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15 Must-Have Annual Plants to Attract Hummingbirds

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​Do you love to watch the wonder that is the tiny hummingbird flitting from flower to flower or even feeding from a well-placed feeder? Well prepare to create a hummingbird oasis in your own yard with these 15 annnual plants for hummingbirds!

These little birds are so incredibly fun to watch and have as part of our backyard environment, and knowing what are the best flowers to have around for them is important. Let’s check out this list of 15 annual plants to keep the hummingbirds happy all summer long!

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What is an annual plant?

Put simply, an annual plant is a plant that completes its entire life cycle, from seed to flower to seed again, within a single growing season. Unlike perennial plants that live for multiple years, annuals typically bloom and set seed in just one year before dying off. This life cycle may seem short-lived, but it actually offers a ton of benefits for both the gardener and the hummingbird enthusiast.

For starters, annual plants are often known for their rapid growth and abundant blooms. They burst onto the scene with vibrant colors and provide an instant pop of beauty to any garden. Their quick growth cycle also means that they can fill in gaps in your garden design or add a burst of color to areas that may be lacking. This makes them incredibly versatile and allows you to experiment with different combinations and arrangements.

Furthermore, the wide variety of annual plants available means that you have endless options for attracting hummingbirds. From the showy red blooms of Scarlet Bee Balm to the delicate trumpet-shaped flowers of Lobelia, annuals come in a range of colors, shapes, and sizes that can cater to the specific preferences of these delightful birds. By planting a diverse selection of annuals, you can create a buffet of flowers that will draw hummingbirds to visit your garden.

In addition to visual appeal, annual plants also offer the opportunity for change in your garden. Since they only live for one season, you can switch up your plantings each year, trying out new varieties and combinations. This not only keeps your hummingbird garden fresh and exciting but also allows you to adapt and optimize your space for hummingbirds.

So, if you’re ready to transform your garden into a mesmerizing paradise for hummingbirds, consider incorporating some vibrant annual plants into your landscape. Get ready to attract these enchanting creatures and witness the magic of a garden filled with the fluttering wings and vibrant colors of hummingbirds. Also consider which of these annuals may be native plants in your area and go with those first. 

Hummingbird Loving Annuals

Scarlet Bee Balm

Scarlet Bee Balm, with its striking red petals and tubular shape, is a captivating annual plant that is sure to attract vibrant hummingbirds to your garden. This gorgeous flower belongs to the mint family and not only adds a pop of intense color to your landscape but also emits a delightful fragrance that is irresistible to hummingbirds. Its nectar-filled blooms act as a magnet, drawing these enchanting creatures with their fluttering wings and insatiable appetite for sweet treats.

The Scarlet Bee Balm, also known as Monarda didyma, is a versatile plant that thrives in a variety of soil types and light conditions. It can grow between two to four feet tall, making it an excellent choice for both flower beds and borders. This plant’s long-lasting blossoms not only provide a visual feast for the eyes but also serve as a vital food source for hummingbirds, helping to sustain them throughout the summer season.

Hummingbirds are attracted to Scarlet Bee Balm not only for its vibrant color and sweet nectar but also for the shape of its flowers. The tubular structure of the blooms perfectly accommodates the long beaks of hummingbirds, allowing them easy access to the rich nectar within. As they hover and feed on the Scarlet Bee Balm, these tiny birds provide a captivating display of grace and agility, bringing a touch of magic to your garden.

Monarda (bee balm, horsemint, oswego tea, bergamot) in full bloom

Cardinal Flower

The Cardinal Flower, like the Scarlet Bee Balm, is another captivating annual plant that can bring vibrant colors and dynamic energy to your garden. With its bright colors, the Cardinal Flower serves as an excellent companion to the Scarlet Bee Balm, creating a visually stunning display that will not only attract hummingbirds but also capture the attention of anyone who sets eyes on your garden.

Just like the Scarlet Bee Balm, incorporating the Cardinal Flower into your garden offers a chance for experimentation and adaptation. By combining these two annuals, along with other plants that bloom in different colors and heights, you can create a truly mesmerizing landscape that is tailored to the preferences of hummingbirds. Picture the fluttering wings and vibrant hues of these tiny feathered creatures as they are drawn to the alluring beauty of your garden.

The Cardinal Flower adds another layer of enchantment to your garden, inviting hummingbirds to come and indulge in its nectar-rich blooms. With its bold red petals and upright growth, this flowering plant stands tall along other annuals, creating a sense of height and movement in your garden. As the hummingbirds flit from flower to flower, their presence brings life and energy to your outdoor sanctuary.

Salvia Guarantica

Salvia Guarantica, commonly known as the Blue Anise Sage or Black and Blue Sage, is a vibrant annual plant that adds another layer of beauty to your garden, captivating hummingbirds with its exquisite blooms. This enchanting plant features stunning deep blue flowers that stand out against its lush green foliage, creating a visual spectacle that is sure to catch the eye of any passing hummingbird.

Similar to the Scarlet Bee Balm and Cardinal Flower, Salvia Guarantica plays a vital role in attracting and accommodating these tiny feathered visitors. Its upright growth and unique appearance provide a striking contrast to the surrounding plants, adding a touch of height and structure to your garden landscape. As the hummingbirds dance from flower to flower, their delicate presence harmonizes with the majestic beauty of Salvia Guarantica, infusing your outdoor sanctuary with a true sense of life and energy.


No, it’s not just a color. With its delicate and pendulous blossoms, Fuchsia adds a new dimension to your hummingbird haven inviting these tiny birds to indulge in its sweet nectar. The addition of Fuchsia not only enhances the curb appeal of your garden but also gives more options for your visiting hummingbirds.

Native to Central and South America, Fuchsia plants have long been loved by gardeners for their unique, bell-shaped blooms. These distinct flowers come in a wide range of colors including pink, purple, and red, creating a stunning contrast against the lush green foliage. While their intricate appearance may seem fragile, Fuchsia plants are surprisingly strong and can withstand different weather conditions, making them a reliable choice for any garden.

When it comes to attracting hummingbirds, Fuchsia is a superstar. The shape and position of its colorful flowers make it easily accessible for hummingbirds of all kinds. These plants to prefer partial sun which make them perfect for hanging baskets and other areas where isn’t a hot daily sun exposure. 


One of my favorite flowers in the late spring is Petunias. With their vibrant and beautiful blooms, Petunias add a touch of whimsy and charm to your garden. These versatile annual plants have tube-shaped flowers that come in a variety of colors, including pink, purple, red, white, and even bi-color varieties, allowing you to create a feast for both your eyes and the hummingbirds’ senses.

Petunias have long been a favorite among gardeners, and it’s easy to see why. With their trumpet-shaped flowers and trailing or mounding growth habit, they offer a beautiful display that is perfect for hanging baskets or containers. Whether planted in hanging baskets, window boxes, or as ground cover, Petunias provide a perfect landing pad and a source of nectar for these tiny flyers.

These nectar-rich flowers not only attract hummingbirds with their vibrant colors but also provide them with a much-needed fuel source. Hummingbirds have incredibly high metabolic rates and need to take in large amounts of nectar to keep up their energy. By adding petunias to your garden, you are ensuring that they have a readily available food source to keep them coming back time and time again.

pink petunias


With their bold and dazzling flowers, Zinnias will take your garden to new heights of vibrancy and allure, creating an irresistible oasis for hummingbirds to revel in. (See my full post on How to Grow Zinnias.)

Zinnias are a staple annual plant perfect for the vegetable garden with showy blooms that come in a striking array of colors. From orange and yellow flowers to soft pinks and purples, there is a Zinnia variety to suit every taste and garden palette. These flowers will not only add a pop of color to your landscape but will also attract hummingbirds and other pollinators from near and far.

One of the reasons Zinnias are particularly beloved by hummingbirds is their abundant nectar production. These nectar-rich flowers provide a much-needed energy source for these tiny avian creatures, ensuring they have ample fuel for their high-speed flights and acrobatic maneuvers. As the hummingbirds flit from one Zinnia bloom to another, you’ll be in awe of their speed and beauty.


I first noticed lantana in a neighbor’s yard when I was a newlywed and knew I had to have some growing in my own. Now, before you come after me for including lantana in this list, please know that lantana very much is an annual in some growing zones. Down here in the humid and mild wintered south, lantana is a perennial, but that’s not true for everyone, so disclaimer stated.

These vibrant clusters of blooms will add yet another layer of attraction to your garden paradise. Lantana, with its profusion of colors and delicate petals, is a must-have annual plant for hummingbird lovers. These showy flowers include different varieties that include colors from fiery oranges and yellows to bold pinks and purples, providing a visual feast for both human observers and their winged visitors.

Hummingbirds are drawn to Lantana’s nectar, which is tucked away in the center of each tiny blossom. As these tiny creatures hover around the clusters of blooms, it’s like witnessing a dance between the feathery wonders and the vibrant Lantana petals, with each one complementing the other.

But it’s not just the hummingbirds that benefit from Lantana’s presence in your garden. This resilient and low-maintenance plant is also a magnet for butterflies and bees, further enhancing the biodiversity of your outdoor space. The cheerful Lantana blooms will brighten up any garden area, whether it’s a window box, hanging basket, or a sprawling garden bed that is in full sun.


Want an annual bloom that you can also eat? Look no further than the lovely nasturtium with its vibrant shades and unique form. These are a must-have addition to any garden seeking to attract and captivate hummingbirds. These beautiful annual plants, known for their bright orange, yellow, and red blooms, are a visual feast that will leave both you and the hummingbirds enchanted.

But it’s not just their looks that make Nasturtiums a valuable addition to your garden. Hummingbirds are naturally drawn to the nectar-rich flowers that these plants produce. The tubular shape of the Nasturtium blooms perfectly accommodates the long beaks of hummingbirds, allowing them easy access to the sweet rewards within.

Growing Nasturtiums is a straightforward process that even beginner gardeners can handle. These plants thrive in a sunny spot with well-drained soil, so be sure to provide them with these ideal growing conditions. Whether you have a garden bed or containers, Nasturtiums will happily adapt to various gardening setups.

nasturtium flowers in the garden

Regular watering is essential to keep Nasturtiums flourishing, and occasional pruning will help promote new growth and maintain their beautiful form. With their fast-growing nature, Nasturtiums will quickly reward your efforts with a profusion of blooms that will grace your garden throughout the summer months.


Lobelia, another essential annual plant for attracting vibrant hummingbirds, brings its own unique charm to any garden. With its delicate, trumpet-shaped annual flowers in shades of blue, purple, and white, Lobelia creates a lovely display that is simply irresistible to these energetic creatures. As its vibrant colors catch the eye of both humans and hummingbirds alike, Lobelia becomes a beacon of beauty in your outdoor sanctuary. 

Not only does Lobelia add an aesthetic appeal to your garden, but it also serves as a delightful source of nourishment for visiting hummingbirds. Just like a hummingbird is drawn to the sweet nectar within its flowers, Lobelia offers a generous supply of this that these tiny creatures find irresistible. The abundance of nectar in Lobelia’s blooms ensures that your garden will be a hummingbird magnet, providing them with a much-needed food source throughout their journeys. 

When it comes to creating a hummingbird haven, pairing Lobelia with other hummingbird favorites or even well-placed hummingbird feeders will go far to creating a hummingbird oasis. 


If you’re looking for a shade-loving annual to attract hummingbirds, then consider impatiens! Impatiens bring their own unique qualities to the garden, ensuring a continuous flow of nectar and vibrant blooms that hummingbirds can’t resist. With its delicate yet striking flowers, Impatiens adds a touch of elegance and charm to any garden setting.

Impatiens, also known as “busy Lizzie,” is beloved by hummingbirds for its abundance of nectar-rich blossoms. These trumpet-shaped flowers come in a variety of vibrant colors, from deep purples and pinks to bold oranges and reds. No matter which shade you choose, Impatiens will undoubtedly catch the eye of any passing hummingbird.

One of the standout features of Impatiens is its ability to bloom consistently throughout the summer, providing an ongoing source of nourishment for hummingbirds. These hardy annuals thrive in both sun and shade, making them versatile additions to any garden or patio. Whether you plant them in hanging baskets, window boxes, or as borders in your flower beds, Impatiens will create a stunning display that hummingbirds can’t resist.


No, not the drink, but one of the best hummingbird plants—Cosmos. With its delicate petals and graceful charm, Cosmos is sure to captivate both you and the hummingbirds that visit your garden.

Cosmos, known for its dainty, fern-like foliage and vibrant, daisy-like flowers, adds a touch of ethereal beauty to any garden space. Available in a wide spectrum of colors, including pink, white, and various shades of orange and red flowers, these blooms create a visually stunning display that is impossible to ignore.

Hummingbirds are naturally drawn to the bright, bold colors that Cosmos offers, making it an ideal addition to your garden if you’re seeking to attract these delightful birds. As these tiny creatures flit through the air, their keen eyes are immediately captivated by the vibrant hues of the Cosmos blooms. Whether it’s a scarlet red or a soft blush pink, the vivid petals of these flowers act as a visual beacon, guiding the hummingbirds towards a bountiful source of nectar.

But the allure of Cosmos doesn’t stop at its captivating color palette. The sweet, delicate fragrance emitted by these flowers further entices hummingbirds, inviting them to feast on the nectar-filled blooms. With their long beaks and agile wings, hummingbirds gracefully hover near the Cosmos, eagerly sipping the sugary reward hidden within the intricate petals.


Prepare to be amazed by the tiny trumpet-shaped blooms and their irresistible allure for these enchanting creatures. Cuphea, our next bloom attracting various species of hummingbirds, is a member of the salvia family. With its unique flowers and ability to attract these captivating birds, Cuphea is a must-have addition to your hummingbird haven.

One of the remarkable aspects of Cuphea is its ability to produce an abundance of blooms from early to late summer. These blooms, which come in various shades of red, orange, and purple, create a stunning visual display that is sure to catch the eye of both humans and hummingbirds alike. Much like the lantana, cuphea can be grown as a perennial in some zones and as an annual in colder climates, so be sure to check with your local garden center before planting. 

Cuphea’s charm extends beyond mere aesthetics and appeal to hummingbirds. These annual plants are also relatively low maintenance, making them a practical choice for both novice and experienced gardeners. Cuphea is known for its adaptability to different soil conditions and environmental factors, allowing it to thrive in a variety of garden settings. Whether you have a sunny garden patch or a partially shaded area, Cuphea’s resilience ensures that it will flourish and add a touch of vibrancy to any space.


Agastache, also known as hummingbird mint, is a top consideration if you want to attract hummingbirds and pollinators to your yard. Agastache is a group of perennials and annuals that are renowned for their allure to hummingbirds. 

These plants boast showy spikes of tubular flowers that come in a variety of vibrant colors, including hues of purple, pink, orange, and blue. The long, tubular shape of the flowers is ideal for hummingbirds to insert their elongated bills and sip on the nectar-rich rewards.

Not only is Agastache visually stunning, but it is also known for its pleasant fragrance. When the warm summer breeze rustles through your garden, the aromatic scent of Agastache lingers in the air, creating a delightful atmosphere that further delights both you and the hummingbirds.

Similar to the low-maintenance nature of Cuphea, Agastache is a practical choice for gardeners of all levels. These hardy plants can tolerate a range of soil conditions, including sandy, loamy, and clay soils, making them adaptable to different garden environments. Whether you have a sunny garden patch, a partially shaded area, or even a container garden, Agastache can thrive and bring a burst of color and hummingbird activity to your space.

One noteworthy feature of Agastache is its ability to attract not only hummingbirds but also other pollinators such as bees and butterflies. By incorporating Agastache into your garden, you’re creating a welcoming oasis for a diverse range of beneficial insects, fostering a healthy ecosystem.


Verbena is another stunning annual plant that will surely catch the eye of both hummingbirds and garden enthusiasts alike, and I particularly love this one in my yard. With its vibrant flowers and delicate foliage, Verbena is gardening favorite.

Like Agastache, Verbena possesses the remarkable ability to attract not only hummingbirds but also other pollinators such as bees and butterflies. By incorporating this versatile plant into your garden, you are creating a buzzing haven for a diverse range of beneficial insects, fostering a thriving and ecologically balanced ecosystem.

One of the remarkable features of Verbena is its extensive range of flower colors, making it a versatile choice for any garden palette. From rich purples to soft pinks and fiery reds, Verbena offers a spectrum of hues that will undoubtedly enhance the visual appeal of your outdoor sanctuary. These vibrant flowers, arranged neatly on tall, slender stems, create a picturesque scene that is irresistible to hummingbirds.

In addition to their attractive appearance, Verbena has fragrant flowers that emit a sweet and inviting scent. This fragrant allure contributes to their success in luring hummingbirds from far and wide, ensuring that your garden remains a constant destination for these charming visitors.

Verbena purple perennial flowers with many small flowers
Verbena, purple perennial flowers with many small flowers


Nicotiana, with the common name flowering tobacco, is a delightful addition to any garden seeking to create a haven for hummingbirds. With its tall, elegant stems and radiant flowers, Nicotiana serves as a beacon of beauty that hummingbirds simply can’t resist. Its trumpet-shaped blossoms, ranging in color from delicate pinks to vibrant reds, are designed specifically to attract these tiny, winged creatures.

Nicotiana has a lovely fragrance and also provides a plentiful source of nectar for hummingbirds. These delicate birds rely on a constant supply of nourishment, and Nicotiana gladly fulfills their needs. With its abundant flower clusters, each one brimming with nectar, Nicotiana ensures that the hummingbirds will never go hungry as they flit from bloom to bloom.

To effectively incorporate Nicotiana into your garden, plant it in well-drained, rich soil and position it in an area that receives partial shade during the day. This will help protect the delicate flowers from scorching in direct sunlight, ensuring their longevity and attractiveness to hummingbirds.

More Hummingbird Helps

Incorporating any of these 15 must-have annual plants into your garden will not only invite the presence of hummingbirds, but also transform your outdoor space into a vibrant haven for these tiny birds. From the Scarlet Bee Balm to the Nicotiana, there are many choices to suit each garden space. Have other favorite annuals that hummingbirds enjoy? Share them below and happy gardening!

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