Birds & Blooms
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Should I add anything to the sugar water for my hummingbirds to make it more nutritious?
Kenn and Kimberly:
Hummingbirds drink nectar and sugar water for energy. When you’re feeding them pure sugar water, there’s no need to put in additives. These birds forage at other sources besides feeders, getting plenty of nutrition from eating small insects like flies and gnats. They even eat small spiders. And hummingbirds are so resourceful that they often forage for insects in the sap wells drilled in trees by sapsuckers.
What type of flower is this? These wasps and bees love them.
Melinda: As you have discovered, this mountain mint (Pycnanthemum virginianum) really is a pollinator favorite. It’s also host to several caterpillars, and deer tend to leave it be. Hardy in Zones 3 to 7, it grows best in full sun and moist soil. Native to wet meadows, this summer to fall bloomer makes an excellent plant for rain gardens and shoreline plantings. The great black wasp visiting your plant aids pollination but also helps manage harmful garden pests like grasshoppers.
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