What flowers attract hummingbirds in Alaska?

Common Hummingbird Flowers in Alaska

 

Sorting through hundreds of potential flowers that (might) attract hummingbirds can get frustrating and time-consuming. So after many hours and hours of research, I thought it would be worthwhile to share some of the best flowers that attract hummingbirds in Alaska.

 

In general, here are some traits that make an excellent hummingbird flower:

  • LOTS of nectar for the hummingbirds to eat.
  • Tubular-shaped flowers don’t allow other pollinators, like bees and butterflies, to access the nectar.
  • The color of RED. Hummingbirds are most attracted to red flowers.
  • NATIVE to Alaska.

 

10 Types of Hummingbird Flowers in Alaska:

 


#1. Sage (Salvia)

  • Salvia spp.

Types of Hummingbird Flowers found in Alaska

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Growing Information:

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 4 to 10 (varies by species)
  • Life Cycle: Most are perennial, but annual varieties are also available.
  • Approximate Mature Size: Wide size range between different species; from 6 inches to 3 feet tall.
  • Bloom Time: April-September
  • Light Requirements: Full Sun

 

Sage has it all; it’s easy to grow, looks great in your garden, attracts hummingbirds, and the leaves can even be eaten!

 

Sage is the common name of any plant under the genus Salvia. So, unfortunately, it’s going to be hard to give a lot of specific details about which Sage flower would do best in your backyard because there are hundreds of different species, along with many more cultivars that grow well in hummingbird gardens across the country.

 

Sage comes in all different sizes and colors. Some are annual, some perennial. Many are native to the Americas, but the most common, Salvia officinalis (Common Sage), originates from the Mediterranean. It’s so common that it’s considered naturalized in North America.

 

One thing most variations of Sage have in common is they have spikes of tubular flowers. And these flowers are great for attracting hummingbirds, along with other pollinator insects, bees, moths, and butterflies.

 

My advice is to do some more research or speak to your local nursery and find a variety that will do well where you live. Luckily, Salvia is VERY COMMON at garden centers.

 


#2. Lupine

  • Lupinus

Hummingbird Flowers species that live in Alaska

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Growing Information:

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 4-9
  • Life Cycle: Perennial (some Annual)
  • Approximate Mature Size: Too many variations to list, but the average is 3 feet tall and wide.
  • Bloom Time: Depends on zone and variety, but typically May-July.
  • Light Requirements: Sun to Part Shade

 

Lupine features beautiful, long spikes of flowers. There are many different species and cultivars available, and hummingbirds like them all.

 

They come in all sizes, so there should be some sort of Lupine that fits your hummingbird flower garden perfectly. The most common colors of Lupine blooms are blue, purple, pink, and white.

 

Lupine makes an excellent neighbor to other plants that require nitrogen-rich soil. It increases the nitrogen in the ground, making the soil a better environment for other plants!

 

In the US, the species that tend to grow best are wild lupine, garden lupin, silvery lupine, and Texas Bluebonnet. Check with your local nursery to find out which one is easiest to grow in your area!

 


#3. Columbine

  • Aquilegia

Kinds of Hummingbird Flowers in Alaska

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Growing Information:

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 3-8
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Approximate Mature Size: ~3 feet tall
  • Bloom Time: May
  • Light Requirements: Grows well in the shade. If full sun, provide lots of moisture.

 

Columbine flowers refer to any species from the genus Aquilegia, many of which are native to North America.

 

I love the unique look of Columbine, and luckily so do hummingbirds! Its pretty flowers typically bloom in May, right when hummingbirds are making their way back north, so this may be the first plant that you see hummers visiting each spring.

 

It’s interesting to note that insects have difficulty accessing the nectar, so hummingbirds should have this flower all to themselves.

 

There are many species and hybrids of Columbine available. Make sure to choose a species that’s native to your area for the best results!

 


#4. Fireweed

  • Chamerion angustifolium

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Growing Information:

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 2-7
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Approximate Mature Size: 4-6 feet tall, up to 9 feet occasionally
  • Bloom Time: June-September
  • Light Requirements: Partial to Full Sun

 

The pinkish-purple flowers of the Fireweed plant make a welcome addition to any hummingbird garden!

 

This species can quickly take over a garden without regular trimming since it spreads by seed and underground rhizomes. For example, one plant can produce up to 80,000 seeds in a single season!

 


#5. Larkspur

  • Delphinium exaltatum
  • Delphinium glaucum

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Growing Information:

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 3-8
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Approximate Mature Size: Up to 8 feet tall
  • Bloom Time: March-August, depending on species and location.
  • Light Requirements: Partial to Full Shade

 

Larkspur’s large blue flowers attract hummingbirds in Alaska. And they look beautiful in any garden! However, use caution if you have animals or children since Larkspur is toxic to humans and livestock. It can cause skin irritation and stomach upset in humans and is a common cause of cattle poisoning.

 


#6. Beard Tongues

  • Penstemon

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Growing Information:

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 3-8
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Approximate Mature Size: 2-4 feet tall
  • Bloom Time: April-June
  • Light Requirements: Full sun

 

Beardtongue, or Penstemon, is a perennial that does well in full sun. Its many flowers grow on tall, thin stalks that shoot straight up from the plant, giving it the appearance of a firework!

 

Beardtongue’s tubular blossoms make it a perfect flower for hummingbirds to find nectar and even water that collects inside.

 

Different species of Beardtongue grow best in different areas of the US, so the best way to find the right one for you is to talk with someone knowledgeable at your local nursery.

 


#7. Phlox

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Growing Information:

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 4-8
  • Life Cycle: Both perennial and annual varieties
  • Approximate Mature Size: Varies significantly from a few inches off the ground up to 6 feet tall.
  • Bloom Time: April-August, depending on the variety
  • Light Requirements: Full to partial sun

 

There are dozens of species of Phlox that range in size, color, and growing condition. This means that no matter what type of hummingbird garden you have, you can probably find a type of Phlox that will work for you!

 

Varieties like Tall Garden Phlox make a great backdrop, and low-growing Moss Phlox works as ground cover or to fill in between other plants. You can even plant a few different varieties to fill out your garden and bring more color to your blooms. Check with your local nursery to pick a species that will fit your needs.

 

Many pollinators, especially hummingbirds, are drawn to this versatile plant.

 


#8. Petunia

  • Petunia

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Growing Information:

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 2-8
  • Life Cycle: Annual
  • Approximate Mature Size: 6-24 inches tall, up to 24 inches wide
  • Bloom Time: April-October
  • Light Requirements: Full to partial sun

 

Petunias are an easy-to-grow annual with plenty of varieties of different sizes and colors.

 

If you have a garden that gets at least 5 hours of sun per day, plant Petunias to be rewarded with many blooms! Ask your local nursery what type they recommend to pick a specific variety.

 

Hummingbirds enjoy their deep, tube-shaped flowers for drinking nectar and water. You can also expect butterflies and bees to visit your Petunia plants.

 


#9. Impatiens

  • Impatiens

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Growing Information:

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 2-9
  • Life Cycle: Annual
  • Approximate Mature Size: 10-16 inches tall
  • Bloom Time: April-June
  • Light Requirements: Full shade

 

If you like Petunias, but your hummingbird garden gets more shade, you might want to try planting Impatiens instead.

 

They’re available in similar colors and have many of the same qualities as Petunias, like plentiful blooms. But, unlike Petunias, they prefer shady areas and will do best in only partial or low sun. Hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies all enjoy visiting Impatiens.

 

There are hundreds of varieties of impatiens to choose from. The best way to pick is to talk to someone at your local nursery and find a cultivar that grows well in your area.

 


#10. Flowering Tobacco

  • Nicotiana tabacum

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Growing Information:

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 3-9
  • Life Cycle: Annual
  • Approximate Mature Size: 3-5 feet tall
  • Bloom Time: July-September
  • Light Requirements: Full sun to partial shade

 

Flowering Tobacco has been cultivated into several ornamental varieties. However, they’re unpalatable to many mammal species, so they’re a great option if you have rabbits, deer, or other herbivores in your area.

 

Even though it isn’t a native plant, flowering tobacco has gorgeous flowers that attract hummingbirds and gardeners alike.

 

The five-petaled blooms can lend a bright pop of color to your hummingbird garden. This annual plant also attracts butterflies and pollinating bees.

 


What is your favorite hummingbird flower?

Tell us about it in the comments!