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Zone 4 hummingbird gardens, NEED HELP????

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  • Zone 4 hummingbird gardens, NEED HELP????

    Is there any help out there for planting in Zone 4 for hummingbirds.

    I am new to gardening in general, so plant uses are foreign to me. I am looking for Zone 4 hardy perennials, and vines for my garden that will attract hummingbirds. I have one corner that I have planted a Trumpet Vine, the one with the large red flowers. I also have two honeysuckles, Mandarin and John Clayton. Not totally sure when each typically flower, but have heard that the honeysuckle could flower throughout the summer, only less flowers than in the earlier months.

    I am looking for another few plants, a couple more vines, maybe that flower at different times as well as a very varieties of perennials that will vary in flowering times. Some plants to work from spring to early fall.

    Most of these plant names are new to me, since I have been more used to annuals while living in a townhome. Now with a house and large yard I would like to have some plants that I don't have to replant every year.

    Latin and common names would be helpful. Some nurseries here use one and some use the other. Not to mention that you could spend an entire day going from one nursery to another and looking at plant after plant. Just think what it is like if you know very little about these plants. It would be great to walk in and look at specific varieties and get them than wandering aimlessly. Not that I hate the view!!

    HELP HELP HELP* :?:?:?:?


    These plants would need to work in mostly full sun locations. I would also be interested in a few annuals that I could put in pots or baskets as well.



  • #2
    Hi Chris,

    I noticed your post at Garden Web and you've gotten some wonderful recommendations there already.* You may have to google the plant names and research them for your zone.* Then make your list and off to the garden center you go!* :)* Here's some that are helpful that you can crossreference with your books.

    Minnesota Native Plant Society

    Since I know your state, I was able to go to your state extension service and search with the word - hummingbird.* The link is too long, but put hummingbird in the search box here.

    For part shade or shade:
    Heuchera - coral bells - native clump forming for part sun to part shade. Many with pretty leaves.* Try and select ones with pink or red flowers.* If you see ones you like at this site and want to see the color of the flowers, go to google and put in the botanical name and click on 'Images'.* You might get some pics with it in flower.* Example of how to put in the botanical name:
    Heuchera 'Lime Rickey'

    You will also see Heucherella at the Terranova site. * It's a cross between two natives - Heuchera (coral bells) and Tiarella (foam flower).* It's sterile and dosen't produce seeds and doesn't do well in less then pampered conditions.* So don't even bother with them.

    There are some native Tiarella that bloom in pink. Some have pretty colored leaves.
    Tiarella 'Pink Brushes'

    Tiarella 'Pink Pearls'

    For sun:
    There are several cultivars of the taller penstemon - beardtongue.* There is one called Penstemon 'Sour Grapes' that might work.* You'll need to check the hardiness zone on that cultivar.* Here's more info on Penstemons.* Btw, P. 'Husker Red' has red stems and white flowers.* Not what you'd expect.

    Phlox paniculatta - tall garden phlox will also attract them.* You'll need to plant reds, pinks and/or purples. Here's a few examples.* These also tend to get powdery mildew, so choose carefully.* This first one P. 'David' is white, is the most mildew restant and is listed as a hummer attractor.* I grow this in my garden and have never seen hummers go to it.* There is a lavender sport of 'David' too.* It's the second link.

    Lots of Salvia will be good for them and there are annuals and perennials.* This is one of the best ones.
    Salvia guaranitica - Anise sage.

    As you noted, Latin or botanical names are helpful.* Often many different plants can be known by the same common name. I'm wondering which trumpet vine you have.* Campsis radicans is known as trumpet vine, but so is Bignonia.

    Lonicera sempervirens is a native honeysuckle that won't take over the world and smother trees in the environment like the Japanese honeysuckle does.* I have two and the hummers love my Lonicera sempervirens 'Blanche Sandman' better then the yellow Lonicera sempervirens 'John Clayton'.* I wish I'd gotten the native cross Lonicera heckrottii 'Gold Flame' aka Gold Flame honeysuckle instead of 'John'.* Gold Flame is fragrant, but variable, so if fragrance is important to you, purchase it in bloom and do the sniff test.* :)* All these natives tend to bloom on and off from late spring to hard frost.* There are others, but look for the 'sempervirens' in the name.

    Lonicera sempervirens 'Blanche Sandman'

    L. heckrottii 'Gold Flame':

    L. sempervirens 'Alabama Crimson'

    You might find this interesting, especially what they use to build their nests.

    Columbine has several cultivars, but the most common one seen in the wild is the native Aquilegia canadensis and it's a red and yellow flower, sometimes called granny's bonnet.* It's a short lived perennial but seeds around the garden and isn't invasive.* I love mine when it appears in places I'd never thought to plant it.* It's easy to pull out where you don't want it.* Let the seed heads dry on the plant and harvest the pods as soon as they open.* Scatter the seeds where you want them so you'll always have some.* Don't purchase the double hybrids as the hummers can't get to the nectar and they don't produce as much.



    • #3
      Wow, you are a wealth of information. Is gardening a hobby or*career for you? I could tell you almost all you wanted to know about chemotherapy and cancer, but gardening is a new hobby for me. I can't imagine what your garden landscape looks like. You must spend a lot of time on it.

      I have used some of your links and had some success finding info so thanks a bunch. I hope to buy a few more plants this weekend for the hummingbirds. And will be adding more throughout the year and next year. I will keep the link info that has been helpful.

      You may see more questions from me in the future as we continue with our landscaping and learning more on gardening. I look forward to hearing your responses when I have future need of your amazing research skills.

      Thanks again :D:D:D





      • #4
        Chris, you are so very welcome!!* Gardening is a hobby for me.* I've been doing it for over 20 years and answering questions on forums for about 6 years now, so I've kinda gotten the research mostly figured out.* My garden is actually very small but it's loaded with plants.*

        I hope your knowledge of cancer and chemo is due to your work and not personal experience.*

        Btw, I find it very difficult to post on this forum as I use Netscape as my browser and this site isn't all that Netscape friendly.* I see that some of the links I gave you for Penstemon and Salvia either didn't post or were such a mess as to not be any good.* I can't just copy and paste and have to hit 'Control v' to do it.* I'm not kidding when I say 'hit' as that is what I have to do.* I posted and deleted your answer 5 times before I stopped.* I also noticed that the word c0ral for c0ral bells was posted as a bad word.* Go figure!

        Remember, just having red in the garden let's the hummers know there is food there.* I once read about a woman who tied red bows on her trees to attract them, and it worked!!* They also like purples and blues.

        Have fun!


        • #5

          [align=left]--For an annual in a container try a dwarf, red flowering tobacco. The Latin name is Nicotiana. Any long tubular bloom, especially red or purple, will attract hummers. Several seasons ago hummers spent hours at my hanging basket of purple velvet petunias. While visiting nurseries if a plant with tubular flowers catches your attention, give it a try. All the better if its color is red or purple.[/align]

          [align=left]--For perennials try a hosta. There are varieties that can take morning sun.[/align]

          [align=left]Visit and click on the clearwing hummingbird moth link. This furry moth appears during the day and is often mistaken for a*hummer. They are also attracted to flowering tobacco. Google using the image link for other photos of the moth.[/align]

          [align=left]May your garden be filled with hummers and clearwings. :D[/align]


          • #6
            Newt, my experience* with cancer/chemo is do to my profession, I am a charge nurse for a cancer center here in Minnesota. It is funny that you have problems with Netscape I have that as my home page as well, but I guess I use 'alltheinternet' and 'yahoo' as my browsers, so maybe that is it.

            I think I will try the ribbon thing at least to start since this is the first year of my garden. What can it hurt, not as if it would cost as much as some of the plants out there.

            Thanks to the other person who posted. I have looked at the flowering tobacco plants as well, but didn't know enough about them to give it a whirl. All my pots are filled this year at least until I can slip a few more in without my husband looking. I will definitely keep it on my short list for next year. We plan to put a small picket fence around our little apple orchard and landscape with perennials and annuals, may have to plan to use it then.

            Newt, fyi I took a stab at it and bought a japanese 'emporer I' maple try. Just a small 3' one and will keep it in a pot for now. Planning on bringing it* inside during the winter. Thankfully they grow slow.




            • #7
              Hi Chris,

              "I took a stab at it and bought a japanese 'emporer I' maple try. Just a small 3' one and will keep it in a pot for now. Planning on bringing it* inside during the winter."

              I have some concerns about you keeping it indoors for the winter.* If you can't find a spot to plant it permanently, consider sinking the pot into the ground for the winter.* This is an outdoor plant and should be kept outdoors.* If you want to research it further, I can put you in touch with someone who knows alot about Japanese maples.* Here's a pic I found.* I think it's too close to the house, but it looks lovely.



              • #8
                That does look nice, but I too think it is too close to the house. Mine is quite a bit smaller. We did talk with a master gardener with the UofM (minnesota, not michigan) and they told us a pot would be the only way here and that the newest way that they have heard people out of zone 5 were keeping these trees over winter were in pots indoors/such as garage, basement, cellar, or they are now trying to bury them completely on there side under ground like people here do with Roses. What we questioned and they thought as well is if we are concerned about the tree needing to be protected from our winters, roots and tree, what would be the point. Wouldn't it still die?

                We are going to be talking to another japanese garden specialist about what we need to do to bring it into the garage during the winter. We need to know what temp we should keep it at and what type of light it would need if any.

                Would love to here anyones point of view. Will keep you posted on what we find out next.



                • #9
                  looks nice...

                  i would love to have hummingbirds in my garden


                  where can i get more information?!?!


                  • #10
                    Green Betty, here's my favorite hummer feeder.* I prefer this one because it's the easiest to clean and refill.* I find the 8oz feeder is large enough in my climate.* In the hottest days of summer I have to clean and refill it every 2 to 3 days.* My yard is very small and I dont' get that many hummers.* I also grow plants that feed them so they don't rely as much on the feeders.* I usually make a large batch and freeze it in small baggies that I label so I don't have to cook up a bunch every couple of days.

                    Save this site so you can track the progress of the spring migration.* In my area the hummers usually arrive around April 10th.* I put my feeders out on April 1st.* These maps are from Spring 2006 and are for the eastern US and Canada.* For the western US there are links at the bottom.

                    Lots of helpful info here about hummers and migration.* The last one is migration by state.

                    Here's a list of some favorite hummer plants.* I DO NOT recommend the trumpet creeper - Campsis radicans unless you have a large wild area as this vine can easily take over a small garden.* The roots will send up sprouts 100' from the parent, so planting it on a fence that you share with a neighbor is not recommended.* Of course reading and saving the other links I posted will also be helpful.



                    • #11
                      I've also been trying to attract and keep the hummingbirds in my flower garden.* They seem to love the weigela bushes and the hosta that are in the shady areas. * I've planted monarda, columbine, and annual nicotiana in the sunny areas.* Also I found that they seemed to like the million bells and nasturtium baskets that I had out last year.** I've been thinking about planting a buddleia this year.* Will this attract hummies too or only butterflies?*

                      BTW, this is my first post on this board and I'm so excited to have found it.* I don't have as much time for gardening as I would like as I have 2 young sons (3 1/2 and 14 months) and another on the way in November.* But I love gardening and would love to instill an early love for digging in the dirt with my children.* (Good, clean fun.)*


                      • #12
                        Hi Julie,

                        Yes, the butterfly bush will attract the hummers, especially if it's a dark purple one.* They are drawn to red and purple flowers.* Hopefully those sites I posted are still good and will give you lots of helpful info.* I find that my native honeysuckle attracts them the most.

                        I loved your comment about good clean fun.* Whenever my kids got soil on them I used to say it was 'clean dirt'.* :)*



                        • #13
                          Well, I have yet to see my first hummer of the season.* (Not unusual.* I usually don't see them until a little later in June.)* But my 4 year old son and I were just attacked by a hummingbird moth.* It had come to sample my monarda and apparently thought my orange shirt and my son's yellow shirt looked tasty too. ** I've never seen one of these little buggers before and it was pretty cool.*


                          • #14
                            Julie, my hummers were late this year too, but it's always a delight to see them.* That's a riot about the moth being attracted to your bright clothes.* When I was in the Amazon Jungle, we had butterflies attracted to our clothes as well.* How special that is.* *