How to Make a Hummingbird Garden in Fort Lauderdale

Living Color Garden Center-Fort Lauderdale-Florida-Hummingbird Gardens

There’s just something about the unique beauty of hummingbirds that makes our South Florida summers shine that much brighter, which is why hummingbird gardens should be on everyone’s planting radar this season! Planting a dedicated hummingbird garden can transform your landscape into a sanctuary for these birds, offering them nourishment and shelter while providing you with endless up-close natural beauty and joy. If you’re not sure where to start and what to plant, let’s fly into some of our tried and tested hummingbird must-haves for Floridian gardens. 

Living Color Garden Center-Fort Lauderdale-Florida-Hummingbird Gardens-ruby-throated hummingbird hovering over red flower

Building a Hummingbird Paradise: Plant Power!

In Florida, we expect to see hummingbirds during their peak season—typically from March to September—but some species, like the Ruby-throated hummingbird, can stay year-round. No matter the time of year, though, you’ll need some key garden superstars to keep these hummers flocking to your yard. 

As experts in Fort Lauderdale gardening, we put a focus on native, nectar-rich blooms that are perfect for South Florida’s climate. Native plants are essential for providing both natural habitats and food sources for our local hummingbirds, who thrive on the nectar from these blooms. They also help sustain our local South Florida ecosystem, making them true gardening powerhouses! 

Here are some of our favorite native flowering plants to consider for attracting hummingbirds to your yard, categorized by their blooming periods:

Year-round Bloomers:

  • Firebush (Hamelia patens): Vibrant red-orange flowers that attract a variety of pollinators.

  • Scarlet Sage (Salvia coccinea): Offers bright red blooms that are a hummingbird favorite.

Spring Bloomers:

  • Wild Lime (Zanthoxylum fagara): A host plant for several butterfly species. It also provides much-needed shelter to our local hummingbird populations.

  • Jamaica Caper (Capparis cynophallophora): Beautiful white and purple flowers that add a splash of color to any landscape.

Summer Bloomers:

  • Beach Sunflower (Helianthus debilis): Bright yellow flowers that tolerate Fort Lauderdale’s salty coastal air.

  • Coral Honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens): Tubular red flowers perfect for hummingbird feeding.
Living Color Garden Center-Fort Lauderdale-Florida-Hummingbird Gardens-hummingbirds hovering at red flowers

Here are a few other flowering favorites that are perfect for attracting hummingbirds to your South Florida garden:

  • Pentas (Pentas lanceolata): Known for their star-shaped flowers in shades of white, pink, red, and purple, Pentas bloom continuously, providing a consistent nectar source.

  • Butterfly Milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa): The Butterfly milkweed features bright orange flowers that are incredibly attractive to both hummingbirds and the stunning monarch butterfly.

  • Turk’s Cap (Malvaviscus arboreus): These plants offer unique, red, turban-shaped flowers that grow excellently in the shady areas of your garden.

  • Trumpet Creeper (Campsis radicans): This vigorous vine produces large, trumpet-shaped orange flowers and can climb high surfaces.

Once you’ve picked out your plants, create your hummingbird garden using companion planting to both enhance its visual appeal and support a broader range of pollinators. For example, pairing Firebush with Mangrove Sage in your garden creates a stunning contrast while providing a continuous food source for visiting hummingbirds, butterflies, bees, and many others.

Living Color Garden Center-Fort Lauderdale-Florida-Hummingbird Gardens-hummingbird bathing in shallow tray of water

Beyond the Blooms: Creating a Hummingbird Oasis

When creating a hummingbird-friendly landscape, flowering plants are just a small part of the bigger picture. Whether you’re designing a bird-friendly space in your backyard or on your balcony, here are a few more tips for a successful hummingbird garden in Fort Lauderdale:

  • Hummingbird Feeders: Hummingbirds enjoy feeders filled with clean sugar water for a quick boost of extra energy. Red feeders tend to attract more birds, but most hummingbirds will try out any style of feeder so long as it’s hung in the right location and filled consistently. Always use the proper sugar solution—four parts water to one part white sugar—and never substitute with honey, artificial sweeteners, or brown sugar.
  • Shelter and Nesting Sites: Incorporating small trees or dense shrubs like the Wild Lime into your hummingbird garden is an excellent way to provide natural cover and nesting spots to your feathered guests. Leaving some natural areas undisturbed, including dead branches, can also encourage natural nesting behaviors.
  • Water: Hummingbirds are naturally drawn to water for both drinking and bathing, which is vital for maintaining their feather condition. Consider installing a dripping water source, a small fountain, or a mister in your garden to provide visiting hummingbirds with these delightful bathing opportunities.

Design Tips for a Flourishing Hummingbird Garden

Designing an effective hummingbird garden starts with an effective layout. Integrate trees, shrubs, and perennials—all with varying plant heights—to create a multi-layered environment. You can also place feeders within view, allowing space for movement, and in an area close to trees and shrubs for protection and a shady place to rest. Designated feeding areas can also help manage the territorial nature of hummingbirds, allowing multiple individuals to feed simultaneously without conflict. Finally, consider the color scheme of your garden. Hummingbirds are attracted to bright colors, especially red, which can be used to highlight specific areas within your garden.

After planting your hummingbird garden, sit back and enjoy the flurry of activity! These gardens not only help attract hummingbirds to your yard but also play a vital role in creating a bird-friendly landscape for everyone in Fort Lauderdale. For more expert advice and the best selection of native plants, beautiful blooms, water fountains, and hummingbird feeders, come in and check us out at Living Color Garden Center today! 

Sharing is caring!