A Glorious Potted Hibiscus

 

We were given this potted hibiscus in January and put it out on the deck in the spring. I think I fertilized once with soluble 15-30-15 in a fertilizer sprayer.

I decided after listening to an expert on tomatoes who suggested strongly to someone who hadn’t seen any flowers: “Don’t feed them.”

I decided not to feed this plant again and it began to flower prolifically in late August and you can see that the early September photo on the right has at least three more blooms to come. I wonder if this plant wouldn’t have done as well if it had been fed more often. What do you think?

Also we have seen ruby-throated hummingbirds passing through our yards in late August and on September 1. I read that the males leave Ontario in July, the females follow in August and this summers’ babies migrate south to Mexico and Central America in September. How cool is that?

Ruby-Throat Enticement

Hummingbird at feeder
Proof from a few years ago… See my Birds ‘n Stuff page

Update July 27: We saw a hummingbird at the decorated feeder before leaving for Iceland on July 15, so I refilled it with fresh sugar water on the 15. Saw a hummingbird visit it on our return July 25!

When Camera Meets Hummingbird

Hummingbird at feeder

For a few years now the hummingbirds have stayed all summer. We’ve experimented with different types of feeder. This one I bought this spring at Canadian Tire. It comes in three parts: the antique glass bottle, an all-metal flower plate and a plastic bowl. It is the best one we’ve had: it’s easy to clean and fill and a key advantage is that the flowers are metal and do not detach, like the plastic insert flowers do. Probably less chewable if the squirrels get to it – but they don’t usually get past the cone below the feeder.

We have lots of hummingbird attracting flowers in our yards: monarda, nicotiana, and Wiegela shrubs, among lots of others. Haven’t noticed many males at our feeder. The males have the ruby throat. Our feeder gets visited about every 10 minutes – not quite a fast-food drive-thru, but there are plenty of flowers to give our tiny clients some variety. Sugar-water food: a third of a cup of sugar boiled briefly in a cup of water lasts about a week. I change it once a week to get rid of the bugs, so the easy clean feature is welcome.

These photos were taken with a 5 year-old Konica-Minolta Maxxum 5D digital SLR camera using a Sigma APO DG 70-300 mm f-4 – 5.6 zoom lens, which does a great job in well lit situations. Early morning, lower light shots are tricky, since this lens has to be steadied against something to avoid hand-held camera shake at these magnifications.