There are 3 species of hummingbirds in Florida; Ruby throat is the most common
This spring is the original coral plant, Herbal erythrinaOur Brevard Discovery Park has received many visits from hummingbirds. I know this because the tree is full of seed pods, which are only produced when the flowers are pollinated by a hummingbird. Even if you miss a hummingbird when it visits, seedpods will establish its presence nearby.
I’m often asked if we actually have hummingbirds here in Brevard County, and my answer is always yes, we do.
The main way to attract hummingbirds to your garden is to plant several plants that produce red, nectar-rich flowers. To be able to sit and watch them, you will need to plant these plants near your home or around outdoor seating areas. The great thing about planting a coral bean in your garden is that it will allow you to see how many times a hummingbird has visited your tree.
It’s hummingbird season in Florida: Here are 7 things to know about these amazing birds
Here are some interesting facts about hummingbirds:
- They live only in the Americas.
- There are 338 known species, 16 of which are in the United States, and three in Florida. Black-chinned and red-chinned are winter visitors. The ringed ruby is the most common in Florida and the only one that nests here.
- The nest is the size of a walnut, decorated with lichens and mosses, and bound with spider webs or plant fibers.
- Nesting begins in April.
- Hummingbirds have one of the largest appetites in the bird world. They feed every 10-15 minutes from dawn to dusk.
- Ideal flower colors to attract hummingbirds are red, orange or pink.
- They start eating as early as 45 minutes before sunrise, and they really need energy after a cold night.
- They also need protein and other nutrients, so they also eat soft-bodied insects, including mosquitoes and spiders.
- Try placing some ripe fruit (such as banana peels) to attract flies to eat them.
If you don’t believe there are hummingbirds where you live, plant a coral tree and test this theory. Add sagebrush around your coral bean tree, because hummingbirds are from South America and have evolved with sagebrush plants with gorgeous long, nectar-filled tubular flowers.
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In addition to the native sage, there is harp leaf sage (Salvia lyrata), and tropical red sage (Salvia coccinia), you can add the original cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis), beard tongue (Penstemon multiflorus), blue curls (Trichostemma dichotomy(or butterfly weed)Asclepias Tobrosa) to your yard.
For some non-original options, there is the cigar flower (Cobia ignata), shrimp plant (Brandian justice) and aloe vera (Cactuses Prosecution.).
If your landscape has room for a second tree, there is also our native Geiger tree (Selfish hearts) or non-original red bottle brush (Callistimon citrinus).
If you’re interested in planting some new shrubs, consider our native firebush (Open Hamelia), Florida Pinkster Azalea (Rhododendron cansense), scarlet hibiscus (Hibiscus crimson)or swamp hibiscus(H. grandfloros).
If you’re thinking about adding some vines to your landscape, why not plant some that hummingbirds will enjoy? These include the native coral honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens), via the vine (Begonia caprillata(or creeping trumpet)Campsis Radicals).
Hummingbird feeders need a lot of care, so if you’d rather skip this chore, consider planting mini sunflowers, Aptinia cordifoliaIn a hanging basket. This gorgeous succulent plant produces red flowers that attract hummingbirds. Just make sure to hang it near a window so you can watch the hummingbirds up close.
Before you plant new hummingbird attractants, scatter some earthworm castings and granular mycorrhizal mixture into the planting hole. Make sure to monitor your new plant and water it every few days if it is woody or daily if it is grassy.
After plants are established and producing new foliage, inoculate them with a liquid product (e.g., Bushdoctor Kangaroots, Microbe Brew, etc.) that contains beneficial bacteria and mycorrhizal fungi. The liquid product is mixed into water and used to water plants. It is possible that this will happen again.
If you would like to learn how to get plant root biology throughout your yard, email the UF/IFAS Extension Brevard County Master Gardeners at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Attracting hummingbirds is as easy as adding new plants to your garden. Remember though, to catch a glimpse of them during their visits, make sure their food source is grown near your home. Yes, it’s that easy.
Susie Fleming Leonard He is a prominent journalist with more than three decades of experience. Accessed at email@example.com. Find her on Facebook: @Susie FlemingLeonard Or on Instagram: @SusieLeonard.