Do Hydrangeas Attract Hummingbirds? (Revealed)

Hummingbird hovering
Small colorful humminbird captured with open wings.

The tiny hummingbird is an intriguing creature.

Unlike other species, they don’t travel in flocks and often fly alone for up to 500 miles.

They are also the only bird that can fly backward.

But more importantly, do hydrangeas attract hummingbirds?

We take a look at that here and consider what it is that attracts hummingbirds to certain plants.

So without further ado, let’s dive in.

Do Hydrangeas Attract Hummingbirds?

Hummingbirds will be attracted to a large number of hydrangeas. The primary attractions for them will be bright colors, nectar and easy-to-access blooms. If your hydrangeas have all of these you should see hummingbirds visiting them regularly. They won’t be interested in sterile hydrangeas such as mopheads though.

Some Hydrangeas Will Attract Hummingbirds

We will look closely at what attracts hummingbirds to plants in more detail shortly, but the short answer is that some hydrangeas will attract hummingbirds to your garden.

Hummingbirds love bright colors and pollen and nectar, so if your hydrangeas provide this hummingbirds will be repeat visitors to your yard.

Most hydrangeas look fantastic, but there are some that can be slightly deceiving for pollinating creatures.

They look and smell lovely, but hold no pollen or nectar.

Mophead hydrangeas are an example of this, hummingbirds will soon learn to avoid them, so if you want these little creatures in your garden then you should avoid them too.

On the other hand, oakleaf hydrangeas provide showy blooms and nectar, so hummingbirds will love them!

So it depends on what hydrangeas you plant.

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What Attracts Hummingbirds to Plants?

Tubular Flowers

If you ever look at a photo of a hummingbird you will notice it has a needle-shaped bill that is longer than most other birds.

For that reason they prefer flowers with elongated tubular shapes as they are easier for them to access with their long bills.

Other shaped flowers will generally be less appealing to them.

Another interesting thing about hummingbirds is that they can’t walk or hop like most birds, their tiny legs can only perch or move sideways.

So they will also be more attracted to an area where there is space for them to hover properly when feeding.

Bright Colors

Hummingbird at plant

Here is the next in our series of interesting facts about hummingbirds….

They actually have no sense of smell, but they do have excellent color vision.

They are naturally attracted to bright red, purple or pink flowers (hence why they will find some hydrangeas attractive).

So if your plants are brightly colored and have tubular flowers they are more than likely going to be visited by hummingbirds.

When Flowers Bloom

Hummingbirds migrate huge distances each year.

They tend to arrive later in the spring from their adventures and some can depart as early as mid-July.

If your flowers reach their peak outside of those dates, they will be less appealing to hummingbirds.

Where Flowers Are Native To

Hummingbirds usually spend their winters in Central America or Mexico and then migrate north to the Southern USA and Western States in the spring.

Flowers that are not native to these ranges, ie flowers from Europe, Africa or Asia, may be less attractive to hummingbirds.

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No Pesticides!

If you want to encourage hummingbirds to nest and raise their babies in your garden, there is one thing that is important to remember.

Hummingbird babies are fed protein in the form of insects by their moms to help them grow.

And they eat a lot of them!

Try and avoid using pesticides on your flowers as you will inadvertently be poisoning these baby hummingbirds and I am sure you don’t want that!

Hummingbird Feeders

Red plastic hummingbird feeder with birds landing to feed.

A dedicated hummingbird feeder will undoubtedly attract the bird to your garden.

The ideal spot for a feeder is in the shade, and if you have more than one, make sure they are as out of the line of sight from each other as possible.

Making DIY hummingbird nectar is easy.

Bring four cups of water to a boil and add a cup of sugar and stir until it is dissolved. Leave it to cool and place it outside.

Make sure you don’t leave the nectar out there too long. 

If it hasn’t all been consumed you will want to replace it every three or four days, or probably every other day in really warm weather (90 degrees plus).

Attracting hummingbirds to your feeder doesn’t happen instantly, it does take a few weeks, but once they are there it is worth it!


I have never tried this, but I did read someone saying that they play music of hummingbirds chirping and it helps bring the hummingbirds to their yard.

You have nothing to lose so it is certainly worth a try!

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What Plants Do Hummingbirds Like?

You’ve probably got a good idea from the list above of the plants that hummingbirds will be attracted to.

They love salvias, particularly black and blue salvias. The vibrant tubular blossoms of these salvias will also be frequented by lots of bees, so it is a double bonus!

They don’t attract deers or rabbits either and are pretty tough, being heat and drought-tolerant.

Trumpet vines and hummingbirds are a perfect match. They have plenty of nectar and come in bright colors.

Also as the name suggests, the shape of the blooms is perfect for hummingbirds to feed from. They are really easy to grow as well.

Hibiscus too is very hummingbird friendly, with big colorful flowers producing a lot of sweet nectar. They smell lovely too.

Fuschias are another favorite of the hummingbird. 

They too have an abundance of nectar and orange-red blossoms and the shape of the blossom and the length of a hummingbird’s beak has evolved to be a perfect match.

Other flowers that draw hummingbirds in include the Mexican sunflower, pineapple sage, blue boa agastache and acapulco agastache, purple malva, cleome, honeysuckle, bee balm, daylilies and many many more.

Final Thoughts

So do hydrangeas attract hummingbirds? Yes some do, in fact most will, but the deciding factor will be their color and nectar content.

If they are bright purple or pink and are not sterile hydrangeas, like mophead hydrangeas, then they should have these beautiful little birds flocking to them.

Hummingbirds love bright colors and, of course, getting a reward for visiting a flower.

They also tend to prefer tubular flowers as it is easier for them to feed.

There are plenty of hummingbird-friendly flowers other than hydrangeas and some of our favorites include salvias, fuschias and trumpet vines.

Plant these and have a hummingbird feeder in your yard and you will have created a hummingbird haven!

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