Penstemon barbatus Rubycunda

Rubycunda Beardtongue

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.
Zones4 - 9
Advantages
Native
Evergreen
Light Requirements
Full Sun
Mature Height16-20" tall
Mature Spread15" wide
Bloom TimeMid to late summer
ShippingNo longer available this season. Learn More…
SizePlant - 5" Deep Pot
SKUHC014677

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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SKU
HC014677

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Details
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.
More Information
SKUHC014677
Item Package Size
Plant - 5" Deep Pot
Common Name
Rubycunda Beardtongue
Botanical Name
Penstemon barbatus Rubycunda
Zones
4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
Light Requirements
Full Sun
Flower Color
Red
Mature Height
16-20" tall
Mature Spread
15" wide
Bloom Time
Mid to late summer
Ships As
Potted Plant
Advantages
Native, Evergreen
Ideal Region
West
Planting Time
Fall
Native To
North America
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 lifespan.
  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: Watch our video: How To Plant Penstemon or read articles: 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.
Shipping

No longer available this season.

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.

Perennials and spring-planted bulbs are shipped at the proper planting time for your hardiness zone. Perennial and spring-planted bulb orders will arrive separately from seeds. If your order requires more than one shipment, there is no additional shipping charge. See our shipping information page for approximate ship dates and more detailed information. If you need express shipping or have any questions, please call Customer Service toll-free at (800) 925-9387 or contact us by email.

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