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How to Grow Penstemon Flowers


Perennial, Penstemon Gloxiniodes

With trumpet shaped flowers that will attract hummingbirds, we know you will just love Penstemon Flowers. Penstemon are native to hills and mountains of California. There are a couple hundred species of Penstemon plants. The plants are propagated by both seeds and rhizomes.

Penstemon is a highly attractive and popular flowering plant with trumpet shaped blooms. Colors include white, red, pink, purple, and lavender. They will attract Hummingbirds to your yard and flower beds.

The most popular variety of Penstemon grow two to three feet tall. They look good in beds and borders. Make sure to grow them within site from your window or deck, where you can watch the hummingbirds, as they visit the flowering blooms.

Penstemon make good cut flowers.

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Plant Propagation:

Penstemon are grown from seeds. Directly sow Penstemon seeds into your flower garden after all danger of frost has past, and the soil has warmed. You can also start them indoors. Place these small seeds at the top of the loose soil, and lightly  water the seeds into the soil.  

Penstemon can also be propagated by rhizomes. We recommend you dig up and divide the plants every 3-5 years. Simply dig up mature rhizomes, and replant them. Make sure to offer some of these attractive flowers to your gardening friends.

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How to Grow Penstemon Flowers:

Penstemon plants are easy to grow. They prefer full sun, but will tolerate partial shade. Penstemon plants need a well drained soil. They thrive in loose, gravelly soil, and will do best in raised beds, or on hillsides and slopes.

Space  or thin plants to  about 18" apart.

The roots do not go deeply into the soil, So, you should water the plants during dry periods. Water to a depth of three to four inches. Allow the soil to dry between watering.

Add general purpose fertilizer when planting, and every four to six weeks during the season. Switch to a high phosphorous formula just before the blooming period.

Keep the areas weeded when plants are young. And, mulch around the plants.

Cut spikes when in full bloom, and place in your favorite vase. Or, leave them in the flowerbed to attract hummingbirds. After blooming, cut back spent flower spikes. This will promote re-blooming.

When the season is over, cut the plants back. Add a layer of mulch in colder regions, to protect the rhizomes over the winter.

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More Information:

More on growing Penstemon

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