Penstemon - Growing Guide

Growing Penstemon


Penstemon are classic old English border perennials which are normally semi-evergreen and grown for their racemes of tubular funnel or bell shaped flowers. The top of the flowers has two lobes and the bottom of the flower is three lobes. They flower in July and August in the main.

Penstemon are fully hardy but quite greedy plants who grow best in a fertile, well drained border in full sun or partial shade. In colder areas these plants will die down more and a winter mulch will both feed and protect the clumps. Deadheading will encourage more flowering on into autumn.

Penstemon can readily be propagated from seed but, if you or your neighbours grow more than one variety, expect the resulting seeds to be of mixed colours. More reliable forms of propagation are to take softwood cuttings in early summer or to divide larger established clumps of plants when still dormant in spring.

While P. ‘Sour Grapes’ and P. ‘Mother of Pearl’ may be our current bestsellers it is up to you to decide which colours best suit your taste or the colour scheme of your border from the various coloured forms shown below this article.

Penstemon grow 18-24in and normally spread about 12-18in in the border.


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