Tag Archives: hummingbird plants

What’s that funny-looking bee?

I plant flowers and shrubs that are appealing to birds, bees and butterflies. A few years ago, I planted Bee Balm for the hummingbirds. They love it! Yesterday I noticed two “odd” insects feeding at the Bee Balm and the nearby Phlox.

hummingbird moth

They are called Hummingbird Moths. It was hard to get a good pic of them as just like hummingbirds, they are in constant movement. According to link to the Forest Service, they also like Phlox. I happen to have Phlox planted next to the Bee Balm so they may think they stumbled on a smorgasbord. Per the Forest Service pics, I think the two I saw are the Snowberry Clearwing version.

bee balm & phlox

A word of caution if planning to install Bee Balm – that’s not mentioned in plant web sites. The above plant started as a small single 3″ plant pot. In the 3 years since, I’ve had to divide, give away, plant in other places, as it spreads quite a bit after it’s cut down when the flowers subside. I didn’t know it spread like that! So my suggestions are:

  • Put it in a spot where it can be visible during its blooming time which is 3-4 weeks on either side of July 4. It’s VERY spectacular.
  • Put it behind other shorter plants that will hide the empty space once you have to cut it down after blooming. It’s rather ugly after blooming.
  • Put it in a space where the underground roots can allow it to enlarge but won’t encroach on other plants. It’s not too invasive but can double/triple in size underground after blooming. Dividing is easy and can control the size as the roots aren’t deep.

You can have your neighbors asking “what IS that bright red flower”!

A bright welcome for hummingbirds

Do you like to feed hummingbirds? In addition to providing the sugar-water in feeders, there are several plants that they like as well. The plants have tubular flowers and usually are red in color.

Last summer I planted Bee Balm. It didn’t grow much during the summer and didn’t flower at all. However, this spring it came up over a much larger area and grew and grew and grew! It finally flowered this week and I love it. The tiny birds seem to like it as well.
bee balm
I only purchased one plant from the nursery. That small plant became the 2-foot round display in the above photo. It’s about 3-foot tall. I may have to divide it next spring if it spreads too much. Not visible yet in the photo below, are three white phlox plants that will soon provide a nice contrast. In the days since I took this photo, even more flowers have opened up and it’s proving to be a very showy plant. So far, I really recommend it.

perennial plants

The plant in the foreground is a Pieris Japonica which is an interesting evergreen plant that constantly changes color. New leaves start out red then change to green. In the fall, leaves turn bronze. Lily-of-the-valley style flowers bloom in the spring.