Subscribe to our Mailing List

Get the news right in your inbox!

Seven Culinary & Medicinal Herbs to Attract Hummingbirds

devon No Comments

This post contains affiliate links meaning that I may make a small commission based off of your purchase at no additional cost to you.

Hummingbirds are a salve for the soul. Make your garden pull double duty by planting these culinary and medicinal herbs that also attract hummingbirds!

Seven Culinary & Medicinal Herbs to Attract Hummingbirds

Devon No Comments

Creating a hummingbird garden is salve for the soul. Learn how to attract hummingbirds using culinary and medicinal herbs. Using herbs to attract hummingbirds is medicine for your mind, body and soul.

Herbs may be medicine for the body and the mind, but hummingbirds are medicine for the soul.

My grandmother fostered my love of hummingbirds – in fact, all birds really – from an early age.  Many feeders hung along the eaves of the house, one in particular outside the breakfast table window where one could watch the tiny birds flit by for a quick sip for hours at a time.  I remember standing on a small yellow stool beneath that feeder, as still as I could, to be a little closer to the vibrant hummers. Something I did with my own children many years later.

Perhaps my grandmother has always known about hummingbird medicine, without really “knowing.”  Hummingbirds exist only in the Americas, and as such, have a strong connection to the native peoples of western continents.  Not surprisingly, many Western cultures associate hummingbirds with joy and happiness.  Hummingbirds stay aloft and owe their unique flying patterns to flapping their wings in an infinity symbol pattern – connecting the tiny birds with a sense of eternity.  These tiny creatures also symbolize resurrection as the sleep in hibernation, death-like state called torpor, but awaken to their industrious buzzing and flitting with the warmth of the sun.  Simply said, hummingbird medicine is the uplifting medicine for the soul.

Seven Culinary & Medicinal Herbs to Attract Hummingbirds

Attracting these delicate and beautiful birds to your home is an easy task if you are a gardener or herbalist.  In fact, many culinary and medicinal herbs perfect fodder for hummingbirds!  Learning how to attract hummingbirds to your landscape has never been easier.  Here are a few culinary and medicinal herbs that pull double duty in your hummingbird garden:

bee blam - herbs to attract hummingbirds

Bee Balm

Bee Balm, a showing medicinal herb, is a total knock out in the landscape and major attractor of pollinators.  Red (Monarda didyma) and lavender (Monarda fistulosa) varieties have great medicinal value as a diffusive and digestive herb perfect for herbal facial steams and for feeding hummingbirds.  Bee balm might just be the answer to the question of how to attract hummingbirds to your garden!


sage flowers


Common Sage is an unsung culinary and medicinal herb. Sage is cooling and relaxing, with some studies suggesting it has some really positive benefits for neurological issues.  When allowed to flower, sage produces lovely blue-purple flowers making this one of the most outstanding herbs to attract hummingbirds to your landscape.



Borage  is the quintessential summer herb with its cucumber flavored blossoms is a beloved herb of hummingbirds too.  Try freezing a few blossoms in cubes of ice for a festive treat while leaving the rest for our little, feathered friends to enjoy.  This fuzzy addition to the hummingbird garden is sure to impress your feathered friends.

pineapple sage for the hummingbird garden

Pineapple Sage

If you have never experienced the wonderful scent of pineapple sage, you are missing out.  I love to add a few sprigs to my ice water or iced tea on hot summer days to infuse its fabulous flavor and aroma.  And if you are wondering how to attract hummingbirds to you landscape it seems that our favorite little birds are equally attracted to this lovely herb.

Anise Hyssop
Photo courtesy of Jan Berry at

Anise Hyssop

Licorice-y anise hyssop is a powerful attractor of pollinators, and is also a sterling respiratory herb. Foliage from dark green to lime-y chartreuse with tall spires of regal purple, this is a stunning herb for encouraging a hummingbird garden.


Who knew that culinary and respiratory workhorse rosemary could bring all the hummingbirds to the yard? Rosemary is one of the most powerful herbs to attract hummingbirds to the garden. I can’t help but brush my hands through rosemary every time I pass by, and it seems that hummingbirds can hardly resist the plant’s attractive blue flowers.



Perhaps one should think twice about planting this herb for the hummingbirds if they also have critters of the feline persuasion, but catmint is a powerful attractor of our favorite little flitters too!


Now that you’re considering all the wonderful herbs to attract hummingbirds with culinary and medicinal herbs, consider filling a feeder or two with this recipe from my friend Chris at Joybilee Farm.  And for more tips on creating a medicinal herb garden visit this post.

Interested in learning more about these and many other common medicinal plants?  Check out my new book The Backyard Herbal Apothecary!

Herbs to Attract Hummingbirds


Devon is a writer and author on subjects of holistic and sustainable living. She has a degree in Complementary and Alternative Medicine from the American College of Healthcare Sciences, and her first book, The Backyard Herbal Apothecary, will be published by Page Street Publishing in Spring 2019. Devon's work outside of can be seen at,,, and in the magazine The Backwoods Home. Devon's second book, as yet untitled will be published Fall 2019.

All posts

No Comments

Leave a Reply

About Me

About Me

Meet the Nitty Gritty Mama, Devon!

I am an herbalist, farmer, cook, and forager. I get my hands dirty and am not afraid to do things the "hard way". Sharing my Nitty Gritty Life with you! Read More



Subscribe to our Mailing List

Get the news right in your inbox!

Popular Links


  • Pearly everlasting is one of my favorite medicinal wildflowers to forage for during summer.  It ticks so many therapeutic actions boxes and is just an all around useful botanical.
It grows abundantly in the coastal mountain range a few miles from my home so it gives me great excuse to abandon my home and work responsibilities and get outside, far away from modern distractions.
All new post on the blog extolling the many virtues of this wonderful plant!
Tap link in bio for link to post.
#pearlyeverlasting #anaphalis #anaphalismargaritacea #herbs #herbalist #herbalmedicine #herbalism #medicinalherbs #wildflower
  • This summer has been an absolute flurry of activity.  A veritable whirlwind.  A non stop GO. 
My intended lazy, restful summer has been anything but. 
I’ve been so busy that I kinda forgot about my second book.  After the final edits were made, the photos taken - I just bid it farewell, and settled into “life after book.”
Well, life after bookS because I wrote this book immediately after finishing The Backyard Herbal Apothecary. 
When the UPS truck started down our long gravel road I paused for moment wondering what I had ordered.  And then it occurred to me — The Herbalist’s Healing Kitchen is HERE!
Now, she doesn’t officially publish until October 29th and I am still a few weeks out from promotion, but I can’t help myself - it’s just so exciting to have this book in print.
This book turns a thoughtful eye towards the food we eat and rethinks our daily meals and special treats so that we are maximizing the benefits of those foods!  I will show you how to use flavor to inform better eating decisions to cook your way to better health!
#herbs #herbalist #herbalmedicine #herbalism #author #cookbook #everydayfoods #foodismedicine #foodenergetics #eatingforhealth
  • Last weekend, I spent a really wonderful day hiking and foraging with my husband and the youngest of our kids.  One of the many highlights was the red huckleberries that were in full splendor in the coastal mountains.
Naturally, we foraged.
So, naturally, I wrote you all a new post.
Learn to identify red huckleberries and make a fabulous syrup with your harvest!
Tap link in bio for link to recipe and post.
#redhuckleberry #pnw #pacificnorthwest #huckleberry #vacciniumparvifolium #wildfood #wildfoodlove #foragedfood #foraging #forager #foraged #wildfood
  • Today marks the first day of August - a month of warmth and sunshine throughout much of the northern hemisphere.  August 1st also mark the ancient feast day and celebration of Lammas.
In reverence to old world tradition, I have create a humble loaf of sourdough bread, braided and studded with calendula petals and sunflower seeds.
It is a delicious and enchanting way to celebrate the abundance of the season and the grain harvest.
Tap link in bio for link to recipe.
#lammas #bread #sourdough #baking #traditionalfoods #baker #baking #homemade #herbs
  • My property is full of plums -- beautiful old trees and young feral saplings.  I cannot wait to get a few batches of this yummy plum butter going this summer.
Tap link in bio for link to recipe.
#plums #plumbutter #recipe #foodpreservation #canningseason #homestead #homesteader #homesteading
  • I confessed my love of Lady's Mantle the other day and shared a monograph extolling the virtues of this very virtuous plant.
Perhaps one of my favorite uses for lady's mantle is in the landscape.  She is a simple stunner.  Elegant in every way!
Tap link in bio for link to post on how to grow lady's mantle with this new post!
#ladysmantle #alchemilla #alchemillamollis #herbgarden garden #gardening #gardener #herbs #herbalist #herbalmedicine #medicinegarden
  • We went for a hike in the coastal range yesterday.  Some much needed change of scenery and a chance to stretch our muscles and relax our minds.  Our seven year old chattered incessantly and adorably about the fairy world that was hiding under every fern and fallen log, while big brother ran ahead reminding me that I am a little out of condition, ahem... 😑
There were many highlights of this journey through the cool and damp woods, but this specimen stopped me in my tracks. An Indian Ghost Pipe (Monotropa uniflora), maybe a bit past her prime (I can relate), but still such a remarkable example of nature.  A parasitic plant, ghost pipe grows in only certain conditions and is fairly rare.  Due to her rarity, we just observed the plant and talked about it’s uses and habitat - I had no intention of harvest.  Instead, this is a plant that teaches me restraint and  appreciation.  Look but no touch.  I hope it taught my kids a lesson, to observe mama being so excited about something but making no move to call it my own. 
Sometimes the best plant medicine isn’t ever consumed, just absorbed.
#indianghostpipe #ghostpipe #monotropa #monotropauniflora #herbs #herbalist #herbalmedicine #medicinalherbs #pnw #pacificnorthwest #oregon
  • Confession:
I have a plant crush.  On Lady's Mantle.
Alchemilla mollis.
She even sounds lovely...
Folks, she is simple beauty, and moreover she is one of the most incredibly useful herbs in the home apothecary.
Tap link in bio for link to my new herbal monograph.
#ladysmantle #alchemilla #alchemillamollis #alchemillavulgaris #herbs #herbalist #herbalmedicine #medicinalherbs
  • 🍑 Is it peach season in your neck of the woods? 🍑
We are just coming up on it in the Pacific NW and I am DEFINITELY making a batch (or two or three) of this delicious peach butter with vanilla!
Give it a try!
Tap link in bio then click on this photo for link.
#peach #peaches #peachbutter #fruitbutter #jam #foodpreservation #foodpreserving #homestead #homesteader #homesteading

Follow @nittygrittymama