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How to make your yard a hummingbird heaven

Pacific Northwest Gardening Guru Ciscoe Morris' shares his favorite hummingbird-attracting plants.

SEATTLE — Stuck at home during quarantine? Make some hummingbird friends! Gardening expert Ciscoe Morris weighs in on what kind of hummingbirds we see around here, and what plants keep them hanging around the garden.

"We have two kinds of hummingbirds here. One is the Rufous hummingbird, it’s a smallish one, kind of a brownish red one, and it's got a big orange spot on its gorget but it's the tough guy in the yard.

Credit: Anne Erickson - KING 5 Evening
Female Rufous Hummingbird

The other one is the Anna's Hummingbird, right now the male’s whole head is red, and the gorget is red and they stay here year-round.

Credit: Mary Flewelling Morris
Anna's hummingbird with Salvia 'Hot Lips' in background

Now if you want to attract the Rufous hummingbirds, they fly all the way back to Central America and Mexico, they come back in the spring, you want to plant things that are gonna be in bloom right when they come back so they pick your garden for their territory. One of my all time favorites is flowering currant, native to Washington. They see this and they just go bananas because they love the tweedle out of it!

Another great plant are bleeding hearts that grow tall. The hummingbirds just adore those things.

All Salvias attract hummingbirds, but by far my favorite is called Hot Lips - I counted how many flowers were on my Hot Lips last August? Twelve million, seven hundred and eighty two. No wonder hummingbirds can't resist those things!

Another great one is the hardy fuchsia – hummingbirds just go gaga over that nectar.

If you follow my advice, and plant all these wonderful hummingbird attracting plants in your garden, those things are gonna be zooming around doing aerial acrobatics, you're gonna have to wear a hardhat every time you go out to the garden!"

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