Annuals are a must for producing flowers throughout the hummingbird season, but perennials have a limited bloom time. Some perennials can be spectacular in some regions and not in others, and here's the reason. Every region of North America gets their hummingbirds at different times, they leave the nest at different times, and they migrate south at different times. This is where it's very important to understand your own times. Choose perennials that will flower in your region at the times the hummingbirds first arrive and when the young leave the nest and when they migrate south. You need to choose early bloomers for their arrival.
You need to have large numbers of bloomers for when they leave the nest and when they fatten up for the southern migration.
If all you have are bloomers during the nesting season, and they're finished blooming when they leave the nest, you will miss the bulk of the young birds.
Here's a task for everyone wanting to choose the right flowers for your garden for next year. Write down when each flower starts and stops blooming. Then at the end of the season separate the ones that attracted the hummingbirds at the key times. Bulk up on them for future years.
In this image you can see that many of the flowers are finished, but some are still in bloom. Delphiniums are a spectacular flower in my region. They start in mid to late June and flower right through the southern migration. They should be perfect in many regions that have 2 or 3 broods per season, for the reason that they bloom a bit early, which would take place through 1 or 2 of these broods. Ultimately, stock up on the perennials that are in bloom during the southern migration, as this is when there's an explosion of sightings. Remember that flowers are of vital importance in keeping young hummingbirds around until they solve the feeders.
Juvenile Ruby-throated hummingbird. N.E. of Edmonton, Alberta. 2015
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