6 Herbs for Hummingbirds

Nectar from flowers isn't the only thing that hummingbirds are attracted to. Here are some herbs that hummingbirds like to eat.

I was looking around my herb garden this week doing some planning, which includes replacing some herb plants our hummingbirds enjoy. Too often people think hummingbirds only visit red flowering plants, so they load up on Fuchsia baskets and completely miss another category of plants hummingbirds love — herbs!

Below are some herbs you might consider trying in your garden.

Rosemary Flowers, a Hummingbird Favorite

Rosemary Rosmarie Wirz/Getty Images

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalus), a culinary favorite, is also a hummingbird favorite and long season bloomer in my garden. It requires full sun and good drainage. Blooms are produced on previous year’s growth, so resist pruning rosemary until just after the blooms fade. That will aid in producing new branches for next year’s flowers.

Cat Mint Flowers Make Beautiful Nectar Factories

Catmint AlpamayoPhoto/Getty Images

Cat Mint (Nepeta x fassinii) blooms off and on all summer into fall with proper deadheading. Cats are somewhat attracted to this plant, but not as much as they are to catnip (Nepeta cataria). So if you’re planting it for the hummingbirds, try putting it in a hanging basket or tall planter.

Lavender Bee Balm

Bee Balm Robin Wilson Photography/Getty Images

Bee Balm (Mondarda didyma), a summer bloomer, comes in red but also in soft lavender, bright pink, white and soft pink.  This herb will take some shade and appreciates regular water for best flowering.

Culinary Sage’s Blue Flowers

Sage emer1940/Getty Images

Culinary Sage (Salvia officinalis) produces blue blooms in spring.

Society Garlic, A Lovely Flowering Herb

Society GarlicJacky Parker Photography/Getty Images

Tulbaghia violacea, also known as Society Garlic, is a tender perennial whose variegated form is often used as a pond plant. It grows well in the garden, too.

Lavender Hidcote Blooms in Rich Color

Lavender Nahhan/Getty Images

Lavender officinalis or L. x intermedia. Its flowers come in dark and light lavender/blue, pink or white.