Hummingbirds are great pollinators for plants of many types, and they also provide this service for succulents.
If you have noticed hummingbirds coming into your garden, it would be a great idea to provide them with some succulents they might like.
In this article, we will discuss the various succulents that attract hummingbirds. If you plan to host hummingbirds in your garden and you want to learn more about which succulents are their favorites, just keep reading.
Why are hummingbirds attracted to succulents?
Some succulents have bright, tubular flowers held high on tall stems, and it is these that entice hummingbirds to feed from them. And, while feeding from the flowers, they are also pollinating the plants.
9 succulents that attract hummingbirds
Echeverias are beautiful flowering succulents that have tall flower stalks. The flowers produced by echeverias can be red, white, yellow, orange or pink.
The flower stalks are called inflorescences; they grow from the middle of the plant and can grow up to a foot tall.
Each inflorescence can have at least ten small flowers that open one after the other.
Echeveria flowers bloom during the late spring and early summer, but there are some varieties that can bloom all the way into the fall.
Echeverias will continue blooming every year as long as they have good care and ideal living conditions.
Agave plants do not bloom as often as other succulents. It can take them years between blooms, but do not worry as this is normal.
Often, it takes an agave plant a decade before it even has its first bloom.
A mature plant will grow a stalk from its center, and this is where the flowers will bloom from. The stalk will continue growing until it gets quite tall. After a while, smaller branches will start to appear on the main stalk, and soon these will form clusters.
The clusters will house the flowers, which are rich in nectar. This nectar is what hummingbirds are attracted to, and while feeding on it they will pollinate the plant.
Another succulent to have in your garden to attract hummingbirds is the aloe.
Aloes are low-maintenance, easy-to-care-for succulents that are able to tolerate poor light conditions and drought.
The aloe’s blooms grow from an inflorescence which grows from the center of its leaf rosettes.
It may take the plant until the age of four years before it can produce flowers, so do not be impatient if your aloes have no flowers yet; they might just be too young at the moment.
The aloe’s inflorescence will have tubular orange or yellow blooms dangling in a cluster from the top of the stalk.
Once all of the flowers have died and fallen off, you can just prune away the flower stalk.
Not all dudleya species produce flowers, but the ones that do make a great addition to your hummingbird-friendly garden.
One such variety is the chalk dudleya, which is a succulent native to Southern California.
The mature chalk dudleya has between one to five flower stalks that grow from between its basal leaves.
These stalks are covered with leafy bracts that may look alot like basal leaves.
The stalks will fork into three to six branches.
Hummingbird pollination works quite well for the bisexual flowers on the chalk dudleya.
Gasterias look quite similar to aloes, but their leaves typically have a rougher texture.
They are native to South Africa and can tolerate low light conditions as well as drought.
Depending on the gasteria species, these succulents can have some very interesting colors and patterns on their leaves.
It is best to plant your gasteria in the spring so that it can thrive in conditions that are closer to what it would get in its natural habitat.
Mature gasterias will produce curved, tubular, red or pink flowers during the spring and winter, which will attract your local hummingbird population in no time.
There are over 200 species of opuntia and they are native to both North and South America.
Opuntias are very unique-looking succulents because their large, green segments are not actual leaves. Rather, they are stem segments, called cladodes, that store water.
Evolutionarily, the leaves have turned into spines to protect the plant from animals that might want to eat it.
The flowers on the opuntia are yellow and cup-shaped. They are very attractive to hummingbirds, not only because of their bright color but also because of their size, which is larger than most succulents’ flowers.
This is a genus of slow-growing succulents native to Mexico.
Their plump, fleshy leaves form loose rosettes that range in color from orange to purple to green.
The plant itself may be grape-shaped and is typically covered in a powdery coating called farina.
Pachyphytum produces greenish-white and deep red bell-shaped flowers during the spring and summer, which grow from spiky inflorescences.
The sinningia is a genus of succulents native to Brazil. They are relatively low-maintenance and can grow quickly. A plant that was sown in the spring can bloom later in the same year.
The plant will bloom from April to August, producing large, tubular, bright red flowers that hummingbirds will be easily attracted to.
The schlumbergera is more commonly known as the Christmas cactus.
It produces small, flat, round stem segments with serrations on both edges of the segment.
Once buds have started to form at the end of the segments, the blooms should start to appear after roughly 12 weeks. This often occurs around Christmas time, hence the name of the plant.
The flowers have a pink, pollen-bearing stamen, and this is what the hummingbird will come into contact with as it feeds on the flower, effectively pollinating the plant.
Hummingbirds are some of the most effective pollinators in the animal kingdom. They feed on the nectar of plants’ flowers, carrying away pollen that they then spread to other flowers.
Not only do hummingbirds like regular flowers; they also like feeding from the flowers of succulents. So, if you want more frequent visits from your hummingbird friends, choose a few succulents from our list above and you should have hummingbird sightings on the daily from now on.