houseplant hummingbird potential

teengardener1888(NY Albany 5a)August 22, 2012

i posted this on the hummingbird forum but no responce. i was wondering if house plants in my area(albany,new york,z5) like mandevilla and madagascar jasmine can attract ruby hummers outside.

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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Of course. Any flower with trumpet or tubular shaped flowers can be attractive to hummingbirds, as long as it produces nectar. Be sure that your plants have not been treated with pesticides of any kind.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 2:40PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Lantana or Fuchsia could be candidates.

Here are some ideas a little out of the box from which your question came, but something of it might appeal, and all can be done in pots if that's part of your goal:

Cannas - grow in summer, store until next year
Zinnia - from seed to flower in about 6 weeks usually, nothing to worry about over winter
Coleus - let them flower, the cheap wizards and rainbows want to so badly and the hummers do love them, and butterflies
Basil - let them flower, easy to grow a ton from seeds
Silene - have seen hummingbirds and hummingbird moths visiting these, also easy from seeds

Red/orange/purple/burgundy foliage will attract hummers in passing, but these are brief inspections. Knowing this can help make some placement decisions though, to help them notice the flowers.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 11:58AM
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nancy_pnwzone8(OR zone 8)

teen,

mandevilla and madagascar jasmine are unlikely to attract many hummingbirds...

now, having said that, young birds will check out about any flower as they learn what works and what doesn't. this is largely why you'll sometimes hear folks say "oh, the hummingbirds love my red geranium." well, red geraniums don't have much nectar and the birds have just been testing them.

as for houseplants that might attract hummingbirds... your best bet might be Cuphea ignea - Cigar Flower, or Cuphea "David Verity". my hummingbirds were afraid of the C. ignea because the flowers were small and caught on their bills. the "David Verity" variety is better. hummers love it, but it gets big. an unheated sun porch is a good place for it.

neither of these is an ideal houseplant. they are really "conservatory plants". they would prefer a cool, bright room. if you have an un-heated, or barely heated (40 to 50 degrees) room with windows, then you should be able to "over winter" them indoors. this would also be a good set-up for fuchsias and abutilons as well. these are also good hummingbird attractors. however, all of them will get some degree of water stress or bug infestation if grown in a typical home environment in winter.

they all need to go outdoors in the summer.

if you are looking for a true "house plant" that attracts hummingbirds, i would try one of the Lipstick plants or possibly a Sinningia.

cheers,

nancy

ps if you want to attract hummingbirds, i'd get to know the genus called Salvia. Salvia coccinea is a very durable annual you can grow from seed that is fire engine red. it is small enough to fit into window boxes.

my favorite is Salvia guaranitica, which is cobalt blue. it can grow 5 feet high or so and is crack cocaine for hummingbirds. you can grow it in a pot... but choose a big one.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2012 at 6:17PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Nancy, you must know something about mandevilla and stephanotis that I don't, in terms of hummingbirds. I've always experienced great hummingbird response with both of those plants.

Ooh, I just thought of another houseplant that the hummingbirds really liked was Hoya.

All of these plants are also very attractive to sphinx moths and other 'flutter-bys '. Great fun.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2012 at 7:14PM
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eahamel(9a)

I've never seen hummers on my coleus, cannas, zinnias or basil. Or on my hoyas.

I think going with salvias is a great idea. They aren't all as large as the Salvia guaranitica, and tend to bloom for a long time, and some have colorful bracts that hang around for months.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2012 at 10:58PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

You may just not have noticed the hummingbirds those plants. Coleus is a terrific hummingbird plant, as are many members of the same family (Lamiaceae), including salvia, hyssop (OMG, the birds, butterflies, and bees!), the mints, basil, and more.

A flower doesn't have to be large to attract the hummers, it just has to offer nectar in a way that is accessible.

We're getting sidetracked from teengardener's original question, though. Houseplants that when summering outside, will attract hummingbirds is the topic.

Here is a link that might be useful: Hummingbird favorite...hyssop

    Bookmark   August 25, 2012 at 12:57AM
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teengardener1888(NY Albany 5a)

I have read that hummingbirds are attracted to mandevilla, I have recently put 2 of them on my balcony along with scarlet morning glory. Will see what happens

    Bookmark   May 20, 2013 at 5:42PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Saw a hummingbird methodically visiting every bloom on Plectranthus 'Mona Lavender,' some flowers more than once, so thought I'd add that to this discussion.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2013 at 2:46PM
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bluema(7a)

Mandevilla's vibrant color and big trumpet-shaped flower can attract hummingbirds but so can fake red flowers. I have NEVER seen hummingbirds feed on Mandevilla even when right close by. As long as you have vibrant colored (preferably red) houseplants, hummers will come and check it out if your aim is to get them to feed on your hummingbird feeder. If you don't want to disappoint a poor hummer hoping for a tasty drink, offer nectar producing flowers to supplement your feeder. Fuchsia can be a nice house plant that also provides nectar. False African Violet (Streptocarpus Saxorum) can be another good choice as an indoor plant, and they're easier to keep than Fuchsia. Hummers do love basil, sage, and mint flowers, so if you have the herbs, let them flower. However, if you want to really make your hummer happy and perch around and defend its flower bed all day, get flowers such as cardinal flower, black and blue salvia (or other salvia guaranitica), agastache such as Tutti Frutti Giant Hyssop, or salvia microphylla such as Hot lips salvia. Hummers go crazy with these plants, and they'll visit the flowers multiple times a day completely oblivious to you being right near by.

This post was edited by bluema on Wed, Aug 7, 13 at 8:56

    Bookmark   August 6, 2013 at 5:09PM
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birdsnblooms

To those of us who have hummers but rarely see them.

It's a matter of being at the right place at the right time.

Last summer/autumn, a lone hummer came by, nightly, around 6:p.m.
He fluttered by, sniffing red Crown of Thorns, orange Trumpet Flower, and citrus..He/she particularly liked citrus flowers..which are white.

But he/she spent quite a bit of time on COT's blooms. I don't know the reason, but he/she knew what he/she was doing.

If we hadn't gone outside that night, we never would have seen the hummer. From night one, we sat outside around the same time. He/she came by 4-5 days, then moved elsewhere.

They're quiet little birds, unlike Blue-Jays and Cardinals which is the reason I said, one must be at the right place at the right time.

I assumed hummers were only attracted to red blooms since hummingbird feeders are red. Or made to look red.

It's possible hummers stop at most flower types, especially fragrant, despite color, but only remain on blooms that provide nectar.

Fake flowers? lol. Poor hummer that visits a fake bloom takes off ASAP. lol.

Toni

    Bookmark   August 7, 2013 at 1:43PM
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birdsnblooms

To those of us who have hummers but rarely see them.

It's a matter of being at the right place at the right time.

Last summer/autumn, a lone hummer came by, nightly, around 6:p.m.
He fluttered by, sniffing red Crown of Thorns, orange Trumpet Flower, and citrus..He/she particularly liked citrus flowers..which are white.

But he/she spent quite a bit of time on COT's blooms. I don't know the reason, but he/she knew what he/she was doing.

If we hadn't gone outside that night, we never would have seen the hummer. From night one, we sat outside around the same time. He/she came by 4-5 days, then moved elsewhere.

They're quiet little birds, unlike Blue-Jays and Cardinals which is the reason I said, one must be at the right place at the right time.

I assumed hummers were only attracted to red blooms since hummingbird feeders are red. Or made to look red.

It's possible hummers stop at most flower types, especially fragrant, despite color, but only remain on blooms that provide nectar.

Fake flowers? lol. Poor hummer that visits a fake bloom takes off ASAP. lol.

Toni

    Bookmark   August 7, 2013 at 1:44PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

That's cool, Toni! As said above, hummers will investigate a lot of things, even red leaves, plastic objects, but only flowers that offer nectar provide anything useful for them, besides maybe bugs they might pick off. They are migratory, territorial, so a blooming houseplant or 2 outside, even with flowers that have nectar isn't enough to have them stay around close by. Neighborhoods are typically packed with flowers in general though, so make great habitats for hummers. If they are around, the odds are good that nearby residents will investigate whatever's in your yard. I've only included those which I've seen used as a nectar source. The yard has a lot of perennials and shrubs they appreciate also, and my neighbor 3 doors down has a giant strip of Zinnias and other stuff they love. Most of them are probably at her house most of the time.

I don't know what kind are in IL. I think the ones here are ruby-throated, make a little chittering noise and have been quite visible and active the past few weeks, chasing each other around, visiting the plants and feeders.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2013 at 2:05PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Bluema, I'm starting to see some buds on some of the mint I have. It's near a feeder, so anxious to see it being enjoyed also, thanks for that tip!

Also wanted to add that I've seen the hummers picking little bugs off of plants potted plants near the feeder. Mostly flies I think, not totally sure.

I know aphids love the backs of elephant ear (Colocasia esculenta) leaves, and saw a hummer spending time inspecting those though didn't see an action I was sure was "eating a bug." Maybe it was looking for aphids and didn't find any. IDK if hummers eat aphids or not.

Also saw one drinking drops of water off of the CL fence yesterday morning. That was cool.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 9:59AM
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asleep_in_the_garden

Found this...

Here is a link that might be useful: Neat article

    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 10:21AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Yes! Awesome! I saw one grab a house fly (I think) out of mid-air a few days ago. More and more happy about deciding to put a feeder by front porch. The hummers are getting so comfortable around me, they're coming "in" the porch area to investigate things while I'm there, who knows what patrolling they're doing when nobody's looking.

I'm not buying any 'annuals' next year that don't serve the hummers.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 11:18AM
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