Hummers LOVE red flowers! So, if you are planning a hummingbird garden, you’ll need to include several red flowers in your garden: hummingbirds just seem to zero in on the color red. If you wonder about the best red flowers that attract hummingbirds, you’ll love my collection below.
Why Are Hummingbirds Attracted To The Color Red?
Have you ever noticed that almost all hummingbird feeders are red in color? The truth is that over the years it has been proven that hummingbirds are drawn to the color red for some reason. But just what is there about this particular color that seems to be a real draw to these little delightful birds?
While red flowers seem to be a favorite color for hummingbirds, the truth is that these little birds are drawn to many bright colored flowers including purple, pink, orange and yellow.
Their reason hummingbirds are drawn to the color red has nothing to do with the color. But rather because they recognize this color of flower tends to have the sweet nectar that is necessary for them to survive.
Hummingbirds are small little birds with more common types weighing only about 3 grams. Their wings flap anywhere from 40 to 80 times a second, which means that burn off calories at an alarming rate requiring them to eat about 7 times per hour.
In order to remain healthy, a hummingbird needs to eat anywhere from ½ to 8 times their body weight every day. Much of that food comes from the nectar of flowers, which also serves as their water source.
This means that a hummingbird visits thousands of flowers a day to get the food they need, so it only makes sense that they are drawn to the color of the flower which they know is most likely to carry the nectar they need. Red flowers just seem to be that color.
Planning Your Hummingbird Garden
When planning your hummingbird garden you are going to want to mix in different types and colors of flowers, but you definitely want to make sure that you include some nectar-rich red flowers in your garden. Here is a look at some of the different red or reddish flowers that are great for those fluttery little birds we all love.
Best Red Flowers That Attract Hummingbirds
Annual red flowers for hummingbirds
For some reason there seem to be fewer red annual flowers that are attractive to hummingbirds than there are perennials, But here is a look at some of the best red annual flowers for Hummingbirds.
Penta flowers are also known as the starflower due to the shape of their blossoms. They come as both annuals and perennials. These little flowers come in assorted colors but the red pentas are really bright red. They are warm tropical plants that need to be planted in full soil in soil that drains well. When planted in the US these flowers can be planted as annuals in cooler climates.
Zinnias, like Pentas, come in a variety of colors including a really bright red. These flowers are single head daisy-like flowers that are easy to care for. Each year the zinnia drops seeds from which new plants grow, but the original flower does not grow again.
One nice thing about zinnias is that can grow in poor soil conditions.
Petunias are another annual flower that is attractive to hummingbirds. These flowers are pretty prolific and come in a wide variety of colors (except for true blue). They do well in direct sunlight and well-draining soil like sand or clay.
Like petunias? Landscaping with petunias is a lot of fun!
These three annual flowers seem to be among the few annual red flowers that attract hummingbirds.
Perennial Red Flowers That Attract Hummingbirds
Unlike annual plants that only grow for one season or one year, Perennial plants will grow year after year if properly cared for. The nice thing is that there are quite a number of red or near red perennial flowers that are attractive to hummingbirds. Here is a look at some of these plants.
More of a wine red than a true red, the bee balm flowers are rich in nectar and great food for hummingbirds. These flowers grow in clumps of upright stems up to 3 or 4 feet tall.
They do best in full sunshine or partial shade and need moderately fertile humus-rich soil. These flowers, also known as bee balm, look great as informal borders or in fields of flowers.
The phlox flowers bloom from late spring to early fall and they do well in full sun and partial shade and well-drained soil.
Red agastache, also known as hummingbird mint, is a bright orange/red flower that grows 28 to 32 inches tall. It is a hardy plant that needs full sunshine and well-drained soil (grows in sandy soil). It grows from mid to late summers and is a huge attraction to hummingbirds, but is rabbit and deer resistant.
Lobelia, also called cardinal flower, is a dark red flower the petals of which have a velvety look. These flowers grow on strong stems over deep purple foliage.
They bloom from late summer into the fall and best in wet soil near the edge of a pond or stream. These plants are a huge attraction to both hummingbirds and butterflies.
Lakota Fire Echinacea
The Lakota Fire Echinacea or fire coneflower is a reddish-orange or reddish-pink flower that grows about 16 inches tall. The flowers have a light fragrance and are easy to grow. They grow from mid-summer to mid-autumn.
The plant grows in full sunlight and can grow in both dry and moist soil. This flower will even grow in inner-city environments. A favorite of butterflies and hummingbirds, it’s also but deer resistant. These plants can easily be grown in a container.
The bleeding heart flower, also known as the Dicentra spectabilis ‘Valentine’ flower is one of the many red flowers that attract hummingbirds. This perennial flower produces dozens of arched stems on which dangle heart-shaped red flowers. This plant grows well in humus-rich, well-drained soil and partial shade. The flowers grow about 30 inches tall and look great in woodsy gardens.
Trumpet creepers are flowering vines that have beautiful tubular flowers. These flowers bloom from summer into late fall. They are strong enough to survive winter weather and are considered to be invasive by some people, although with proper care this vine can be kept under control.
These plants can grow in any soil condition (although they prefer well-draining soil) as long as they have a firm structure for the vines to grow on.
Including some of these annual and perennial flowers in your butterfly garden is sure to attract some beautiful hummingbirds to your garden.
When starting your hummingbird garden, check with your local nursery to discover which of these flowers will grow best in the planting zone in which you live.
Hummingbirds Enjoying Red Flowers
Here are a few pictures of hummingbirds enjoying red flowers.
What a beauty! A female ruby-throated hummingbird enjoying coral red honeysuckle.
Here it is again, this time feeding at the red salvia.
Annas hummingbird drinking from a bleeding heart flower.
Ruby-throated hummingbird feeding from a bee balm flower.