I've always spoken highly of certain flowers such as Delphiniums, Vining Nasturtiums and many others that repeatedly attract hummingbirds, but Dianthus are a good producer as well. As perennials or hardy annual, they tend to attract hummingbirds quite regularly. Over the last decade these flowers have continuously proven to be a worthy flower for the hummingbird garden. However, with their short stems they leave hummingbird vulnerable nearer to the ground. I've made a point to planting shorter annuals in larger pots or on stands to better attract hummingbirds. Even though they still attract nearer to the ground, hummingbirds are extremely wary of predators that lay in the plants. Something that I've noticed repeatedly is that even though predators may not be around the low flowers, hummingbirds still bypass them because of location. A consistent behavior is how they inch towards a flower, and then quickly flare back or just leave without feeding. They've experienced danger before in the low flowers, and become very shy of any flowers near the ground.
It's a very good practice to raise up all annuals that don't grow beyond 12 inches, in any hummingbird garden. In fact the higher you raise them, the more productive they'll be. Tall perennials and annuals will always be the safer choice, but if you find a flower that works well for hummingbirds, but it lays closer to the ground, find a solution to raise it up. You will more than double its value to hummingbirds.
This young male Ruby-throat hummingbird was captured feeding from the annual Dianthus that we planted in a large planter up on our deck.
N.E. of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. August 2017
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