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Saturday, July 15, 2017

I don't use nectar feeders any more, but I have plenty of Hummingbirds

I simply got tired of the mess, the mixing and the constant bother of nectar
feeders for Hummingbirds (I had four feeders).  Although the hummers loved them – I didn’t.

Instead I now have several large “masses” of flowering, native plants that do a remarkable job of attracting hummingbirds and butterflies. All plants have nectar in varying amounts - the ones in my yard are Turk’s cap, lantana, flame acanthus, ironweed and mistflower. Others may do well too, particularly ones with a high nectar content and tube-shaped flowers. (incidentally a “mass” of flowers is at least 50 square feet. For lantana, that’s around 50 plants, depending on their spacing)  

Each flower species has a peak blooming period. Choose carefully, so there’s  flowers available all summer long.  The heat of the summer is the time to enjoy the flowers & Hummingbirds, however it’s definitely not the time to plant flowers. Most flowers in this area should be planted in late winter - for some woodier plants (like acanthus) plant right after the first frost – usually November.

Having a few mature trees around encourages Hummingbirds to nest nearby – always a plus.

You may not attract large throngs (like I did with four nectar feeders), but you can forget about mixing, spilling and re-filling all summer. Just feed naturally!

Owen Yost, in addition to blogging, is a Landscape Architect emeritus from here, whos worked in north Texas for over 30 years.  He is a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), International Society of Landscape Architects, the National BirdFeeding Society, National Wildlife Federation and the Audubon Society. He was honored with a Lifetime Achievement award by the Native Plant Society of Texas. His design office is at

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