Penstemon barbatus Rubycunda

Rubycunda Penstemon

Red and White Penstemon barbatus Rubycunda, Penstemon barbatus Rubycunda, Rubycunda Penstemon

Rubycunda' has the huge, brightly colored tubular flowers of the cold tender English hybrids, but with excellent USDA zone 4 cold hardiness. Mid-summer blooming, this perennial is highly attractive to bumblebees and hummingbirds.

Learn More…
Out of Stock

Sign up for our newsletter for updates on products.

Zones 4 - 9
Deer Resistant
Deer Resistant
Attract Hummingbirds
Attract Hummingbirds
Rabbit Resistant
Rabbit Resistant
Light Requirements
Full Sun
Full Sun
Annual Rainfall
10 to 20", 20 to 30", 30 to 40" (with care)
Ideal Region
Only in Western US
Bloom Time Mid to late summer
Shipping Buy now and we'll ship your order at the ideal planting time for your region. Learn More…
Size Plant - 5" deep pot
SKU 75802


16-20" tall x 15" wide. This new, super cold hardy beardtongue is a real breakthrough, offering gardeners the huge flowers previously seen only with tender Zone 7 or 8 English-style hybrids. Blooming in mid-summer on compact plants, 'Rubycunda's large white throated, bright red flowers are the favorite of hummingbirds and bumblebees. This is a great beardtongue for more civilized garden conditions. Compost enriched garden loam.

SKU 75802
Common Name Rubycunda Penstemon
Botanical Name Penstemon barbatus Rubycunda
Zones 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
Light Requirements Full Sun
Flower Color Red, White
Mature Height 16-20" tall
Mature Spread 15" wide
Bloom Time Mid to late summer
Ships As Potted Plant
Native Yes
Planting Season Spring / Summer
Soil Type Sandy Soil, Average Soil, Compost Enriched Garden Loam Soil
Soil Moisture Average
Amount of Rain 10 to 20", 20 to 30", 30 to 40" (with care)
Advantages Deer Resistant, Attract Hummingbirds, Rabbit Resistant
Ideal Region Western Only
Neonicotinoid-Free Yes - Learn More
Ships to Canada No

Planting Guides

Tips for growing Penstemon (Beardtongue)

Penstemon are generally evergreen and have beautiful flowers that are very attractive to hummingbirds. Most varieties are rabbit resistant.

  1. They need “elbow room”, maximum sun, heat and don’t like to be crowded by other plants.
  2. Plant only in well-drained soils; clay soils and Penstemon are incompatible.
  3. Avoid overly enriched soils; too much compost and fertilizer will shorten their life span.
  4. They establish quickly and the amount and frequency of watering needs to be reduced after about 8 to 10 weeks to create dry conditions.
  5. When using drip irrigation, be sure to put the emitter off to the side of the plant, not right on top of the root ball to avoid overwatering the plant.
  6. Plant high, leaving the top of the rootball just above the surrounding soil to avoid burying the crown of the plant.
  7. Mulch with gravel or pine needles in arid climates. No mulch is needed where conditions are moister. Always avoid bark, grass clippings, or compost as mulch materials.
  8. Allow some of the plants to set seed (don't deadhead all of the flower spikes)*.
  9. Fertilize sparingly. One time each year in the fall is enough. Apply a light application of an organic or natural fertilizer such as Yum Yum Mix as a top dressing around the plants. Don't use high nitrogen water soluble fertilizer like Miracle Gro

*To keep penstemon that have finely textured or matted evergreen foliage looking their best, you'll want to 'deadhead" them. Shear off the fading flowering spikes just as the plant is going out of flower. Gently bunch the flower spikes together with one hand and cut them off at the point where they go down into the mat of foliage with your clipper in your other hand.

Recommended for the following varieties: P. pinifolius types (‘Compactum', ‘Mersea Yellow', ‘Nearly Red', ‘Magdalena Sunshine' and ‘Tall Orange Mix'), as well as Penstemon linarioides v. coloradensis and Penstemon virens ('Blue Lips').

More in-depth guidance for growing Penstemon: Penstemon for the Waterwise Garden, David’s Favorite Plants: Pineleaf Beardtongue, The Beardtongue Family: Penstemania for Penstemon and The Genus Penstemon; The Royalty of American Wildflowers The Genus Penstemon; The Royalty of American Wildflowers (Part 2).

View more Planting Guides, or download our complete Planting Guide for tips on caring for your plants when you receive your order, as well as planting instructions for Perennials, Spring-Planted Bulbs, Fall-Planted Bulbs, Cacti & Succulents, Xeric Plants and more.


Plant Shipping: Buy now and we will ship your order at the ideal planting time for your region. Your plant orders are scheduled to arrive within 3 days or less of leaving our greenhouses. This prompt delivery is provided without additional express charges. Our Standard Plant Shipping is 3 Days!

Grass Plugs & Seed: Most orders ship within 5-8 business days (all zones).

Gardening Goods: All non-plant items ship within 2-3 days.

Standard shipping costs are $4.99 and up, depending on the size of the order.

Make Fast Even Faster: For ‘Rush’ same week delivery, please call customer service at 800-925-9387.

More Shipping Info

USDA Hardiness Planting Zones

To determine if a plant is sufficiently cold hardy, the USDA created numbered zones indicating winter low temperatures; the lower the zone number the colder the winter.

  • If the coldest winter temperature expected in your area is -15°F (zone 5) then any plants rated zones 3-5 will survive the winter temperatures in your area.
  • If you live in very warm winter areas (zones 9-11) plants with zones 3-4 ratings are not recommended. The lack of freezing winter temperatures do not provide a time for winter dormancy (rest).

Find Your Planting Zone:

Enter your Zip Code to find your USDA Planting Zone

You are using an out-of-date browser. You will still be able to shop, but some functionality may not work unless you update to a modern browser. Update My Browser


Please wait...

Item added to your cart

has been added to your cart.