Seeing Red

Posted by & filed under Annuals, Perennials.

The hummingbird gardenWith the temperature getting hotter, we are seeing a lot of red these days. There’s more red showing in the thermometer, people walking around the garden sometimes have red faces flush from the heat and exercise, and of course there are plenty of red flowering plants. This is especially true in the hummingbird garden.

The hummingbird garden has really matured. Many of the small shrubs and perennials planted years ago have grown into masses and sweeps of color. Each summer, new annuals spring up as the summer progresses, providing a variety of colors and textures to match the permanent plantings. This year the garden is quite colorfBee Balm (Mondarda didyma 'Beauty of Cobham')ul with blue salvias, yellow daylilies, purple phlox and lavender bee balm. But the observant visitor will notice that red is the most popular flower color. By themselves, they are quite delightful to see, but their ability to attract hummingbirds makes them extra important for this garden. Here are a few that you might like:

Trumpet Creeper (Campsis x tagliabuana 'Madame Galen')Trumpet Creeper (Campsis x tagliabuana ‘Madame Galen’)
Salvia (Salvia coccinea 'Summer Jewel Red')Salvia (Salvia coccinea ‘Summer Jewel Red’)
This is one of mother nature’s best hummingbird feeders. This sturdy vine will dangle large clusters of tubular flowers that hummingbirds love to flock to. This annual salvia is a glorius red that blooms all season long. Hummingbirds will flit around this as long as it is in flower.
Hummingbird Plant (Dicliptera suberecta)Hummingbird Plant (Dicliptera suberecta)
Giant Crimson Mandevilla (Mandevilla 'Sunmandecrikin')Giant Crimson Mandevilla (Mandevilla ‘Sunmandecrikin’)
The name tells you how popular it is with the birds. The gray foliage adds a little coolness to the garden, something much needed on days like this. This flowering tropical vine is a new addition to the garden this year, scrambling up black metal trellises in the middle of the flower beds.
Cigar Flower (Cuphea ignea 'Dwarf')Cigar Flower (Cuphea ignea ‘Dwarf’)
Trailing Abutilon or flowering maple (Abutilon megapotamicum 'Little Imp')Trailing Abutilon or flowering maple (Abutilon megapotamicum ‘Little Imp’)
Cigar Flower (Cuphea micropetala)Cigar Flower (Cuphea micropetala)
Soap Aloe (Aloe saponaria)Soap Aloe (Aloe saponaria)
This aloe is actually in the succulent display on the terrace behind the education classrooms. However, the hummingbird garden wraps around this terrace and you can bet the hummingbirds will take advantage of this extra offering.
 

Egyptian Starflower (Pentas lanceolata 'Cranberry Punch')Egyptian Starflower (Pentas lanceolata ‘Cranberry Punch’)

 

 

Pink Porterweed (Stachytarpheta mutabilis)Pink Porterweed (Stachytarpheta mutabilis)

 

This bright annual has plenty of flowers to keep a hummingbird as busy as a bee. If I were going to have only one plant for a hummingbird garden, it would be this tropical plant that we grow as an annual here. The hummingbirds love this plant and flock to it all summer long.

There are plenty of other great plants to find here in the hummingbird garden. Come out and see for yourself.