Posted in Creatures, Plants

Basil and hummingbirds.

One thing I love about my office is looking out the window when it’s light outside.  I see all manner of things going on, including what critters are hanging around what.

Yesterday, I again found myself leaning forward and peering through the window a bit perplexed as it seemed a hummingbird was drinking from my larger flowering basil.

In the image above, you can see three of our basil plants, sort of in an untidy row.  The middle one that looks downright bushy and is in almost direct vertical line with the corn is the plant it was drinking from.  Behind them is turtle beans that I moved the wire frame to support, and the scarlet runner beans on the pole.  There another corn there, it’s younger and hidden behind the beans.

From what I’ve found in my research so far, basil does indeed attract them.  I don’t know what variety we have because I bought a six cell flat starter simply marked “basil”.  Most sites just mention basil in general, but one specifically called out sweet basil, and another site that sells plants had a comment about their Amethyst basil being much beloved by hummingbirds.

We honestly don’t use much basil, but I knew it was a companion for many things in our kitchen garden.  I’m also try to let at least one of each type we grow go to seed so we can add to our seed stash.  This is my first year collecting anything other than milkweed seed, so I guess next year I’ll find out how we did with that.

So first the scarlet runner beans, now basil.  One site I also found stated they enjoy bee balm, lavender and rosemary, and we have all three.  We also have the twinberry bush on the rock wall that I suspected they would like due to the honeysuckle like bloom shape that is on some lists, though I’ve not seen one near them because it’s a farther distance away, and a bit out of scene depending on where/how I’m sitting.

Last year, I remember when a sphinx month scared me when it was dipping into our hosta flowers I was weeding around.  I had never seen one before.  I only knew it wasn’t a hummingbird from the coloration and antennae.

What blew my mind the most while I was looking at different results for my search about basil and hummingbirds, was I read on one site that “as much as 60 percent of a hummingbird’s diet is actually made up of tiny insects, spiders, and other arthropods…”  This may be old news to many of you, but it was brand new info for me.  Another beneficial aspect to them.  I felt about the same level of shock when I found out an awful lot of ladybugs aren’t purely insect eaters.

So if you didn’t already, now you know another plant that can attract hummingbirds.


Care to share thoughts on this?