Hummingbirds are a joy to watch at any time of year, but you can attract them to hang around in the winter if you provide the right trees and shrubs. The secret is to grow specimens which bloom with fragrant flowers in the winter months. I found this article by Ciscoe Morris in the Seattle Times in which he lists a number of shrubs that fit this description including the Grevillae victoriae shown above.
Anna?s hummingbirds are just as much fun to watch during the offseason as in spring and summer. They?re much more likely to hang out in your garden year-round if you supplement their diet with a variety of trees and shrubs that bloom in winter.
The Asian varieties of Mahonia are among the first shrubs to bloom in the winter garden. They are related to our native Oregon grape, and grow anywhere from 6 to 15 feet tall, depending on variety. These drought-tolerant shade-lovers thrive among conifers, and produce yellow, candle-like flowers that are loved by hummingbirds.
By early December, the witch hazels begin to bloom, with colorful, spidery flowers on bare branches. It?s easy to find a spot for one of these gorgeous trees. Most hybrids rarely exceed 12 feet and they bloom well in sun or light shade.
A small tree that flowers on bare wood is Viburnum bodnantense ?Dawn?. Drought-tolerant and extremely cold-hardy, content with sun or shade, it produces pink, highly fragrant flower clusters prized by hummingbirds all winter long.
A shrub that bodes holiday cheer and provides sustenance to hummingbirds is Camellia sasanqua ?Yuletide?. Given an open, sunny location, its bright red flowers centered with golden stamens usually open just in time for Christmas.