Honeysuckle to Attract Hummingbirds

(Question)

Can you please tell me the best honeysuckles for attracting hummingbirds. I am looking for plants that are non-invasive. I enjoy scented honeysuckles, but would sacrifice the scent to attract more hummingbirds. I reside in zone 6a-6b. Thanks

(Answer)

The European Fly Honeysuckle shrub and the Japanese Honeysuckle vine are both invasive but there are alternatives depending on whether you prefer a shrub or a vine. The native bush honeysuckle, Diervilla lonicera, is a similar sized shrub with yellow-green bell-shaped flowers that gradually become purple-red. An added attraction is that the leaves turn from green to yellow to red in the fall. If you prefer a vine, Goldflame Honeysuckle (Lonicera x heckrotti) is a good choice. It has fragrant pink-purple flowers that bloom from late spring to early fall. It can also be trained as a shrub. Both are attractive to hummingbirds.

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology has good information about all birds including hummingbirds. Their website includes how to create a garden for birds. https://feederwatch.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/BirdNote13-Creating-a-Garden-2012-03-27-RGB.pdf?__hstc=75100365.4c8f5a82da6f66c7341b84d910499ff6.1551805496903.1551805496903.1558623271432.2&__hssc=75100365.627.1558623271432&__hsfp=4041050352#_ga=2.94747676.1272048671.1558623268-385776801.1551805494

With their specialized long, tapered beak and grooved tongue, hummingbirds are able to access pollen and nectar in tubular flowers like those on the honeysuckle. You might consider adding flowers like columbines, penstemon and foxgloves. Don’t forget annuals like morning glories and nasturtiums. Other flowers besides the tubular ones also attract hummingbirds. Try adding salvias, bee balms, butterfly bush and even some fragrant petunias to your garden. All of these will attract other pollinators as well. See our pollinator garden guide for further information.

http://www.torontomastergardeners.ca/gardeningguides/pollinator-garden-a-toronto-master-gardeners-guide/

 

 

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