Think about hummingbirds when you're planting
flowers this spring. Although the ruby-throated is most common, six
other species of hummingbirds occasionally are sighted in Florida.
They are attracted to nectar-rich plants having bright red or
orange blossoms of tubular shape.
It takes little effort to create a haven of plant
attractants. Stick with native plants, which require a minimum of
care. Trumpet creeper (Campsis radicans) or coral honeysuckle
(Lonicera sempervirens) vines can be laced through a trellis.
Consider a red buckeye (Aesulus pavia) (north Florida) or geiger
tree (cordia sebestena) (south Florida) in the back of your garden.
Add lower shrubs such as coral bean (Erythrina herbacea) or
firebush (Hamelia patens), and then low flowering annuals and
perennials closer to the ground. Remember that flowering plants
nearly always require full sun.
You can also welcome hummingbirds to your yard by
hanging a sugar-water feeder. Remember to use the proper feeding
solution and to keep the feeder clean of bacteria and fungus molds.
Make your own feeding solution of four parts water to one part
white granulated sugar - no stronger. Bring water to a full boil,
dissolve in sugar and promptly cool. Refrigerate unused portions.
Every four to five days, dismantle your feeder and scrub with hot
water and vinegar (no soap). Rinse thoroughly before refilling.
For more information see the Hummingbird
section of Planting a Refuge for
Wildlife or you can access the University of Florida, Institute
of Food and Agricultural Sciences' document Hummingbirds