One of the most exciting parts of spring is when yards and gardens fill with blooming, colorful flowers! Many gardeners plant a variety of species and colors for a beautiful and varied garden. These flowers attract a plenitude of insects and animals, bringing even more life into one's yard. To attract hummingbirds to your yard, plant this lovely hummingbird bush!
Hummingbirds are a special bird because of their minuscule size and vibrant colors. As the only birds that can fly backward and hover in one spot, these little birds are as unique as they are pretty. Along with this, their wings beat 20 to 30 times a second, and their little hearts beat 1000 times every minute! If you find this intriguing, you can ensure that you'll always have hummingbirds to observe by planting the bush that attracts them.
The Hummingbird Bush of Texas
The hummingbird bush, also known as wright's honeysuckle or flame acanthus, is native to western central Texas. Its scientific name is anisacanthus quadrifidus var. wrightii, and it flourishes in full sun but will do well in partial shade as well. This lovely bush is also drought tolerant, making it perfect for the hot Texan sun. This resilient plant grows 3 to 4 feet high and wide, and it can grow in a variety of land types, from rock to sand to clay.
Wright's honeysuckle grows red and orange flowers, which hummingbirds and butterflies are very fond of. These tubular flowers are about a half inch long, and they grow in large clusters. Since hummingbird bushes grow so many flowers, a hummingbird will often spend hours in one part of the bush.
Along with attracting hummingbirds, the hummingbird bush draws butterflies to its fragrant flowers. A member of the acanthaceae or acanthus family, the hummingbird bush attracts hummingbirds but repels deer. Because of this, you won't catch any deer nibbling away on its bright blooms!
The Florida Hummingbird Bush
There are actually a few different bushes known for attracting hummingbirds to the garden, another being the hamelia patens. With the common name of firebush or scarletbush, this hummingbird bush is a member of the rubiaceae family, which includes a number of herbs, shrubs and trees. The scarletbush grows bright red flowers which eventually become dark red berries, and it can grow up to 12 feet high in optimal conditions.
Throughout its growing season, which is early summer through fall or even year round in warm tropical climates, the firebush attracts butterflies and hummingbirds to its vibrant blooms. Small black fruits grow as well, which draw in a number of songbirds. Native to Florida, the firebush thrives in the sun but will survive in partial shade as well.
The Butterfly Bush
For those interested more in butterflies than hummingbirds, there is also a butterfly bush! Also called buddleia davidii or summer lilacs, the butterfly bush is a fast-growing, deciduous shrub with long blossoms that thrive throughout summer and autumn. These blossoms grow in a variety of colors, but the lavender, white and dark purple cultivars seem to be most popular among the butterflies.
However, one thing to keep in mind when planting the butterfly bush is that it is an invasive species, originally imported from China. Because of this, it sometimes will crowd out native plants in the area and spread extensively in warm climates. To prevent this, consistently deadhead the flowers and keep a close eye on the amount of new growth and spreading.
If you love colorful flying friends like butterflies and hummingbirds, it's easy to incorporate hummingbird and butterfly bushes into your landscaping! With these flowering plants, your garden will be full of beautiful winged creatures and colorful, fragrant flowers!