Numerous things can be done to attract hummingbirds to your garden. Some easy adjustments can be made to make your garden hummingbird friendly, so that you are rewarded with the presence of feeding and nesting hummingbirds alongwith their young ones.
As most of the birds, hummingbirds virtually have no sense of smell. Apparently, these birds depend on sites and are directed by the flowers to find their nectar source. Some of the plants which you can consider to plant in your garden to attract the birds are, cardinal flowers, bee balm, columbine, cypress vine, honeysuckles, petunias, geraniums, fuchsias, Indian paintbrush, salvia, mimosa, azalea, manzanite, butterfly bush, etc. If you are having any doubts regarding their growth in your area, check with the local nursery to find which of them will grow in your garden.
When using your own hummingbird nectar for the feeders you must never add artificial red coloring to them. The red colors of the feeders are enough to attract them. Also, use of honey or artificial sweeteners has to be avoided. Artificial sweeteners do not have any food value and honey ferments easily which can cause sores in the mouth of the birds. The hummingbird feeders in your garden have to be cleaned every 3-4 days and the nectar changed to keep on attracting the birds.
Setting up hummingbird feeders is a very popular method to attract hummingbirds to the garden. You can use the homemade nectar solution of sugar water in the feeders to feed the birds. Hanging some red flowers or planting them near the feeders will make the hummingbirds easily find the feeders.
Hummingbirds are habitual creatures and will be discouraged from returning to the feeders in your garden if the nectar is bad. Thus, it is important to keep the feeders clean as sugar water ferments in hot weather. The feeders have to be cleaned every 2-3 days using hot water with a little amount of white vinegar instead of soap. The hummingbirds don’t like soap traces left in the nectar. You should also remember to clean not only the bottle, but also the bottom and ports of the feeder.
The feeder of the hummingbirds can be invaded by insects like bees and ants, driving away the birds. To avoid this you can use the feeders with built-in bee guards and use moats or nectar protectors to control ant invasion. When the moats are attached above the feeders filled with water, they block the ant’s pathway.
Planting some of the favorite plants of hummingbirds will also attract them to your garden. Some of these plants include honeysuckles, petunias, trumpet vine, fuchsias, lilacs, bee balm, geraniums, manzanita, azaleas, butterfly busch, mimosa, columbine, salvia and Indian paintbrush. You can ask your local nursery or garden store for the other plants which grow well in your area. Do not use pesticides on these plants as they can sicken or kill the hummers, if ingested.