Best Salvias That Draw the Most Hummingbirds

Salvias and hummingbirds are meant for each other. Here are the 10 best salvias to grow to attract the most hummingbirds to your garden.

Hummingbird experts Bart O’Brien and Sheri Williamson recommend the following species as magnets for hummingbirds. This list can help you plan your plants for next year’s garden or serve as a list to take with you to your favorite nursery.

1Salvia clevelandii: Cleveland sage, blue sage. Evergreen, drought-tolerant Southern California native shrub with blue flowers that start in late spring. USDA Zones 8–10.

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Salvias with red, pink or orange flowers wave a banner that hails hummingbirds from the sky. Salvia elegans (above).

2 Salvia elegans: Pineapple sage. Bright red flowers bloom from midsummer into fall. Crush the leaves to experience this salvia’s namesake scent. Zones 8–10, or grown as an annual. (See photo above.)

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The bright pink color of the flowers are a beacon hummingbirds will follow. Salvia greggii ‘Lipstick’ (above).

Salvia greggii: Autumn sage. Texas native that blooms in red from spring through fall. Its many named cultivars and hybrids provide a range of warm colors. Zones 8–10. (See photo above.)

4 Salvia guaranitica: Anise-scented sage, hummingbird sage. Deep purple flowers produced midsummer to fall. Zones 8–10, or grown as an annual.

5 Salvia leucantha: Mexican bush sage, velvet sage. Compact late-summer and fall bloomer with purple-and-white flowers. Zones 8–10, or grown as an annual.

6 Salvia leucophylla: Purple sage. A native of dry slopes of coastal Southern California, this shrubby salvia forms dense blocks of gray foliage topped with lavender flowers. Zones 7–10.

7 Salvia madrensis: Forsythia sage. Quick-growing Mexican native plant that can grow to seven feet in one season. Large leaves and buttery yellow flowers that appear late summer to fall. Zones 7–11.

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Salvia microphylla ‘Hot Lips’ (above)

8 Salvia microphylla: Baby sage, black-currant sage. Native to southeastern Arizona and Mexico. Red flowers on red-tinted stems from midsummer to fall. Many pink and red cultivars available. Zones 8–10.

Salvia regla ‘Jame’ (above)

9 Salvia regla: Royal sage, mountain sage. Texas native with large red flowers that appear in early summer; blooms again in fall. Zones 8–10.

Salvia spathacea Pitcher Sage (above)

10 Salvia spathacea: Hummingbird sage, pitcher sage. A native of coastal California with thick spikes of rosy flowers in late winter and spring, with a rebloom in fall. Zones 8–11.

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