Western Native Penstemon Collection
DetailsThis superb combination of western native Penstemonf (Beardtongue) plants will brighten your garden with jewel-toned blooms from mid-spring to early summer. This collection has 12 plants, a combination of three of each perennial variety: Penstemon pinifolius Luminous, Penstemon mexicali Pike’s Peak Purple, Penstemon eatonii Richfield Strain, Penstemon pseudospectabilis Coconino County. These vigorous plants prefer full hot sun and well-drained soil. Varying heights, plant the lower-growing P. Luminous and P. Pike’s Peak Purple in front, P. Richfield and P. Coconino County in back. Hummingbirds are highly attracted to this combination of tube-shaped blooms in purple, deep pink, orange and red. These native and native hybrid plants are best adapted to Western US growing conditions.
|Common Name||Western Native Penstemon Collection|
|Zones||5, 6, 7, 8, 9|
|Light Requirements||Full Sun|
|Flower Color||Pink, Red, Orange, Purple|
Luminous: 8-10" tall;
Pikes Peak Purple: 18" tall;
Richfield: 24-26" tall;
Coconino County: 30-36" tall.
|Mature Spread||15-18" wide|
|Bloom Time||Mid spring to early summer|
|Ships As||Potted Plant|
|Planting Time||Spring / Summer, Fall|
|Soil Type||Sandy Soil, Low Fertility Soil, Well-Drained Soil|
|Soil Moisture||Drought Resistant / Waterwise|
|Amount of Rain||10 to 20"|
|Advantages||Deer Resistant, Attract Butterflies, Attract Hummingbirds, Attract Birds, Bee Friendly, Rabbit Resistant, Easy to grow, Native|
|Special Groups||High Country Gardens Introduction|
|Ideal Region||Western Only, Southwest, West, Pacific Northwest|
|Neonicotinoid-Free||Yes - Learn More|
|Ships to Hawaii, Alaska & 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 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)*.
- 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).
Soil Preparation: Remember that proper soil preparation is the key to healthy, vigorous blooming perennials. Use Yum Yum Mix and a high quality compost at recommended rates to prepare the soil. Inoculate the plant roots with Plant Success mycorrhizal inoculant. Planting: Plant according to the mature size of the plant. Don’t be tempted to put the plants too close based on their size in the pots. They’ll grow quickly and cover the space shown in the planting map. (Maps included only with Pre-Planned Gardens, not Collections.)
Fertilizing: Once annually in mid-fall, after plants begin to go dormant. Use Yum Yum Mix or Yum Yum Mix Winterizer at recommended rates to improve the soil and provide essential plant nutrients.Use it with high quality compost, mix half and half by volume and spread on top of the soil. Scratch it in lightly and water thoroughly. It is also beneficial to treat the plant roots with Plant Success® mycorrhizal root inoculant if you didn’t do so at planting time. (Inoculation only needs to be done once.)
Mulching: In arid climates mulching is very beneficial. Coarse textured composts, shredded leaves, pine needles and composted bark are all excellent mulch materials. Apply to a depth of 1-2 inches. Replenish annually (or as needed).
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.
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Q & A
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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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