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.
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.
Item Package Size
Plant - 5" Deep Pot
Penstemon barbatus Rubycunda
4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
Mid to late summer
Average Soil, Sandy Soil, Compost Enriched Garden Loam Soil
Bee Friendly, Attract Butterflies, Attract Hummingbirds, Deer Resistant, Native, Extended Bloom Time (more than 4 weeks), Multiplies / Naturalizes, Evergreen, Good For Cut Flowers, Fragrant Flower / Foliage, Good For Containers, Rabbit Resistant
West, Western Only, Southwest, Pacific Northwest
Spring / Summer, Fall
Ships To Canada
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 lifespan.
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)*.
*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').
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.
As soon as your order is placed you will receive a confirmation email. You will receive a second email the day your order ships telling you how it has been sent. Some perennials are shipped as potted plants, some as perennial roots packed in peat. The ‘Plant Information’ section describes how that item will ship. All perennials and spring-planted bulbs are packaged to withstand shipping and are fully-guaranteed. Please open upon receipt and follow the instructions included.
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