August 8, 2018
Two Must Have Flowers To Attract Hummingbirds To Your Yard

This year I have found two must have flowers to attract hummingbirds to your yard.

That’s not to say that other flowers won’t do the same thing, but from my past experiences, these 2 flowers top the list.

The first one I found at a flower centre this year and thought it would be some nice colour as a potted plant and also thinking the hummers might like it because of its tubular shape.

Not only did they like it, they flocked to it.

Purchased in May, it has been blooming all summer long.

Not only that but you might have read in another one of my posts, I only keep plants that can take a little abused and care.

The things I like about it are:

  • drought tolerant
  • heat tolerant
  • continuous bloom from planting to frost
  • can be used in containers, borders, mass plantings
  • attract hummingbirds

My beautiful plant is in a pot, gets the occasional drink and flowers profusely. Gotta love it.

So, I’ve told you all that to tell you this.

The name fo the plant is called Vermillionaire Cuphea. Also called a large firecracker plant.

Vermillionaire Cuphea

The hummingbirds are at it daily and for the first part of the summer it was the only flowering plant around that was specifically made for them with its tubular flowers.

Anna's hummingbird on Vermillionaire Cuphea

It’s called an annual, but I’m hoping here on the west coast that by putting it into the greenhouse for the winter I can get it to act as a perennial.

If not, it was less than $5 and I’ve had more than enough enjoyment from it to cover the cost. Next year I might get a few more and put directly into the garden.

Anna's hummingbird drinking from a Vermillionaire Cuphea

The next plant that I can’t say enough about was given to me by my mother last winter. She was mentioning how much the hummingbirds liked it, so of course, I just had to have it.

I literally ripped up some bulbs from assorted plants in her garden and stuck them in mine having no idea what they would look like or even if I had the right ones.

As luck would have it I not only got the right ones but a couple of other flowers as well that I don’t know the names of.

purple flower

The bulbs were then planted in a new garden that I’d made and I just sort of spread them out.

Turns out I have two varieties, one being tall and red and the other being shorter and more orange and yellow.

The taller variety comes out a couple of weeks sooner than the shorter variety which is great as it allows more colour in the garden over a longer period of time.

Before I go any further and tell you what they are, I need to mention that the plants are just a little creepy.

Not in the sense of being ugly or weird but because of one odd habit.

I can be sitting in the backyard or on the deck watching the birds or enjoying the garden and out of the corner of my eye, I will see the leaves start to wave.

There is no wind!

Nothing else in the yard is stirring!

But a couple of leaves will be doing this little dance like someone or thing is moving them. And it’s just a couple of leaves, not all of them.

As the leaves are long and pointed like those of a gladiolus they can be quite disarming.

This will happen at odd times and at no time in particular and it always seems to catch my eye.

Okay… enough of the oddities but just so you know if you decide to plant some, they have a mind of their own.

So what are their beauties called?

Crocosmia Lucifer plants

Crocosmia.

In doing some research it looks like the two different varieties I have are Crocosmia Lucifer and Crocosmia Alborado.

Crocosmia Lucifer

  • Flowers in July on the west coast and into August
  • 3-4 feet high but often taller

Crocosmia Lucifer

Crocosmia Alborado

  • Flowers mid to end of July and into August on the west coast
  • 2 feet tall

Crocosmia Alborado

Both varieties are drought resistant and that appears to be a theme in my garden. Not having to water is a good thing.

Also, the plant stems are strong enough to hold the hummingbird’s weight so they can eat and rest at the same time.

Bottom line is the hummingbirds love these flowers and it’s the first plants they head to in the morning and the last ones at night.

Rufous hummingbird going to drink on Crocosmia Lucifer

Rufous hummingbird going to Crocosmia

If you plant no other flowers but have room for a pot on your deck, head down to the garden centre for a Vermillionaire Cuphea or the shorter variety of Crocosmia Alborado.

Anna's hummingbird visiting a Crocosmia Alborado

Put them near a window where you sit and enjoy the scenery as the hummingbird’s flock to them.

And… sometimes you get the most unexpected visitors!

California quail by Vermillionaire Cuphea

California quail in Vermillionaire Cuphea

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