Penstemon mexicali Red Rocks
Red Rocks Hybrid Beardtongue
1999 Plant Select Winner 18" tall x 15" wide (cutting propagated). This lovely hybrid was developed by Bruce Meters, 'Red Rocks' is named after Denver's famous amphitheater which was carved out of the spectacular red sandstone cliffs in the foothills west of the city. This hybrid has glossy, narrow foliage and tall spikes of stunning rose-pink and white flowers. This is a vigorous grower that performs best in moderately fertile, but well-drained soils. Though xeric, 'Red Rocks' will flower most vigorously with regular watering.
|Common Name||Red Rocks Hybrid Beardtongue|
|Botanical Name||Penstemon mexicali Red Rocks|
|Zones||5, 6, 7, 8, 9|
|Light Requirements||Full Sun, Morning Sun & Afternoon Shade|
|Flower Color||Pink, White|
|Mature Height||18" tall|
|Mature Spread||15" wide|
|Bloom Time||Late spring to summer|
|Ships As||Potted Plant|
|Planting Season||Spring / Summer, Fall|
|Soil Type||Low Fertility Soil, Well-Drained Soil|
|Amount of Rain||10 to 20", 20 to 30", 30 to 40"|
|Advantages||Attract Hummingbirds, Bee Friendly, Rabbit Resistant, Extended Bloom Time (more than 4 weeks)|
|Ideal Region||Anywhere In The US|
|Neonicotinoid-Free||Yes - Learn More|
|Ships to Canada||No|
Tips for growing Penstemon (Beardtongue)
Penstemon are generally evergreen and have beautiful flowers that are very attractive to hummingbirds. Most varieties are rabbit resistant.
- They need “elbow room”, maximum sun, heat and don’t like to be crowded by other plants.
- Plant only in well-drained soils; clay soils and Penstemon are incompatible.
- Avoid overly enriched soils; too much compost and fertilizer will shorten their life span.
- They establish quickly and the amount and frequency of watering needs to be reduced after about 8 to 10 weeks to create dry conditions.
- 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.
- Plant high, leaving the top of the rootball just above the surrounding soil to avoid burying the crown of the plant.
- 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.
- Allow some of the plants to set seed (don't deadhead all of the flower spikes)*.
- 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 (pdf) 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.
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- Attracts Hummingbirds
- Great Color
Comments about High Country Gardens Penstemon mexicali Red Rocks:
I have planted a number of these over the years in my rocky, sandy garden (full sun, 40" rain between September & May, no rain during summer). The plant just keeps on going, with an optional monthly watering during the summer. As a special bonus, the hummingbirds love it.
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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).
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