Saturday

How do you attract Humming Birds to your yard?.



Of all the plants in the back of my yard, I think the Firespike is the one I look forward to each year.  This plant brings so many Humming Birds and Butterflies.  My first cutting came to me from a friend two years ago and it's turned into plantings all over my yard. I had no idea how much the critters love it.
As I might have said in a previous post we are in the rainy season and the Firespike is the only flowering plant that is blooming. It's just not the season in Florida for beautiful gardens. Well, at least in my yard.  You can see the tropical greenery is beautiful and lush from all the humidity and rain.


 

 Each of the plants are starting to bloom and you might have laughed at me when I saw the first Humming Bird. I ran outside with my iPhone camera and tried to have the Humming bird think I was just part of the landscape.  Sorry but that did not work.  Every time it would come back it knew I was there and I had to finally give up and leave the poor thing to get his sweet nectar. 


This went on for about an hour, my going out there and sitting on the soggy ground only to see about 4 Humming Birds at different plants and they are scattered around the yard.  It was turning into a comedy. 



 As you can see, I have no photos of the Humming Birds.


 Known botanically as Odontonema strictum, firespike grows 4 to 6 feet tall and produces clusters of 3-inch-long, tubular red flowers. It is a small shrub in South Florida and a clumping, herbaceous perennial in North and Central Florida.  I keep my plants pruned each fall because really they will over take the entire yard if I let them.



I have a new batch of cuttings taking root in a bucket of water.  These will be packed in a box and sent to my daughter for her new back yard.  When I was there a few weeks ago I did bring some cuttings and we put them along an area of her fence to start some privacy.  She told me this week, "They all have new leaf buds growing" and she wanted a few more.  I don't plan on driving the 4 hrs for cuttings so they will be sent in the mail this week.



I've always wondered how many of you living north of Florida might have Firespike growing in your yard?
 I saw a few while living in Texas but none in Illinois and read that they will go dormant in cold temperatures?


Today my great plans of doing a bit of gardening did not happen.  This is the first day we have had sun in the past three weeks of rain.  But to my dismay It's in the high 90's and it will surly make me pass out. So here I am in the a/c doing the last of the three sweaters for my grandsons.  

"Enjoy your weekend everyone" 

I'll be joining






 





19 comments:

Pondside said...

I don't know that plant at all. It has a flower that sort of resembles Joe Pye Weed, but that's about it.
I love to have the Hummingbirds visit - the 'thrum' of their wings announces them as they flit from feeder to flower.

CAS said...

The Firespike is a beauty! We don't have those here that I know of, but I've seen something similar. I'll have to take a closer look next time. We are in our Monsoon season here in the AZ desert, but that doesn't mean as much rain as the name would imply....lol! We do get quite a few hummingbirds here throughout Fall, Winter & Spring, so I look forward to those cute little creatures, too!

Lisa {DoleValleyGirl} said...

The flowers we grow that most attract hummingbirds are million bells which we plant in hanging baskets - so beautiful to watch the hummingbirds drop by from my picture window. :)

Visiting from the Tues. Garden Party!

Beth said...

In western Oregon I use salvias, agastaches, and fuchsias to attract the hummingbirds.

debra said...

That is a beautiful flower! I have never seen one before...love it!

I have never caught a hummingbird on camera....not sure what-all flowers they visit here aside from the ones in hanging baskets on my porch. They zoom in to a basket or two and are gone in a flash....

Athena at Minerva's Garden said...

Hi Sandy: I've never seen firepike before, but yours is gorgeous! You asked me a question over at my place, and I wanted to make sure your saw my answer. Actually, some of my plants did get chomped a bit. Both the potatoes and eggplant have some flea beetle holes, but I was able to spray them with an organic spray, and I stopped them before they got out of control. Slugs are always a problem with the lettuces and other salad greens, and I use a lot of Sluggo around them. When it warms up, like now, I have less trouble with slugs. For your super hot Southern Florida climate, you'd probably do great with a fall and winter garden. I find that a lot depends on when the insects lay their eggs and what the weather is doing then. If it's cold and it kills the eggs, you're in good shape for your garden later in the season. It can be tricky to get ahead of them, especially in your warm and wet climate. Check with your local county extension Master Gardeners for more tips in your area. Thank you for visiting my blog, and have a fabulous rest of the week!

Jim said...

Fascinating post. Beautiful blooms.
Sydney - City and Suburbs

Susan Zentmyer said...

We love our hummingbirds too! Ours like our lemon tree which nearly always has blossom and our roses, but I think they keep coming back because of our fountain and our pond. They love the water!

Happy Cottage Quilter said...

I am not familiar with Firespike. We live in Central Florida and I've never seen this before. Thanks for sharing about it.

Jocelyn @
http://justalittlesouthernhospitality.blogspot.com/

Melynda said...

Beautiful plant, I will have to investigate this for my area, thanks.

Elaine @ Sunny Simple Life said...

Well I live in SoCal and have never seen it. Very unusual. I imagine it is a true tropical and needs rain and we are too dry here. It is stunning. I can see why the birds and butterflies are attracted to that. Thanks so much for sharing with all of us.

Babs said...

I live in Georgia, but I'm not familiar with the firespike. It looks like the perfect hummingbird magnet.
I wish we got more hummers here, only three or four each year, even though we put out a feeder. Lucky you having them visit. :)
Babs

Light and Voices said...

Hummingbirds are just amazing to watch. You are so lucky to have such a beautiful plant to attract them.
Joyce M

Kalantikan said...

Looking at your photos is like looking at our own backyard here in the Philippines. We also have lots of those Odontonema, but i don't tend it anymore, the discarded stems just grow again under the mango and avocado trees. They are difficult to kill, maybe only winter will. Are you originally from here too?

Beth said...

Love your firespike and your caladium. I live in the midwest and I am not familiar with firespike. Thanks for sharing it with us.

Larry said...

I so seldom see hummingbirds in our gardens and we have all sorts of plants that should meet their fancy... I suspect they are just elusive in these two acres... I do love them! Larry

Yael at Home Garden Diggers said...

Your Fire Spike is beautiful. I don't think I have ever seen them, but then I am at the opposite corner of the US in Oregon. I love our hummingbirds. We have giant Crocosmia Lucifer, which is bright red. The hummingbirds love them...and anything else in my garden that is red. I have on occasion made the mistake of wearing something red into the garden. Then I will get hummers coming to check me out, hovering a mere foot or so away. Enjoy them. They are amazing birds.

Yael from Home Garden Diggers

Darla said...

I love the firespike and was gifted with a purple one last year by a fellow blogger, hopefully it will bloom this year, yours are ahead of mine...

Jami @ An Oregon Cottage said...

Yep, salvias, foxglove, and petunias also attract hummies around here. They never cease to amaze me!