Last Updated on September 21, 2022 by Cristina
Do hummingbirds like nasturtiums? Keep reading and find out.
Is there anything more exciting than seeing a hummingbird enjoying its flight in your garden? As far as we are concerned, not really, although we are hummer enthusiasts, so that should be taken into account.
These magnificent creatures are not only beautiful; they rather play a very important role in the environment, which is pollination. By planting nectar-rich flowers you are guaranteed to be rewarded with a visit from all kinds of flying creatures, including the world’s smallest birds, hummingbirds.
What Types Of Flowers Do Hummingbirds Prefer?
Did you know that hummingbirds don’t prefer all types of flowers equally? They are crazy about some and literally despise others. How is that even possible? It’s very simple, just like humans these birds can clearly distinguish what they like from what they can’t stand.
Accordingly, when it comes to flowers, they will always choose to spend their time sucking the nectar from those flowers that tend to be tubular, as this actually suits their long, thin beaks best. Although you might not think so at first, sunflowers are also on the list of their favorite flowers.
Furthermore, they love bright colors like red, and according to what we were able to learn from the BirdNote Podcast, these birds have naturally adapted their sense of sight to detect red and yellow. Also, it is important to emphasize that these are quite intelligent flying creatures that, among other things, have the ability to change their color preferences in order to favor the source with the richest nectar.
Nasturtiums: Everything You Need To Know About These Fragrant Flowers
First of all, before we reveal to you the true answer to the question: “do hummingbirds like nasturtiums?”, let us say a few sentences and introduce you to the plant we are going to talk about today.
Nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus) is an annual plant that comes from the Tropaeolaceae family and is native to the Andes in South America. This easy-to-grow flower produces bold blooms and edible leaves, which is why it is grown all over the world.
We mustn’t forget to mention that this plant is considered to be an invasive species in several areas outside its original range. In terms of physical appearance, the nasturtium has yellow, orange, or red funnel-shaped flowers and a long shoot containing enticing nectar. Its edible green leaves are almost round and scaly with smooth or wavy edges.
Furthermore, there is more than one type of nasturtium, and scientists have thought of dividing them into two different groups, more specifically, trailing or climbing types (Tropaeolum majus) and shrub types (T. minus).
Over time, their appearance and characteristics changed drastically. For example, Cherrelle has ruffled cherry-colored petals, while Troika Cream, in contrast, has pale flowers with red details. These flowers are an excellent choice for growing in window boxes or hanging baskets, as their vines twist and climb in an indescribably beautiful way.
Do Hummingbirds Like Nasturtiums?
Nasturtiums are known to be excellent attractants of beneficial insects such as pollinators and hoverflies, but they are also considered predators of some of the more common pests such as aphids.
It is interesting that it is a plant with an extremely high percentage of sweetness, specifically sucrose, not fructose or glucose, and it is also very concentrated. It is precisely for this reason that not all pollinators love it equally.
As for insects, bumblebees are the main pollinators of nasturtiums. Primarily because it is an excellent source of both pollen and nectar, and its characteristic flower shape represents a kind of landing platform for insects. Bees, on the other hand, don’t really like it because, due to its physiognomy, they can’t reach the fruiting body where the nectar is located.
Finally, we come to the main part of this article, i.e. the answer to the question “do hummingbirds like nasturtiums?”. Well, let’s cut to the chase! Hummingbirds are truly the biggest fans of these flowers! They are drawn to this bright and attractive annual.
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The Main Reasons
The nectar of this plant is well hidden, in the far and long spur, and as such is available only to a very small number of pollinators, i.e. only to those whose tongues or proboscis are long enough to reach it. This physical characteristic is only one in a series that makes hummingbirds such unique members of the flying world.
Furthermore, given that light shades are common to nasturtiums, it is no wonder that hummingbirds prefer them the most among all other common garden plants. In addition, the stripes around the center of nasturtium flowers should be mentioned. Their primary role is to help hummingbirds get comfortable and lead them to find the nectar source itself.
To Conclude: Do Hummingbirds Like Nasturtiums?
That’s right, hummingbirds love nasturtiums more than any other pollinator. You can tell they simply enjoy consuming their rather sweet nectar.
That’s it, we hope you found this article useful! If you have any questions, please let us know in the section below.
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Can Birds Eat Nasturtium?
Nasturtium is completely safe for both human and animal consumption. Therefore, birds that enjoy drinking nectar will especially appreciate these flowers. Bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds are its most frequent visitors.
What Is The Best Hanging Plant To Attract Hummingbirds?
If you're thinking about killing two birds with one stone, i.e. decorating your yard and attracting hummingbirds at the same time, you won't go wrong if you decide on some of the following:
- Trumpet Vine
What Pollinates Like Nasturtiums?
Bumblebees are the main pollinators of nasturtiums. Unfortunately, bees and other smaller insects aren’t so frequent guests because, due to their physiognomy, they don’t have long enough tongues or proboscis and therefore they can't finish the job.
What Should Not Be Planted Next To Nasturtiums?
Old-fashioned nasturtium can thrive with any other plant. Moreover, most plants grow better with nasturtiums planted nearby.