Penstemon Blue Lips

Blue Lips hybrid Beardtongue - 2009 Plant of the Year


Exclusive. Blue Lips has beautiful flowers and foliage. It blooms in late spring with short spikes of blue lipped, lavender throated flowers. Shear off the faded flowers to reveal the wonderful blue-gray evergreen foliage. Drought resistant/drought tolerant plant (xeric). A High Country Gardens introduction.

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Regular Price: $7.99

Sale $6.39

You save: 20%
Zones 4 - 7
Rabbit Resistant
Rabbit Resistant
Plants for Small Spaces
Light Requirements
Full Sun
Full Sun
Annual Rainfall
Drought Resistant / Waterwise
10 to 20"
Ideal Region
Only in Western US
Bloom Time Late spring to early summer
Shipping Buy now and we'll ship your order during the ideal planting time for your region. Learn More…
Size Plant - 2.5" deep pot
SKU 75798


10" tall x 15-18" wide (Cutting propagated.) Give your garden a kiss of blue with Penstemon 'Blue Lips'. Discovered by High Country Gardens chief horticulturist David Salman, this showy hybrid Beardtongue is a delight in the late spring garden with its profuse display of bright blue-lipped, lavender throated flowers. After its month-long flowering display, shear off the faded flower spikes to display the plant's attractive blue-gray mat of needle-like evergreen foliage. A cross between two superb wildflower species, Penstemon crandalii and Penstemon linariodes v. coloradensis, 'Blue Lips' a real gem in the Western garden being a showy, long lived easy-to-grow hybrid wildflower. Plant it in a full sun site in infertile, well drained soil. Very resistant to browsing rabbits.
SKU 75798
Common Name Blue Lips hybrid Beardtongue - 2009 Plant of the Year
Botanical Name Penstemon Blue Lips
Zones 4, 5, 6, 7
Light Requirements Full Sun
Flower Color Blue
Mature Height 10" tall
Mature Spread 15-18" wide
Bloom Time Late spring to early summer
Ships As Potted Plant
Evergreen Yes
Native Yes
Planting Time Spring / Summer, Fall
Soil Type Low Fertility Soil, Well-Drained Soil
Soil Moisture Drought Resistant / Waterwise
Amount of Rain 10 to 20"
Advantages Rabbit Resistant, Native, Evergreen, Plants for Small Spaces
Special Groups High Country Gardens Exclusive, High Country Gardens Introduction
Ideal Region Western Only, Suitable Above 7000 ft
Neonicotinoid-Free Yes - Learn More
Ships to Hawaii, Alaska & 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.


New perennial/spring-planted bulb orders will begin shipping the week of May 31.

Plant Shipping: Buy now and we will ship your order at the ideal planting time for your region. Most plant orders will arrive within 3-4 days, or less, of leaving our greenhouses. This prompt delivery is provided without additional express charges. New orders will begin shipping the week of May 31.

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


by PowerReviews
High Country GardensPenstemon Blue Lips

(based on 2 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

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Reviewed by 2 customers

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(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)


I love this plant! I put it in very lean soil, does great!


from Longmont, Co

About Me Master Gardener


  • Attractive
  • Hardy
  • Healthy
  • Versatile
  • Xeric


    Best Uses

    • Garden
    • Multiple Plant Use
    • Outdoors
    • Small Tucked Spaces
    • Xeric Areas

    Comments about High Country Gardens Penstemon Blue Lips:

    I love this plant very useful in a xeric garden. It starts a bit slow, in lean soil, but once it gets going, it does very well. I also use it in better soil conditions, & it seems to do very well. Full sun does best, but it does tolerate a bit of shade. Use it in multiples for the pop, or to fill a space that is small & tuck it in. It blooms very well, & I love to see it in full bloom. It is very attractive. The xeric bed is snow covered now, but it does well in winter conditions. It did very well after the vortex last year.

    • Primary use:
    • Personal

    (1 of 3 customers found this review helpful)


    Excellent plants for price


    from Pittsburgh, PA

    About Me Master Gardener

    Verified Reviewer


    • Accurate Instructions
    • Attractive
    • Healthy


    • Perhaps Hardiness

    Best Uses

      Comments about High Country Gardens Penstemon Blue Lips:

      We purchased these plants to help upgrade the public rock garden our local Allegheny chapter of NARGS maintains at the National Aviary in Pittsburgh PA. The staff of the aviary suggested we make the garden more hummingbird friendly and the purchase of these and other penstemons helped do so
      11 The plants arrived in excellent condition and this will be the second growing season for them.

      • Primary use:
      • Personal

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      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:

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