Last Updated on September 9, 2022 by Cristina
Would you like to know the answer to the question of the day: “Do bougainvilleas attract hummingbirds?”. Read on to find out if hummingbirds and bees share the same love for this plant.
For those who enjoy both gardening and bird watching at the same time, luckily there are excellent annuals, perennials, vines, and shrubs planted solely to attract hummingbirds to your yard. Although these birds are attracted to the color red, plant selection for your hummingbird garden should not be based on flower color alone. The world is full of diversity, therefore, try to take advantage of it.
We have recently heard a very interesting question: “Do bougainvilleas attract hummingbirds?” Let’s find out below!
What Kind Of Flowers Do They Prefer?
Hummingbirds are among the many species of migratory birds that visit different countries during their journey north in the spring and then south in the fall. Therefore, it is not bad to enrich your garden with several new types of plants that will allow them to extract the maximum of nectar that they can convert into energy.
Basically, these birds prefer long tubular flowers, preferably red, but they will not hesitate to visit some other flowers in bright colors including orange, yellow, purple, and in some cases even blue. Also, be aware that double-flowered forms aren’t suitable for pollinators as they are difficult to access.
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Bougainvillea: About The Plant
First of all, before you find out the answer to the question: “Do bougainvilleas attract hummingbirds?”, let us tell you a few important facts about this plant.
The genus Bougainvillea consists of approximately 18 species of vines, shrubs, and small trees, which belong to the four-o’clock family (Nyctaginaceae). This beauty is native to South America, the largest percentage of species have thorns, but only these woody vines managed to gain worldwide popularity. It owes its interesting name to the French explorer Louis Antoine de Bougainville, who was enchanted by its pulchritude when he docked in South America in 1768.
They can be found almost everywhere; it is very interesting to note that they are not only used as vines but also as ground covers, in containers, on pergolas, etc.
This evergreen woody climber, also called paper flowers, can reach up to 22 feet and produces wonderful trumpet-shaped flowers in different colors such as magenta, purple, white, orange, and crimson.
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Do Bougainvilleas Attract Hummingbirds?
These are pretty unique flowers because what you see as “flowers” aren’t really just flowers. We know, you’re probably a little confused, let us explain. Namely, the big, wonderful “flowers” are actually leaves or bracts, while real flowers are tiny, almost imperceptible.
Nature was very creative in this matter because the bracts act as protectors of small flowers, and at the same time help in attracting pollinators. Furthermore, most members of the Bougainvillea genus have single bracts, and those that have double bracts are extremely rare.
Well, we have mentioned pollinators, so it’s finally time to give you the correct answer to the question: “Do bougainvilleas attract hummingbirds?”. Not that they are just attracted to them, but hummers truly appreciate bougainvillea flowers! Are you wondering why? It’s very simple. Bougainvillea flowers bloom continuously throughout the year, especially when grown in hardiness zones 9-11.
We have to remind you that you have to bring this plant back into the house every fall because otherwise, you risk its roots freezing completely, and we all know that after freezing there is no going back to the old way. Hummingbirds will especially like it if you plant this plant to cover fences and as a safety hedge.
To Conclude, Do Bougainvilleas Attract Hummingbirds?
For all those who have wondered if bougainvilleas attract hummingbirds, the answer is yes. What’s more, not only is it attractive to them, hummers simply adore it! We hope this article helped you better understand the connection between this plant and the smallest birds in the world. If you have any questions, please let us know in the section below.
What Is A Hummingbird’s Favorite Flower?
Hummingbirds especially like brightly-colored, tubular flowers that naturally produce a lot of nectar. These are bee balms, daylilies, foxgloves, hollyhocks, impatiens, verbenas, flowering tobacco, and petunias.
Do Bougainvilleas Have Nectar?
That's right, the bougainvillea flower produces nectar, which is why it is so attractive to hummingbirds, and not only to them but also to butterflies and moths. Pollinators love this plant and are frequent visitors and often carry the pollen on their bodies, distributing it all around.
As for the nectar, it is found in a structure characteristically called the nectary, basically a swollen area at the base of a tubular flower. Thanks to its thin, yet long neck, the nectary is very accessible to all pollinators who decide to visit it.
Is Bougainvillea Good For Pollinators?
Yes, Bougainvilleas, also called paper flowers, are quite interesting to pollinators, even more so, butterflies, moths, and hummingbirds absolutely love them. This is because they have everything they need to taste the benefits of these attractive flowers. So we're talking about the proboscis that allows them to drink nectar inside a trumpet or hollow flower.
On the other hand, bees don’t have a proboscis and as such unfortunately cannot reach the juicy nectar of bougainvillea, which is why they skip visiting these flowers whenever they come across them.
Will Birds Nest In Bougainvillea?
You will probably be surprised to hear that birds love nesting in bougainvillea. In addition to birds, butterflies and moths also adore it. Let the fact that butterflies feel safe enough to lay eggs on the underside of the bougainvillea's leaves also support this.
After hatching, four days later, the little caterpillars emerge from those eggs and continue their lives feeding on leaves. It usually takes about 15 days from the appearance of the caterpillar to the transformation into a butterfly, and in autumn days even much longer than that.