Depending on where you live, there are a number of different types of plants that attract hummingbirds. The most attractive flowers to these quick fliers are also some of the most colorful and gorgeous for the garden. Hummingbirds tend to like bright colors---reds, oranges and yellows---though they will still feast on your dazzling purples and blues. Because they migrate, they often fly high above; plant clusters of bright flowers to attract their attention. They also like flowers that are shaped like funnels and gardens that offer a variety of shady and sunny spots that are protected from the elements. Availability of water is always a good bonus.
This tall, lovely flower is beautiful to look at and medicinal in nature---people use its extracts (think echinacea) every year during the cold and flu season. It also attracts hummingbirds. Though the leaves are not funnel shaped, the coneflower appeals to hummingbirds for a variety of reasons. They like its nectar as well as the plethora of bugs that flock to the blossom and are an important part of the hummingbird diet. This plant thrives in drier soils and can stand a variety of temperatures; desert and mountain dwellers will likely have good luck with this plant.
Red Bee Balm
A hardy perennial, red bee balm (also called bergamot) thrives in drier, more alkaline soil and likes full sun unless it is in a very hot climate requiring part shade. Considered an herb, it has a minty fragrance and is used as an antiseptic tea, garnish for salads, or to add flavor to rice. It is also an excellent source of food for hummingbirds. It provides clusters of bright red blooms that last for a long time, providing a food source for "hummers" for many months.
Also known as "hummingbird mint," Agastache just may be the perfect food for this flighty bird. Varieties of pink, orange, red and other colors are available, and it blooms from late summer until the first frost. This hardy, drought-tolerant plant is easy to maintain, has a mint-like, pungent aroma and varies widely in color and size, and so can offer the gardener and hummingbird plenty of options.