Every year we've got our standard reliable go to plants that we know the hummingbirds like, but each year we're trying new varieties to see if there's something better and suits our climate. This year I came across this "Rockin' Fuchsia Salvia". With a name like that it's gotta work. It was a little bit behind when we first got it, but now it's pushing out the blooms, and there are many more blooms just starting. The flower color is spectacular and stands out among the darker foliage. The only question that remained was whether it was effective for hummingbirds. We have a perennial called a gas plant that we put in the ground a few years ago as a seedling. With a difficult soil we had to wait a few years for a couple of them to bloom. I had no idea whether this one would attract hummingbirds especially with plain white color for blooms. It's flowering season in our garden is July 1st to July 15th. It's a little bit off the time for the young birds that leave the nest, but for the dominant male that sticks around, he would be the judge of it's worthiness.
Well, with these two new flowers in the garden, we just had to wait on our local boy to let us know. First you have to understand that we have thousands of flowers blooming in our yard right now, so the options are enormous, but this is also a perfect opportunity to let us know which ones are the most worthy. For a hummingbird to return to the same flowers amongst a large garden filled with flowers, it pretty much proves to us which flowers stand above the rest. I always rate the flowers out of five. The 4's and 5's are the best and can be interchangeable. What I mean by that is that one hummingbird may choose one flower as its prime choice while another hummingbird may choose another as it's prime choice. Anything that's rated one or two is primarily for color and for attraction purposes, anything with a three rating is a very good choice for a hummingbird garden. Anything rated four and five are absolute must-haves, and this is where each hummingbird will choose its favorite among the best, and this is why I say a four may be a five to one bird, while a five may be a four to another.
The results of the two new flowers to our garden were impressive. The gas plant was a little bit further from my view where I watch over the garden, but a couple times within a 6-hour period, that I noticed, a male showed up to each stock of flowers and made sure he hit every single flower. You can always tell when a hummingbird visits every flower in a stock, that it's worthy and high on the rating system. The Rockin' Fuchsia Salvia was equally, if not a little more effective. It was located right in front of us on the deck, and although we scared him away a few times without knowing he was there, he kept returning, and when he did, he made sure he hit every single flower.
So the results were great on both of these flowers. I'll be taking several cuttings from the fuchsia and making sure each pot next year has its own, and while the gas plant is a much slower growing perennial, it's found a permanent place in our garden, and I'll be planting many more. The gas plant grows to about 24 - 36 inches tall and the Salvia it's supposed to grow to about 24 in. Of course, you have to understand that many Salvias are perennials in warm climates, but planted here as an annual in my zone 2. In planters raised off the ground, these will make the perfect centerpiece for every smorgasbord of nectar in each pot.
I have a few images to see, as well as some information. Don't look for half an hour to try and find a hummingbird in the gas plant, because you won't find it, but I managed a very early morning image of our hummingbird in the Salvia. Very poor light at 6:30 a.m. made it difficult for a clear picture, but clear enough to show his interest.
So if I have to score both of these flowers, I would definitely place them both in the 4 to 5 rating, but probably give the salvia the upper edge considering it blooms profusely until frost.