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Ciscoe’s Tips of the Week: Attract Hummingbirds

This week Ciscoe tells us how to attract those cute little hummingbirds to our yard. (AP Photo/file)

Ciscoe’s tips for attracting hummingbirds:

“The real key is to get plants that attract hummingbirds,” said Ciscoe. “And there are some good ones.”

Plant lots of perennials with colorful red flowers such as Salvia, Phygelius, Monarda, Heuchera, Penstemon etc. to attract hummingbirds to your garden. Work in a shot of organic starter fertilizer whenever you plant.

“My favorite plant on earth is called Salvia Hotlips. It grows about 4 feet by 4 feet wide with red and white flowers,” Ciscoe told KIRO Radio. “They (hummingbirds) love every flower so much.”

Hardy fuschias are also a winner because they start blooming in May and last all the way past Thanksgiving. Ciscoe said to plant them deep and put them in sun because they bloom a lot better than in the shade.

If you’re serious about attracting hummingbirds, Ciscoe recommended taking a trip to the nursery and asking for help. There are so many options.

Put up a hummingbird feeder where you can enjoy watching those crazy avian acrobats do their thing. The best kinds of hummingbird feeders have a perch so the birds can rest. Use only 1 part granulated sugar to 4 parts water in the feeder, and wash it often with vinegar. Hummingbirds shun feeders washed with dish soap.

Never hang two hummingbird feeders near each other because hummingbirds are really territorial and will try to protect both feeders at once, said Ciscoe.

Water any newly planted tree, shrub or perennials, even drought tolerant ones well until they establish a healthy, strong root system. Even desert plants need extra water until they establish a large root system.

“When you plant a new plant, you have to keep them well watered,” said Ciscoe. “They need a good drink until they get started.”

Ciscoe’s Tips of the Month for May

Prune spring blooming shrubs as soon as the flowers fade, and add an organic all-purpose fertilizer.

Mix in a handful of bone meal and a cup of organic vegetable food when you plant heat loving vegetables.

Plant exciting new varieties of perennials, trees, shrubs, and annual flowers.

Click here for Ciscoe’s Plant of the Week!

Gardening with Ciscoe can be heard on KIRO Radio on Saturdays at 10 a.m. Available anytime ON DEMAND at

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