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Hummingbird Gardens

hummingbird.jpgFound only in the Americas, the hummingbird family includes 383 species, but only 16 live in North America. Hummingbirds like bright-colored flowers with lots of nectar, often they are red. Hummingbirds must feed 3 to 5 times per hour and may become reliant on your garden for food, but there may be periods when there are no blossoms from which they can get nectar. Even with a garden of plants, it is a good idea to provide hummingbird feeders.

Never fill your feeders with anything but sugar-water mix of 1 part white sugar to 4 parts water. Do not use food coloring of any kind, and never use molasses, honey, sugar substitutes, powdered, brown sugar or nutrient mixtures (these can develop a fungus which can be fatal to hummingbirds). Wash the feeder each time you refill it. Scrub feeders occasionally with a brush, after a soaking in a mild bleach-water mixture (1 part bleach to 9 parts water), which kills any bacteria in the feeder.

Hummingbirds are very territorial and will defend flowers and feeders from other hummers. If possible, space food sources out of sight from one another, or as far apart as possible, up to 30 feet.

While hummingbirds need nectar, insects, such as aphids, represent the majority of their diet. According to recent research, hummingbirds may have very small brains but excellent memory when it involves food. Scientists in Britain and Canada, have studied the Rufous hummingbird that lives in the Canadian Rockies. The Rufous hummingbird can remember the location of specific flowers and the last time they visited them.

In the birds'€™ feeding grounds, scientists kept track of how frequently the hummingbirds visited eight artificial flowers filled with a sucrose solution. Once the flowers were empty the scientists refilled half after 10 minutes and other half after 20 minutes.

Scientists discovered that the birds returned to the flowers according to the refill schedule. The flowers refilled every ten minutes were visited by the hummingbirds sooner than those refilled every 20 minutes. They believe that the hummingbird'€™s brain has become extremely developed because they travel long distances and do no€™t have time and energy to waste looking for food.

Hummingbirds may visit these blooming plants:

  • Buddleia 'Lilac Cascade'
Photos courtesy of Walters Gardens, Inc

    Buddleia 'Lilac Cascade' PPAF (30)ct Flat

    Buddleia 'Lilac Cascade' PPAF (30)ct Flat Cascade CollectionCommon Name: Butterfly Bush, Summer LilacJust like the others of the Cascade series, the habit of this Butterfly Bush has panicles that cascade downward like a waterfall. 12-18" huge, puffy...

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  • Buddleia 'Princess Pink'
Photos courtesy of Walters Gardens, Inc.

    Buddleia 'Princess Pink' PPAF (30)ct Flat

    Buddleia 'Princess Pink' PPAF - MONARCH® Collection (30)ct Flat Common Name: Butterfly Bush, Summer LilacA fresh shade of light pink for the MONARCH® Collection! 8' long, light appleblossom pink flower panicles are produced above a round habit of...

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  • Buddleia 'Pink Cascade'
Photos courtesy of Walters Gardens, Inc.

    Buddleia 'Pink Cascade' PP30711 (30)ct Flat

    Buddleia 'Pink Cascade' PP30711 (30)ct Flat Common Name: Butterfly Bush, Summer LilacThis beautifully unique Butterfly Bush has an arching, weeping look versus the normal upright habit. Light apple blossom pink flower panicles are 8-10' long. Minty green...

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  • Buddleia 'Grand Cascade'
Photos courtesy of Walters Gardens, Inc.

    Buddleia 'Grand Cascade' PP30868 (30)ct Flat

    Buddleia 'Grand Cascade' PP30868 (30)ct Flat Common Name: Butterfly Bush, Summer LilacThink all Buddleia look the same? Think again! Unlike the typical Butterfly Bush, the panicles on this flowering shrub cascade downward, similar to the look of weeping...

    $182.68
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  • Kniphofia 'Flashpoint' 
Photos courtesy of Walters Gardens, Inc.

    Kniphofia 'Flashpoint' PPAF (25) BR Plants

    Kniphofia 'Flashpoint' PPAF (25) Bare Root Plants PYROMANIA™ Collection Common Name: Red Hot PokerChartreuse yellow buds mature to creamy white as the flowers open. The last member of the collection to bloom.A brand new genus for Proven...

    $201.00
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  • Buddleia 'Glass Slippers' PPAF
Photo courtesy of Walters Gardens

    Buddleia 'Glass Slippers' PPAF(30)ct Flat

    Buddleia 'Glass Slippers' PPAF(30)ct Flat Part of the MONARCH CollectionSilvery green foliage forms a low, wide spreading cushionIcy periwinkle blue blossoms blend beautifully with the silvery foliageBlooms late summer into early fallHeight: 3 feetZones...

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  • Buddleia 'Crown Jewels' PPAF
Photo courtesy of Walters Gardens

    Buddleia 'Crown Jewels' PPAF(30)ct Flat

    Buddleia 'Crown Jewels' PPAF(30)ct Flat Part of the MONARCH Collection Beautiful gold foliage that shines brightly from spring through fallContrasting, magenta purple flowersFlowers pointed skyward on branched stemsSecondary flowering extend further into...

    $182.68
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