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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:

  • Dianthus 'Paint the Town Red'
Photos courtesy of Walters Gardens, Inc.

    Dianthus 'Paint the Town Red' PPAF (30)ct Flat

    Dianthus 'Paint the Town Red' PPAF (30)ct Flat - Proven Winners® Paint the Town SeriesCommon Name: PinksMembers of the Paint the Town Series are prized for their bright colors and increased heat tolerance. This translates to better performance nearly...

    $183.16
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  • Dianthus 'Paint the Town Fancy'
Photos courtesy of Walters Gardens, Inc.

    Dianthus 'Paint the Town Fancy' PPAF (30)ct Flat

    Dianthus 'Paint the Town Fancy' PPAF CPBRAF - Proven Winners® (30)ct Flat Common Name: Pinks'Paint the Town Fancy' produces 1', single, rosy fuchsia flowers with a red eye and serrated petals. Flowers completely cover the plant when it's in peak. Its...

    $183.16
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  • Dianthus 'Kiss and Tell'
Photos courtesy of Walters Gardens, Inc.

    Dianthus 'Kiss and Tell' PPAF (30)ct Flat

    Dianthus 'Kiss and Tell' PPAF - PRETTY POPPERS Series Common Name: PinksLarge semi-double, blush pink to white flowers have a dark red eye. Blue-green foliage. Height: 8.0-10.0 InchesSpread: 16.0-18.0 InchesHardiness Zones: 4,5,6,7,8,9Flower Color: Pink...

    $170.20
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  • Dianthus 'Goody Gumdrops' 
Photos courtesy of Walters Gardens, Inc.

    Dianthus 'Goody Gumdrops' PPAF (30)ct Flat

    Dianthus 'Goody Gumdrops' PPAF - PRETTY POPPERS Series Common Name: PinksSemi-double, fuchsia pink flowers with a red eye. Blue-green foliage. Height: 8.0-10.0 InchesSpread: 16.0-18.0 InchesHardiness Zones: 4,5,6,7,8,9Flower Color: Pink shadesFoliage...

    $170.20
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  • Dianthus 'Classic Coral'
Photos courtesy of Walters Gardens, Inc.

    Dianthus 'Classic Coral' PPAF (30)ct Flat

    Dianthus 'Classic Coral' PPAF (30)ct Flat FRUIT PUNCH® Series Common Name: Pinks'Classic Coral' is the long-awaited missing color of the FRUIT PUNCH® series. In early summer a splash of double, striking coral pink flowers is produced over a...

    $184.60
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  • Dianthus 'Cute as a Button'
Photos courtesy of Walters Gardens, Inc.

    Dianthus 'Cute as a Button' PPAF (30)ct Flat

    Dianthus 'Cute as a Button' PPAF (30)ct Flat PRETTY POPPERS™ Series Common Name: PinksSemi-double, bright pink flowers have a deep red eye and serrated edges. Blue-green foliage. Height: 6.0-8.0 InchesSpread: 14.0 InchesHardiness Zones:...

    $170.20
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  • Dianthus 'Appleblossom Burst'
Photos courtesy of Walters Gardens, Inc.

    Dianthus 'Appleblossom Burst' PPAF (30)ct Flat

    Dianthus 'Appleblossom Burst' PPAF (30)ct Flat PRETTY POPPERS™ SeriesCommon Name: PinksSemi-double flowers with a mixture of flowers colors, from white to an intense pink blush. In a greenhouse, these flowers will be nearly white. Blue-green...

    $170.20
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  • Dianthus barbatus 'Scarlet Fever'

    Dianthus b. 'Scarlet Fever' PPAF (30)ct Flat

    Dianthus barbatus 'Scarlet Fever' PPAF (30)ct Flat Perennial Sweet William This sport of 'Heart Attack' has bright, red-orange flowers when the sunlight shines on them, compared to the black-red color of its parent. This type of Dianthus forms...

    $170.20
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  • Dianthus 'Raspberry Ruffles'

    Dianthus 'Raspberry Ruffles' PPAF (30)ct Flat

    Dianthus 'Raspberry Ruffles' PPAF - Proven Winners FRUIT PUNCH Series (30)ct Flat Common Name: pinks; This Dianthus produces large, florist quality, fully double, raspberry pink blossoms about 1¾ inches wide. Each serrated petal is framed by a...

    $184.60
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  • Dianthus 'Electric Red'
Photos courtesy of Walters Gardens, Inc.

    Dianthus 'Electric Red' PPAF (30)ct Flat

    Dianthus 'Electric Red' PPAF - PRETTY POPPERS (30)ct Flat Common Name: pinks Dramatic, rich red double flowers that grab you from a distance. Flowers are held on strong stems above blue-green leaves.  Height: 8.0-10.0 InchesSpread: 16.0...

    $170.20
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  • Dianthus 'Double Bubble'

    Dianthus 'Double Bubble' PPAF (30)ct Flat

    Dianthus 'Double Bubble' PPAF - PRETTY POPPERS (30)ct Flat Common Name: pinks; Series Name: Fruit Punch Series  Double, medium pink flowers with blue-green foliage. Very floriferous and a petite package.  Height: 6.0-8.0 Inches Inches; Spread:...

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  • Dianthus 'Cherry Vanilla'

    Dianthus 'Cherry Vanilla' PPAF (30)ct Flat

    Dianthus 'Cherry Vanilla' PPAF - Proven Winners FRUIT PUNCH Series (30)ct Flat Common Name: pinks; Series Name: Fruit Punch Series  'Cherry Vanilla' has fully double, carnation-like flowers. 1.5in wide, deep red flowers have a sharply contrasting,...

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  • Dianthus 'Spiked Punch'
Photos courtesy of Walters Gardens, Inc.

    Dianthus 'Spiked Punch' PPAF (30)ct Flat

    Dianthus 'Spiked Punch' PPAF (30)ct Flat - Proven Winners FRUIT PUNCH Series Incredibly vibrant fuchsia pink, double flowers have deep red eyes and heavily serrated petals. The flowers are a little larger than most of the other members of the series at...

    $184.60
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  • Dianthus 'Cranberry Cocktail'
Photos courtesy of Walters Gardens, Inc.

    Dianthus 'Cranberry Cocktail' PPAF (30)ct Flat

    Dianthus 'Cranberry Cocktail' PPAF (30)ct Flat - Proven Winners FRUIT PUNCH Series Full, 2” double hot magenta pink flowers have serrated edges, rising above its grey-green, dense foliage.  Deer resistant, low maintenance and drought tolerant,...

    $184.60
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  • Nepeta faassenii 'Blue Wonder' (3.5 inch pot)

    Nepeta faassenii 'Blue Wonder' (3.5 inch pot)

    Nepeta faassenii 'Blue Wonder' Common Name: Catmint and CatnipZones 3 to 8.Full sun. Plants reach 12 to 15 inches tall and 12 inches wide. Growth rate: Moderate, erect herbaceous clump-forming perennial. Gray-green, aromatic foliage gives way to a...

    $4.06
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  • Dianthus g. 'Firewitch'

    Dianthus g. 'Firewitch' (3.5 inch pot)

    Dianthus 'Firewitch' CHEDDAR PINK Zones 3 to 8. Full sunMature size: 6 to 8 inches tall, spreads to 12 inches wide. Low-growing, compact ground cover. Magenta pink, serrated edged petals appear in mass above silvery-blue evergreen foliage. Heavy late...

    $4.35
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  • Dianthus g. 'Fire Star'

    Dianthus g. 'Fire Star' PP14895 (3.5 inch pot)

    Dianthus 'Fire Star' PP14895 Zones 5 to 9.FullSun to partial sun. Mature height is 8 inches. Space 8 to 12 inches apart.Vigorous growth rate, for a dianthus. Fire red flowers with a crimson eye have the spicy scent of cloves. These bright flowers shine...

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  • Dianthus g. 'Bath's Pink' (3.5 inch pot)

    Dianthus g. 'Bath's Pink' (3.5 inch pot)

    Dianthus gratianopolitans 'Bath's Pink' Common Name: Cheddar Pinks Zones: 3 to 9 Flower height reaches to 10 inches. Low-growing, spreading, dense mounds of grassy, blue-green, linear foliage and numerous, fringed, reblooming, fragrant, soft pink, 1 inch...

    $4.35
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  • Nepeta faassenii WALKER'S LOW

    Nepeta faassenii 'Walker's Low' (3.5 inch pot)

    WALKER'S LOW Nepeta faassenii a/k/a Catmint and Catnip Zones 3 to 8. Full Sun or part shade in the south.Up to 30 inches tall (if staked) and 3 feet wide. Arching upright habit. The cultivar name is somewhat misleading, the plant is named for its garden...

    $4.06
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  • Nepeta faassenii 'Walker's Low'

    Nepeta faassenii 'Walker's Low' (25) BR Plants

    Nepeta faassenii 'Walker's Low' a/k/a Catmint and CatnipZones 3 to 8. Full Sun or part shade in the south.Up to 30 inches tall (if staked) and 3 feet wide. Arching upright habit. The cultivar name is somewhat misleading, the plant is named for its garden...

    $159.40
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  • Nepeta f. 'Purrsian Blue'

    Nepeta f. 'Purrsian Blue' PP24788 (25) BR Plants

    Nepeta f. 'Purrsian Blue' PP24788 (25) BR Plants Improved tidy habit like 'Cat’s Meow', but a bit smaller and more compact Highly floriferous; periwinkle blue flowers with dark purple calyxes for many months beginning early summer Aromatic, green...

    $165.80
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  • Nepeta faassenii 'Cat's Meow' PPAF

    Nepeta f. 'Cat's Meow' PP24472 (25) BR Plants

    Nepeta f. 'Cat's Meow' PP24472 (25) BR Plants Unlike most wild looking Nepetas, 'Cat's Meow' naturally keeps its tidy, densely rounded shape all season Spikes of sky blue flowers with purple calyxes appear for months from early summer into early fall ...

    $178.60
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  • Dianthus 'Fire and Ice' PPAF

    Dianthus 'Fire and Ice' PPAF (30)ct Flat

    Dianthus 'Fire and Ice' PPAF Common Name: pinks; Zones 4 to 9. Full sun to part shade. Plants reach 10 inches tall and 14 inches wide;Mounding habit. Growth rate: Moderate. Raspberry colored, 1 to 1.5 inch round blossoms with tiny light pink spots and...

    $170.20
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