Attracting Hummingbirds to Your Florida Garden

Spring is a busy time for hummingbirds. After wintering in Central and South America, species such as the ruby-throated hummingbird are now returning to Florida to build nests and raise their young.1 Now is a great time to learn about attracting hummingbirds to your garden.

Enticing Landscaping

Adult hummingbirds get nearly all their energy from feeding on flower nectar. This high-sugar food fuels their rapid flight. A single hummingbird may visit hundreds of flowers a day just to survive!1

There are a variety of flowering plants that attract hummingbirds, many of which are native to Florida.1 Native plants will also attract other feathered visitors to your garden.2 See the Hummingbird Plants and Trees topic page and Hummingbirds of Florida for more planting recommendations.

Native Plants for Hummingbirds

“Seeing Red”

When it comes to both flowers and bird feeders, hummingbirds love the color red. If you want to include a feeder in your garden, choose a red one, though there is no need to use food coloring to turn the sugar water red as well.¹

You can buy instant nectar from a lawn and garden store, or you can make your own sugar water by boiling one part sugar with four parts water (allow to cool before adding to the feeder). Do not add more sugar or include artificial sweeteners or honey—this can kill hummingbirds.1

Bird feeders are a great way to see hummingbirds close. If you notice that several hummingbirds are competing for one feeder, consider adding more. Space multiple feeders at least ten feet apart, and enjoy the view!1

  1. Joe Schaefer and Craig N. Huegel, Hummingbirds of Florida, WEC21, Gainesville: University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, 2013,
  2. Emma V. Willcox, Mark E. Hostetler, Martin B. Main, and Maena Voigt, Attracting Backyard Birds: Bird Feeder Selection, WEC162, Gainesville: University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, 2014,

Photo by SteveByland/iStock/Thinkstock


Posted: March 28, 2016

Category: Florida-Friendly Landscaping, Home Landscapes, SFYL Hot Topic, Wildlife
Tags: Attracting Wildlife, Hummingbirds, Lawn & Garden Hot Topic, Native Plants, Ruby Throated Hummingbirds

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