Handy Tricks & Tips — A New MVCI Website Feature

FIRST ISSUE – GARDEN FUN! Attract more hummingbirds, plant water-wise flowers they love!

WATER-WISE FLOWERS HUMMINGBIRDS ADORE

Hummers love Salvia (sage).  A  few easy ones:

  • Salvia clevelandia, lavender-blue flowers, 4 ft tall and wide.
  • Salvia leucantha (Mexican sage), rose violet, velvety leaves, prolific bloomer. 3-4 ft tall and wide.
  • Salvia greggii (Autumn sage), red, pink, white and coral, several varieties, about 3x3ft. In bloom right now (June- August) on the Mesa Verde Drive medians!
  • Salvia spathecea (Hummingbird sage), A shade lover, needs full or part shade.  Rose red flowers,  2-3ft tall, 3ft wide.

Other hummingbird favorites: 

  •  Mimulus cardinalis (Monkey Flower), scarlet red, and aurantiacus, yellow/orange,  also called Sticky monkey flower.
  • Buddleia (Butterfly Bush) Pink, blue, purple and “Black Knight”,  a purple so deep it is almost black.  Grows  6′-7′ or more, there are also dwarf varieties. (Butterflies also love it!)
  • Leonotis (Lions Tail), orange flowers, 4′ tall.
  • Zauschneria (California Fuchsia). Small tubular purple-tipped red flowers. Low, loose mound.
  • Agastache (hummingbird mint, hyssop) Rose-red, pink, and violet flowers, a variety of foliage types, low to medium height.
  • Callistemon (bottlebrush), Not just your grandma’s Bottlebrush tree! Many new varieties, colors and sizes.

GENERAL ADVICE:  All the above like full sun unless noted, and require well-drained soil.  Most need  regular water the first season, then do well with water only twice a month. Some benefit from occasional pruning. Check with your local Nursery or landscape professional for availability,  planting advice, growth habits, care and water needs.

No green thumb? No room?  No problem!  There’s always the good old hummingbird feeder.  Here’s a new trick:  A friend got some sugar at the 99c store that was tan, like turbinado sugar.   She mixed it up and the feeder was mobbed.   It disappeared  twice as fast as ordinary sugar water!  Recipe: 1 part sugar to 4 parts water.  Stir or shake until dissolved.  Keep feeder clean to prevent toxic fungus build-up.

 

Contributed by Robin Leffler, MVCI Board Member

 

 

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