Over the last decade I've heard repeatedly that Salvia flowers are a hummingbird magnet in many regions across the continent. I've never really tried them because my hummingbird hideaway is in one of the coldest zones where you'll find hummingbirds, zone 1b-2. As a matter of fact many of the perennials listed out there don't have an accurate rating for the climate they'll survive in. This is where I had a lot of difficulty choosing perennials in the past. Many of them didn't include zones that were colder than zone 3. By trial and error I had to plant perennials and then see whether they'd come up the following Spring. I'm quite certain that Salvia plants won't over winter in my region, so I'll have to treat them as an annual. My wife and I looked around at a few greenhouses to see if they had any Salvias worth trying. They were virtually nonexistent, but to my surprise my wife came home one day after work with a Mysty Salvia. It looked like a flower that hummingbirds would love, and from what I've heard from many of my hummingbird friends, Salvias top the list of favorites. From the information provided, it'll grow about 12 - 20 inches, and be perfect in our raised pots.
So we planted the Mysty Salvia in a pot on the deck and it didn't take long for our resident hummingbird to locate it. Not only did he find it, he put it on the top of his list with the Delphiniums. It was in a location where we could monitor the progress, and it certainly did not disappoint. About 10 times a day, Ziggy, our dominant hummingbird, would visit the plant and feed from every single flower that was in bloom. I can tell you this, that if the adult male hummingbirds find a flower worthy of repeat visits, it's a guarantee that there is extreme value in that flower, and that all hummingbirds will love it.
This plant will become a regular in my garden in future seasons. My only question now is how to grow or propagate this plant, whether seed or cuttings. I don't know if this particular variety of salvia produces much for seeds, or if I'll have to take cuttings, and how long they take to go from seed to bloom. I have to treat it as an annual, so it has to bloom the first season because it will not over winter in my climate. If anyone has some helpful information they can share with me, I would love any help I can get. This plant is new to me, and any information would be beneficial.
I just wanted to pass on the brief bit of knowledge I've gained just in the first month of trying out this flower, and a big thanks to all who have suggested Salvias, and for sharing their knowledge on them for hummingbirds. In the future I will pass on any information I've learned, and reveal how successful I am in growing this hummingbird goldmine.
Much of the year I spend time attracting hummingbirds and other species to my garden. Please take some time to read and enjoy my blog. I hope it inspires you to build and create a beautiful place to attract birds of your own.