Hummingbird Nectar Recipe October 07 2015

Simply use one cup of ordinary white cane (table) sugar to four cups of water.... nothing else! It's not even necessary to boil the water, but using one cup of boiling water will dissolve sugar quick and effectively. Add three cups of cold water, stir well, and nectar is ready for feeders. Store unused portion in the fridge up to two weeks. In extreme heat, be sure to change feeders often (every 2-3 days). Never use honey or syrup as it will ferment and cause hummingbirds harm. Do not use artificial sweeteners, and NO red dye is needed. This home made sugar water solution actually seems to be more popular than commercial nectar mixes with many of the tiny sprites, and with just two ingredients (sugar and water)... it couldn't be any easier!

Hummingbirds also eat small insects, and to help attract them to your yard, you can simply hang an overripe banana peel or cantaloupe rind near the feeder; a mesh produce sack works well for this. Please use all pesticides wisely and only when absolutely necessary, because other avian friends, and wildlife in general, depend on small insects as part of their diets too. Because butterflies and hummingbirds also draw nectar from native and planted flowers, it's really best practice to quit using pesticides all together.

Plants to Attract and Feed Hummingbirds

Trees and Shrubs

  • Azalea
  • Butterfly Bush (Buddleia)
  • Cape Honeysuckle
  • Flame Acanthus
  • Flowering Quince
  • Lantana
  • Manzanita
  • Mimosa
  • Red Buckeye
  • Tree Tobacco
  • Turk's Cap
  • Weigela


  • Coral Honeysuckle
  • Cypress Vine
  • Morning Glory
  • Scarlet Runner Bean
  • Trumpet Creeper
Some may be annuals or perennials depending on climate.
  • Bee Balm (Monarda)
  • Canna
  • Cardinal Flower
  • Columbine
  • Coral Bells
  • Four O'Clocks
  • Foxglove
  • Hosta
  • Hummingbird Mint (Agastache)
  • Little Cigar
  • Lupine
  • Penstemon
  • Yucca


  • Beard Tongue (and other penstemons)
  • Firespike
  • Fuchsia
  • Impatiens
  • Jacobiana
  • Jewelweed
  • Petunia
  • Various Salvia species
  • Shrimp Plant