The Sweet Benefits of Making Your Own Hummingbird Nectar


If you look closely, you'll see them bobbing and hovering in the air. Everywhere you go, tiny Hummingbirds bring joy with their bright colors and cheerful chirps. We may not be able to understand their language, but we’re still curious about these fascinating creatures, and can’t help but wonder what it would be like to have one around us all the time.

hummingbird nectar

One way to make this a reality is to set up a feeding station in your backyard. All it takes is a feeder loaded with the sugary nectar that hummingbirds love, and they will be sure to come flocking in! But if you’re looking for something more than just store-bought nectar, consider making your own hummingbird nectar at home instead. There are some sweet benefits of taking this DIY approach that could make it well worth your time! In this article, we'll explore everything you need to know about making your own hummingbird nectar at home.

Why Make Your Own Hummingbird Nectar?

As many hummingbird enthusiasts know, nothing beats the joy of watching these colorful birds come to your feeders. With the right mix of simple ingredients, you can attract more hummingbirds to your backyard oasis and help support their health and nutrition in the process.

By making your own hummingbird nectar, you'll enjoy several benefits that come with taking on this DIY task. Not only will you have peace of mind that you know exactly what’s going into your nectar—no added colors or preservatives—but also there will be money savings. You won't need to buy pre-made nectar that costs up to three times more than homemade recipes!

Plus, when you make your own nectar, it gives you the opportunity to customize it based on your specific needs. You can even experiment with various recipes and flavors to see which ones draw in the most hummingbirds. Regardless of which recipe or flavor combination you go with, homemade hummingbird nectar is sure to attract these feathered friends from far and wide!

The Nectar Recipe and Ingredients

Making your own hummingbird nectar is surprisingly easy, and requires just two ingredients: granulated white sugar and water. The general rule of thumb is to mix four parts water to one part sugar. For example, if your mixture includes a cup of sugar, you’ll want to add four cups of water.

It’s important not to use honey or brown sugar as these can cause mold or fungal infections in the birds. Additionally, it's also important not to use artificial sweeteners or food coloring as these are bad for hummingbirds' health.

Once you have your nectar ready, you can prepare the feeder by filling it with the mixture and placing outdoors in an area frequented by hummingbirds. Replenish the feeder when it's low and rinse off any residue before refilling with clean nectar every three-four days. That will help prevent mold growth and attract more visiting hummingbirds!

How to Prepare the Nectar

Making nectar is a sweet, easy process. All you need with a few simple ingredients and some basic tools. Here's how to do it.


First, gather the following ingredients:

  • 4 parts water
  • 1 part sugar
  • Food coloring (optional; not recommended for feeding as it can be harmful to hummingbirds)


Next, you'll need the following tools:

  • A large pan or pot
  • A stirring spoon or whisk
  • Eye protection (in case of splattering)


Finally, here's how to prepare the nectar:

  1. In the pot or pan, combine the water and sugar. Heat over medium heat, stirring until all granules of sugar have dissolved.
  2. Remove from heat and let cool for 15-20 minutes until the mixture reaches room temperature
  3. If desired, add food coloring to give your mixture that wow-factor
  4. Transfer your nectar into a clean hummingbird feeder and watch as hummingbirds flock to it!

Tips for Feeding Hummingbirds

Making your own hummingbird nectar has many advantages over buying pre-made nectar from the store. One of the main benefits is that you can customize and adjust the recipe based on your hummingbirds' needs. Here are a few tips for feeding hummingbirds:

Use white, granulated table sugar

Because regular table sugar is the most widely available and cost-effective choice - it's definitely the way to go. Plus, it's been proven to be a great source of energy for hummingbirds. However, it's important to make sure that you use only granulated white sugar, not raw or brown sugar - these contain minerals that may be harmful to hummingbirds.

Avoid artificial sweeteners and honey

Artificial sweeteners have been known to cause health issues in birds, so they should be avoided at all costs. And while honey may seem like a natural alternative, it turns out that honey also contains trace minerals and enzymes that can be harmful to hummers if ingested in large quantities.

* Use distilled or tap water

Tap water is usually just fine if it's free of chlorine or other contaminants, but distilled water is always recommended if possible as there are fewer impurities present in distilled water than in tap.

Remember, when making your own hummingbird nectar, keep it simple and affordable! White granulated table sugar is a safe bet for providing nourishment for hummers - just make sure to use only distilled or clean tap water when mixing up your nectar solution.

What to Do With Leftover Nectar

If you’re making your own hummingbird nectar, what do you do with the leftovers? Don’t worry, there are plenty of ways to put that extra nectar to use. Here are some ideas:

Create Fruit-Flavored Syrups

Hummingbird nectar is pretty sweet on its own. But why not make fruit-flavored syrups for ice cream, cakes, and other desserts? That way, you can control the amount of sugar that goes into your treats and get a bit more creative with flavor.

Make Hummingbird Nectar Jello Cups

Are you a fan of jello cups? Then you’ll love this idea. Make jello cups using hummingbird nectar and then just add any fresh fruits or edible flowers as toppings. This is a great way to use up leftover nectar while children enjoy a healthy and delicious treat!

Use It As An Insect Repellent

Hummingbird nectar can be used as an outdoor insect repellent. Just spray the mixture around your backyard or deck area and it will act as a natural deterrent for ticks and mosquitos. The aroma should keep those pesky bugs away so that you can enjoy the outdoors without getting bitten!

Making your own hummingbird nectar is easy, fun, and rewarding — but don't let the leftovers go to waste! These ideas are just a few of the many ways that you can put extra batches of homemade nectar to good use.

FAQs on Making Homemade Hummingbird Nectar

Making your own hummingbird nectar is not an overly complicated process, but there are a few things that you should keep in mind. Here’s a quick look at some of the most common questions related to making hummingbird nectar.

What’s the ratio for making hummingbird nectar?

When making your own hummingbird nectar there is an important ratio to keep in mind: add just 4 parts of water to 1 part of sugar. This ratio will make the perfect nectar that’ll be just as good as store-bought, and will help your local hummingbird friends stay hydrated and happy!

Does the type of sugar matter when making hummingbird nectar?

No, you can use any type of sugar when making homemade hummingbird nectar—white sugar, brown sugar or even honey. However, make sure to stick with the 4:1 ratio regardless of which type of sugar you use.

How long does homemade hummingbird nectar last?

In general, if the water you used was clean and free from contaminants and you followed proper sterilization procedures, your homemade hummingbird nectar should last about two weeks before it needs to be replaced with fresh syrup.


Making your own hummingbird nectar is not only a great way to show your appreciation to the littlest birds in your backyard, it’s also an easy way to save some money and control what ingredients go into your hummingbird feeder. While it only takes minutes to whip up a batch (using the easy four-to-one ratio), the hummingbirds will love you for it—not to mention the fun you'll have watching them flutter around the feeders all summer long. With just a few ingredients, you can show your feathered friends the sweet benefits of homemade hummingbird nectar.


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