Hummingbird Nectar & Feeder Tips

Making sugar water nectar for a hanging hummingbird feeder is simple. Learn how!

Nothing is more breathtaking than watching hummingbirds dart about on a hot summer day. Invite them to your patio or backyard with a feeder with their favorite nectar—sugar water. Making sugar water nectar for a hanging hummingbird feeder is simple. Since the standard feeder holds about one quart, here’s a recipe for that amount.

Hummingbird Nectar Recipe

Male Ruby-throated Hummingbird (archilochus colubris) in flight at a feeder with a colorful background

Hummingbird Nectar Recipe

Cuisine American


  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup sugar


  • Stir sugar into a pot of water on the stove and bring to a boil.
  • Remove from heat and allow to cool completely before adding to the hummingbird feeder.
  • While hummingbirds are attracted to red, there is no need to add red dye to your nectar.
  • The color of your feeder is what attracts them.
Keyword hummingbird feeder recipe, hummingbird sugar water recipe

Hummingbird Feeder Tips

Hummingbird and bumblebee drinking from a feeder
Wasps and bees also enjoy drinking from your hummingbird feeder.
  • Hang the feeder in partial shade to keep the nectar solution from fermenting.
  • Hummingbird feeders should be cleaned out twice per week, especially in hot weather over 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Clean the feeder using hot water only, or a weak white vinegar solution.
  • Tie a red bandana to the top of the feeder to attract hummingbirds.
  • Use fishing line to hang your feeder. Fishing line is too thin for ants to crawl up!
  • Wasps and bees can also be attracted to the feeder. If this becomes a problem, visit your local garden center for a mesh bee guard to attach to the feeder.
  • Never substitute honey for sugar when making sugar water nectar.

Plant The Flowers That Attract Hummingbirds

Hummingbird drinking nectar from a honeysuckle flower
Hummingbirds love trumpet-shaped blooms. See our list of what to plant to attract them.

We compiled a list from A-Z of the plants and flowers that attract hummingbirds. The pictures are spectacular! See it here.

Watch This Live Hummingbird Cam

Check out these fascinating hummingbird facts!

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