and hibiscus.

Have you made a hummingbird-friendly garden on your balcony or in your backyard? Leave a comment and tell us what flowers you used.

About Alex Holt

I am a local artist from Brooklyn, NY. I love art, design, books, photography, gardening and blogging.
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2 Responses to How to Attract Hummingbirds to Your Balcony or Backyard

  1. What a lovely post! I’m in Australia so sadly can’t attract hummingbirds. I saw one when I was in Albuquerque in August and it was mesmerising. I stood and watched it feeding in the bushes for close to 10 minutes. I enjoyed reading your practical tips for attracting these beautiful birds.

    • Alex Holt says:

      Thank you so much! I love hummingbirds, too, but I only see them in the summer and sometimes the early fall because of the climate where I live. I especially love seeing the males, because they’re so brightly colored.

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