Q: I want a native vine to grow on my arbor but I want it to attract hummingbirds. Can you give me an idea of what to plant?
A: I am going to suggest we limit our search to those vines which will be perennial, which means they will return season after season. I have three Florida native vines to suggest.
- The strongest contender would be coral honeysuckle, Lonicera sempervirens as it is evergreen and produces beautiful coral colored, tubular flowers which bloom from spring through summer. It can be somewhat slow growing but that makes it easy to control and keeps it from becoming a nuisance in the garden.
- Next would be the trumpet vine, Campsis radicans or it is sometimes called, trumpet creeper. It grows quickly and can grow upward to 40 feet. The flowers are very showy in shades of red to orange to yellow. The leaves are delicate and feathery. It can cause skin irritation and has the potential to be “weedy” if left uncontrolled.
- Another is the Cross vine, Bignonia capreolata, which has a similar looking flower to the trumpet vine but the leaves are very different. It is also fast growing and the first to produce flowers in the spring for returning hummingbirds.
One other thought on the topic, consider having some planters at the foot of the arbor to attract more hummers. You could put firecracker or cardinal flower (native) in the planters for drama and more color plus they will also provide additional nectar for visiting hummers.