Garden and Orchard - Homestead Life - The Green Homestead

How to Make the Best Hummingbird Nectar

Make Your Own Hummingbird Nectar

Every year I put out feeders for hummingbirds and orioles to attract these beautiful creatures to our homestead. I refuse to purchase the ready to mix hummingbird nectar from the store because it is loaded with red dyes that can be harmful for these little birds.

Not only am I keeping the hummingbirds healthy, but I’m also saving a lot of money! And I like saving money. 🙂

This post contains affiliate links or advertisements. You won’t pay extra but I may earn a small commission if you purchase products through those links. Thank you for supporting The Self Sufficient HomeAcre!


Although we don’t have a lot of extra funds to spend on entertainment, the addition of our hummingbird feeders keeps us fascinated with their ariel antics. Using sugar and water to make nectar from scratch helps save us some cash and provided almost free entertainment. Besides, I know that I’m helping these small creatures raise their families each summer!

Here’s how to make your own non-toxic hummingbird nectar that is free of artificial ingredients…

Hummingbird Nectar Recipe


Hummingbird Nectar

Create your own inexpensive hummingbird nectar with no dye or preservatives!


  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sugar


  • Pour the water and sugar into a small saucepan and place it on a medium-high burner.
  • Stir the solution and heat until it comes to a boil.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool completely. Fill a clean hummingbird feeder with the nectar and replace the solution often to prevent mold.
Choose a feeder that has red ‘flowers’ to attract the hummers to the nectar holes.

Keep Hummingbirds Healthy!

To make sure you are providing the best nectar for your little visitors, please follow these guidelines:

  • Do not substitute honey, corn syrup, agave nectar, or diet sweeteners for the sugar. These can kill hummingbirds, or make them sick.
  • Make fresh sugar water each week when temperatures are cool and every 2 or 3 days when temperatures are hot.
  • Do not allow the nectar to get moldy as this can also kill hummingbirds.
  • Clean feeder with water and bleach solution and rinse thoroughly, do not use dish soap.
  • Plant hummingbird friendly plants in your yard to provide natural sources of nectar.
Bright pink and red Hibiscus flowers attract a lot of hummingbirds!

Plants To Attract Hummingbirds

  • Scarlet runner pole bean
  • Pineapple sage
  • Scarlet trumpet vine
  • Pink or red foxglove
  • Coral Bells
  • Lemon Bergamot
  • Cardinal flower
  • Penstemon (red flowers with green leaves)
  • Hibiscus
  • Lupine
Scarlet Runner Beans provide food for the hummers and for your family!

Enjoying Hummingbirds on Your Homestead

One of the things I enjoy most about living on our homestead is the simple joy of watching our wildlife visitors. Birds, butterflies, bees, even the pesky rabbits and marauding foxes all have their part to play on our homestead. Even if it is just to remind me of the cycle of life as they make off with one of my chickens.

Okay, I don’t enjoy that part so much!

Hummingbirds are definitely a highlight of summer on our homestead. As I wrote this post, the very first Ruby Throated Hummingbird of the season landed on the feeder just outside my window. How cool is that?!

Do you make your own hummingbird nectar? Leave a comment!

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

4 Comments on “How to Make the Best Hummingbird Nectar

  1. I make my own nectar too. I’ve found it helpful to really space out the feeders if you have more than one. We have one male in particular who is the tiny king of his domain and would chase off any others from the THREE feeders he insisted on hogging. Spacing them out more means more food for everyone and more birds!

    1. Oh my gosh…yes! They are so territorial…I have been thinking about putting up another one. There is one male that just sits and watches the feeder so he can chase the others away.

  2. Thank you for the list of hummingbird plants. I’m making a note of this post because I plan to re-landcape my front yard with more bee and hummingbird friendly plants.

    re: boiling solution
    I used to boil mine, but now I use filtered water and sugar. So far no one seems to mind and they keep coming back. 🙂

    1. Good to know, Maria! Thanks for the tip. 🙂

      Happy to share…I need to plant some more bee friendly plants here. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.