Do Hummingbirds Feed On Petunias

April 13, 2022

Let the hummingbirds fly! The elegance and aerobatics of these flying jewels have captivated gardeners for generations. Planting nectar-rich blooms and offering a welcoming environment are the keys to luring hummingbirds to your yard. Check out our plant list and advice!

Flowers that Attract Hummingbirds

The greatest nectar is typically produced by tubular, brightly colored flowers because they are particularly alluring to hummingbirds. These include several annuals, such as cleomes, impatiens, and petunias, as well as perennials like bee balms, columbines, daylilies, and lupines as well as biennials like foxgloves and hollyhocks.

Here is a list of hummingbird-friendly floral plants. Select cultivars with red and orange undertones.

Hummingbirds are able to sip from petunias.

Given their ease of cultivation and low cost, petunias are among the most widely used annual flowers. They are favorites for containers, borders, and baskets in tiny spaces and work well in almost any sunny garden location.

The flower grows best in full sun and will regularly bloom, giving hummingbirds who are in need of nectar a plentiful supply.

  • USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 10 to 11; typically grown as an annual
  • Pink, white, red, purple, blue, and a variety of other hues are available.
  • Sunlight: full sun
  • A medium-moisture, well-drained soil is required.

Hummingbirds Like Spider Webs

Keep any spider webs that appear amid the plants if you want to entice hummingbirds to your garden. These webs’ fragile strands are used by hummingbirds as nesting material. Insects caught in spider webs are another thing that hummingbirds frequently steal.

Do petunias entice hummingbirds and butterflies?

A excellent method to use your garden to benefit the environment is to design an outside area that will draw hummingbirds, butterflies, and other species. Utilizing plants that draw these natural pollinators will help to maintain the ecosystem’s strength and ensure that these vital species have access to ample nectar. Check out some plants that you can grow in your own backyard that draw fluttering and amiable creatures.

Bee Balm

Hummingbirds and butterflies will love this lovely bloom and come to visit your garden. These amiable animal critters can stop by the colorful blossoms for some nectar. A window or a location in your garden where you can easily watch all of the activity that bee balm will generate should be chosen for planting. The summer is when bee balm produces the most flowers, so planting it where there is afternoon shade can help it produce blossoms for a longer period of time.

Bees will be drawn to bee balm, as implied by the name, so take care not to irritate any bees that come to collect nectar from the plant itself. Bee balm, a member of the mint family, has a propensity to spread each year, resulting in more places for fluttering activity.

Milkweed

Milkweed is an essential component of the environment since monarch butterflies can only thrive on its leaves. This enormous weed-like plant produces lovely white blossoms and serves as a natural habitat for butterfly larvae, who spin cocoons beneath the plant’s leaves. Place milkweed in various areas of your outdoor living space to attract passing butterflies to your garden.

Milkweed doesn’t grow very tall, making it a wonderful choice to plant along a border. In a moist garden setting, milkweed thrives, so don’t be surprised if you notice a lot of activity surrounding it each spring.

Petunias

This heat-tolerant favorite produces a lot of lovely blooms in a rainbow of hues. Petunias do well in dry to ordinary soil conditions and can be grown in pots, hanging baskets, or a garden bed. Wave petunias are a unique type that spreads rapidly and makes excellent ground cover. A single petunia plant’s numerous blossoms will draw a wide range of animals, including butterflies and hummingbirds. This flower type is a popular for its lovely blooms throughout the entire season since the blossoms develop and then die away while another blossom emerges in their place. A constant stream of fluttering activity will be generated by these seemingly endless flowers as people flock to the plant in an effort to observe the beautiful butterflies and hummingbirds that will stop by for a drink.

Sunflowers

These huge blossoms are a summertime mainstay in many places, and the large number of seeds they produce will draw numerous birds to your garden. Due to their massive size and substantial features, sunflowers are ideally planted at the back of a gardenscape. To give the corner of the garden a punch of vibrant yellow color, grow a few sunflowers together. When sunflowers go to seed, planting a patch of them will also draw a lot of fluttering activity. The middle of each sunflower will turn to seed when the flowers have bloomed, giving the local birds a valuable resource.

The essential nectar required to support the ecosystem is produced by all of the flowers that flying animals is drawn to because this is what makes these plants so beautiful. A few milkweed and bee balm plants in your garden will quickly entice butterflies, hummingbirds, and bees without interfering with their job. Petunias will add vibrant color and draw a variety of pollinators, whereas sunflowers will draw a wide variety of birds. Create a lovely and active environment with any of these plants in your outdoor living space to attract all of these flying companions.

Which hanging plant is most effective in luring hummingbirds?

These vibrant and reasonably priced annuals thrive in containers and are simple to grow in a sunny environment. They produce an abundance of flowers that are beautiful when they spill out of pots and containers.

You can cultivate them from seed, but they are frequently offered as young plants in flats at nurseries. If starting from seed, start them ten weeks prior to the last date of your last frost, then put them outside once the risk has gone.

Petunias can withstand quite a bit of heat, but they need have a nice soak once a week.

To keep them from becoming lanky and lean, prune them to a height of around half.

  • Zones for Growing: 9 to 11
  • Daytime Sun
  • Soil: Moist, well-drained soil
  • Red, pink, white, blue, and purple are the colors.
  • 618 inches tall
  • 18 inches to 4 feet of spread

What draw people to petunias?

Petunias can be produced from potted plants or from seeds that are started early indoors and moved outside after a frost.

Indoor Seed Sowing

  • Use a seed starting kit to indoor sow petunia seeds eight to ten weeks before the last frost.
  • Seeds should be thinly sown and barely pressed into seed starter mix. Don’t bury under earth.
  • At 70 to 75 degrees, keep the soil moist.
  • Seedlings appear after 10 to 14 days.
  • As soon as seedlings appear, give them lots of light on a sunny windowsill or grow them 3–4 inches beneath 16–hour-per-day fluorescent plant lights that are off for eight hours at night. As the plants get taller, turn up the lights. Because they will become too hot, incandescent bulbs will not function in this process. Do not leave lights on continuously for 24 hours; most plants need a time of darkness to flourish.
  • when they have two sets of leaves, thin to one seedling per cell.
  • Seedlings don’t require a lot of fertilizer; feed them when they are 3–4 weeks old with a starter solution (half the strength of an indoor plant food), as directed by the manufacturer.
  • After the first frost, transplant hardened-off seedlings into the garden.
  • Seedling plants must be “hardened off” before being planted in the garden. By relocating young plants to a protected area outside for a week, you can acclimate them to outside circumstances. At first, be sure to shield them from the wind and the light. If frost is expected at night, cover or bring pots inside; then, in the morning, reintroduce them to the outdoors. The plant’s cell structure is toughened during the hardening off process, which also lessens transplant shock and scorching.

In the Garden, Plant Potted Plants:

  • Choose a place with good, rich, moist, well-drained organic soil and full sun.
  • Turn the soil under to a depth of 8 inches to prepare the bed. To get rid of grass and stone clumps, level the area using a rake.
  • The majority of plants do well in soils that have had organic matter added. Compost is a beautiful organic material that can be applied to your planting area whenever you like. It has the perfect pH level and nutrient balance. If compost is not available, topdress the soil with 1-2 inches of organic mulch after planting; this mulch will break down into compost over time. Following the growth season, a soil test will reveal what soil amendments are required.
  • In the garden, plants should be spaced 6 to 12 inches apart.
  • For each plant, create a hole that is sufficiently large to hold the root ball.
  • Set the top of the root ball so that it is level with the dirt around it. Up to the top of the root ball, cover with soil.
  • Your hand should firmly push the earth down, leaving a small depression to hold water around the plant.
  • Water deeply until a puddle appears in the saucer you have made. As a result, there is strong root-to-soil contact and the plants become established.
  • Use the plant tag to indicate its location.

How to Grow

  • Keep weeds under control while the plants are growing. Weeds compete with plants for water, space, and nutrients, therefore keep them in check by frequently cultivating or by using a mulch to stop the germination of their seeds.
  • Mulches also support stable soil temperatures and moisture retention. Shredded leaves used as an organic mulch for annual plants give the bed a more natural appearance and, as they decompose over time, enrich the soil. Mulches should never be placed on a plant’s stems to avoid potential decay.
  • During the growing season, make sure plants are well-watered, especially during dry spells. The growing season requires roughly 1 inch of rain every week for plants. To determine whether you need to add water, use a rain gauge. The optimum irrigation method is a drip or trickling system that releases water at low pressure directly into the soil. To reduce disease issues, water early in the day if you want to use overhead sprinklers so the foliage has time to dry before dusk. Maintain a moist but not saturated soil.
  • Some protection from strong winds and intense sunlight may be required until plants grow established. Additionally essential is good airflow.
  • A mild fertilizer can be administered after new growth starts to show. To prevent burn damage, keep granular fertilizers away from the plant’s top and leaves. Use moderate amounts of a slow-release fertilizer because greater amounts could promote root rots.
  • To promote flowering and stop the production of seeds, remove wasted flower spikes. Plants’ growth tips can be pinched to promote bushiness.
  • Observe for illnesses and pests. For advice on pest management measures that are suitable for your area, contact your cooperative extension service.
  • In order to prevent disease problems the next year, remove plants that have been killed by frost in the fall.

Growing Tips

  • Cut back straggly petunia plants by half in the late summer to promote growth and the development of new flowers.
  • Petunias make lovely edging plants and can be used in mixed plantings with other annuals that bloom in the summer. They look fantastic alone or in combination with other flowers in pots of different shapes and sizes.
  • Hummingbirds and moths are drawn to the yard by petunias.

Common Disease Problems

Aster Yellows: Plants grow excessively, become stunted, and develop witch’s brooms. Their petals also turn green and become malformed. Leafhoppers propagate this virus-like ailment. Burpee advises removing diseased plants and managing leafhopper populations. Eliminate any weeds in the area that the illness can also live on.

Botrytis: This fungus turns flowers, leaves, stalks, and buds a greyish color. It thrives in chilly, rainy weather. Burpee advises removing the damaged plant sections, avoiding watering at night, and not watering directly on the plant. Make sure plants receive adequate airflow. For advice on fungicides, get in touch with local cooperative extension service.

One of the most frequent issues when beginning plants from seed is damping off. The seedling appears healthy when it first emerges, but then it mysteriously begins to droop and die. A fungus that causes damping off is active when there is a lot of moisture present when the soil, air, and temperature are above 68 degrees F. This typically means that the soil is either too moist or heavily fertilized with nitrogen. Burpee advises keeping seedlings moist but not overwatering them, avoiding overfertilizing them, thinnng out seedlings to prevent overcrowding, ensuring the plants have good air circulation, and if you are planting in containers, washing them thoroughly in soapy water and rinsing them in a 10% bleach solution after use.

Fasciation is the unnatural flattening of stems, which can give them the impression of being joined. Often, distortion starts to appear in the plant’s base. It usually enters the plant through a wound and is brought on by a virus or bacteria. Burpee advises being extremely cautious when handling plants. Any plants that exhibit disease symptoms should be removed and destroyed.

When the weather is humid, a fungus illness known as powdery mildew develops on the tops of the leaves. The surface of the leaves seems to be white or grayish, and they may curl. Burpee advises giving the plants adequate air circulation through optimum spacing and pruning in order to prevent powdery mildew. For advice on fungicides, get in touch with local cooperative extension service.

Common Pest and Cultural Problems

Aphids are disease-carrying sucking insects that feed on the undersides of leaves and can be green, red, black, or peach in color. On the foliage, they deposit a sticky substance that draws ants. Burpee advises attracting or introducing aphid-eating predators like lady beetles and wasps into your garden. You can also use an insecticidal soap or a powerful spray to wash them away.

Cyclamen mite: By suckling juice from leaves and stems, these mites harm plants. They proliferate quickly in hot, dry conditions. They are only seen with the aid of a magnifying glass. Plants may not blossom and will appear stunted and deformed. Flowers will have streaks, blotches, and distortions. The leaves may cup, curve, get smaller and thicker. Burpee’s Advice Infested plants should be thrown away. Don’t work with plants that are infected. In dry conditions, keep plants well-watered. For advice on insecticides for severe infestations, contact local cooperative extension service.

Leafhoppers: These insects damage leaves and retard growth. Moreover, they spread sickness. Burpee advises clearing up plant detritus. Use soaps with insecticides. For additional advice on insecticides, contact local cooperative extension service.

Spider mites: These minuscule insects, which resemble spiders, are approximately the size of a peppercorn. They can be yellow, brown, black, red, or black. They ingest plant liquids, sucking out chlorophyll and injecting poisons that leave the foliage with white spots. On the plant, webbing is frequently seen. They cause the leaf to stipple, dry, and become yellow. They proliferate swiftly and do best in dry environments. Burpee’s Advice Every other day, a strong spray can help control spider mites. Try using insecticidal soap or hot pepper wax. For advice on miticides, contact your local Cooperative Extension Service.

Thrips: Thrips are little, straw- or black-colored, needle-like insects. They attack flower petals, leaves, and stems while sucking plant liquids. The leaf surface of the plant will show stippling, discolored flecking, or silvering. Numerous illnesses can be transported from plant to plant by thrips. Burpee advises placing sheets of aluminum foil between plant rows to deter many thrips. After the first frost, remove all weeds from the bed and any debris. For information on pest control, contact your cooperative extension service.

FAQ

Why did my petunias produce a stripe or change color in the summer? Petunias can change color or develop a stripe when it becomes too warm since they are sensitive to high temperatures. New blooms will return to their original hue as the weather cools.

What petunia has self-cleaning qualities? Petunias of the Wave variety, including “Baby Duck,” are all self-cleaning and don’t need to be deadheaded.

Why are “Shock Wave” petunia seeds different from standard petunia seeds? For convenience of handling, “Shock Wave” petunia seeds are pelleted. The covering will degrade once seeds are pressed into the soil and can be misted off.

What draw something to the garden? Hummingbirds, butterflies, bees, and other helpful insects are drawn to petunias.

I need Wave petunias for a 12-inch hanging basket, how many should I buy? For a 12-inch hanging basket, three Wave-varieties plants and four other mounding-habit species are the perfect number.