Hummingbirds feed mainly on nectar from flowering plants and are particularly drawn to species using tubular flowers that bloom in shades of red, orange or purple. To attract hummingbirds from March through May, plant a blend of vines, annuals and perennials using nectar-rich blooms. Flowering shrubs and trees can also provide nectar, along with cover and nesting sites. To create the ideal habitat, provide a continuous water supply as well.
Trees and Shrubs
Forsythia (Forsythia x intermedia), hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 6 through 9, attributes tubular yellow flowers on long arching branches. Depending on the variety, it flowers from early to mid-spring. Hummingbirds will also sip nectar from the yellow-green flowers of tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera), hardy in USDA hardiness zones 4 through 9. Another spring bloomer that attracts hummingbirds is western azalea (Rhododendron occidentalis), hardy in USDA plant hardiness zones 7 through 9 or even 10. It has white blooms and blooms in May.
In May, early flowering anemone clematis (Clematis montana) bloom, attracting hummingbirds using a large number of pink or white flowers. Anemone clematis is hardy in USDA plant hardiness zones 6 through 9. Another spring flowering vine is scarlet runner bean (Phaseolus coccineus), that can climb 12 to 15 feet, and features big, red blooms. It is a hummingbird favorite, usually grown as an annual and hardy through USDA zone 10.
Hummingbird favorites for March through May contain bleeding heart (Lamprocapnos spectabilis, also known as Dicentra spectabilis), hardy in USDA zones 3 through 9. Bleeding center, with pendant blooms in white or red, features fern-like foliage and can grow in part sun or shade. Columbines, for instance, frequent columbine (Aquilegia vulgaris), hardy in USDA zones 3 through 8, and also the buff columbine (Aquilegia flabellata), hardy in USDA zones 4 through 9, feature spurred blooms in a range of colors. The dark green dissected foliage remains attractive after the blooms have faded.
Petunias (Petunia), using their vibrant, trumpet-shaped flowers are annuals that bloom from April or May until frost and bring hummingbirds. The low-growing plants are hardy in USDA zones 10 through 11. Technically a perennial, hardy in USDA zones 3 through 9, sweet William (Dianthus barbatus) is often grown as an annual and blooms in May. Its bright flowers in shades of white, pink, red and purple offer nectar to hummingbirds.