How easy it is to attract birds to your
hot climate garden! Simply plant some shrubs, trees and flowers
and, almost immediately, birds appear. The shrubs offer nesting
sites, trees will provide shelter from predators like peregrine
falcons and your neighbor's cat, and the flower seeds can be a
food source for many wild birds. Birds also feast on insects in
the garden. The real trick is to attract the birds you want in
your xeriscape garden -- say, for example, hummingbirds, without
attracting pest birds like pigeons.
A Hummingbird Garden
Shades of red and orange are the
colors and tubular is the shape that attracts these tiny
acrobatic birds, so plant a drought-tolerant border or
flower bed with the vibrantly blooming plants hummingbirds
species and hybrids) - these Western native perennials
grow as low, ordinary-looking clumps of leaves, but come
Spring, spires grow to heights of 2 feet covered with
tubular shaped red, orange and yellow blooms. The bushier
gloxiniodes) blooms later, larger and in a wider range
(Campsis radicans) from the eastern U.S. is
a self-attaching vine with bright yellow and orange
blossoms. This vine can grow as much 40 feet in one
year! Because it is such a vigorous grower and can
become invasive, it is best planted in a large
container beside the trellis or arbor. It is
tolerant of a variety of soil conditions and of heat
and cold. Needs moderate water in summer.
(Zauschneria californica) - another western native
perennial, it is low growing with narrow gray-green leaves.
In late Summer and Fall, it bursts into bloom with orange,
red or yellow flowers to liven your xeriscape garden.
(Heuchera sanguinea) - coral bells have relatively large and
colorful leaves -- many newer hybrids are bronze. These
perennials prefer some shade. Dainty flowers bloom in Spring
on slender spire-like stems.
Autumn Sage (Salvia
greggii) - you will find this popular Western native
with tiny red flowers in every nursery in town. It needs
some shade during the hottest part of the day, but is a
drought tolerant plant.
Baja Fairy Duster (Calliandra
californica) - the deep red blooms on this shrub look
like mini powder puffs. Will bloom almost year round with
moderate watering. Grows to 5 feet tall.
||Mexican Bird of Paradise (Caesalpinia
Poinciana pulcherrima) -
A fast-growing shrub with fine feathery foliage, it
blooms yellow or red/orange almost all summer long.
Grows to 10 feet tall. Needs very little water once established.
Lion's Tail (Leonotis
leonurus) - you may have to search out this South
African evergreen shrub that grows 4 to 6 feet tall. From
Summer to Fall it blooms with whorls of tubular, vibrant
orange and yellow flowers.
You could also plant salvias
(sages), desert willow, hollyhock, columbine, and butterfly
bush and lantana to attract birds and bees to your garden.