It can grow up to 3 feet tall and is a native to the eastern US Great Plains. It is a simple process, but it must be done at the right time of year to give the divisions a good shot at survival. Shrubby penstemon in the nursery. The blooms look great in a garden setting and ma… It bears spikes of lipstick pink flowers in early summer and again in late summer if deadheaded. (Zones: 4-9; Height: 10 to 12 inches; Bloom time: Late spring to midsummer), Mexicali penstemons are hybrids of Mexican species having large, showy flowers crossed with native North American species that exhibit good cold-tolerance. Get planting advice, garden design tips and trends, monthly checklists for your area, product specials and more in our weekly newsletter. For more, see The 24 Best Plants to Attract Hummingbirds. One of the showiest native penstemons, Beardtongue can reach heights of three feet with stunning lavender-pink flowers. The flowers fade fairly quickly, but the bloom season can be prolonged through careful pruning. RELATED:The Best Perennials for PollinatorsGardening with Native Plants. Drought resistant/drought tolerant plant (xeric). The main difference is that ‘Mystica’s’ bronzy red foliage is longer lasting and stays attractive until frost, with the leaves turning an even richer red in fall and often persisting into early winter. resources Penstemon. (Zones: 4-9; Height: 2 to 3 feet; Bloom time: Early summer). Features loose, terminal clusters of white, trumpet-shaped flowers (to 1.25" long) atop erect, rigid stems. . The flowers range in color from red to pink to white and even purple. Commonly known as Hairy Beardtongue, this flower will grow 12-18″ tall (30-45 cm) in full sun or partial shade, with well draining soil that is slightly moist to dry. It is easy to grow, medium water use, low maintenance plant. In addition to hummingbirds, the flowers attract bees, butterflies and other pollinators. They will bloom in June in … Ideally, the plants’ crowns should remain dry while the roots have access to a small but steady supply of moisture during the growing season. This can be done by taking softwood cuttings of nonflowering shoots in mid to late summer or by dividing plants in late winter or early spring. Penstemon blooms from February through April in Phoenix. It generally takes a year or two before seed-grown plants begin to bloom. Glossy green foliage is a nice complement. Other common names include Mississippi Penstemon, Smooth White Beardtongue, Talus Slope Penstemon, and simply, Beardtongue. Penstemons may be bothered by slugs, snails, and spider mites. The amount of water you’ll need to give them will often depend on the water-holding capacity of your soil and the origin of the varieties you have chosen. It makes an excellent choice for a … Tolerates high heat and humidity. Cooperative Extension, which staffs local offices in all 100 counties and with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. Dressed in purple from head to toe, this stunning hybrid flaunts lavender purple flowers rising on dark purple stems above full clumps of lush eggplant-purple foliage. * Required | We will never sell or distribute your email to any other parties or organizations. Although many are native to arid regions of the West and Southwest, almost every state in the continental U.S. has at least one native penstemon, demonstrating the amazing range of climates to which they are suited. Resistant to both drought and heat and will thrive on dry rocky slopes and hillsides. Most species bloom during May and June in the middle latitudes of the U.S, according to the American Penstemon Society. Penstemon This North American native plant produces charming colorful tubular flowers that attract butterflies and hummingbirds. Poor cultural practices will eventually take a toll on otherwise healthy, established beardtongue plants. In Mexico, they bloom in August and September. Beardtongue plants typically bloom in early summer, filling that gap between the end of spring bulbs and the maturing of summer flowers like coneflowers, yarrow, and coreopsis. When in bloom, they will attract Hummingbirds to your yard and flower beds. (Zones: 6-10; Height: 1 to 1½ feet; Bloom time: May to June), Firecracker penstemon. ‘Dark Towers’ also seems to retain its color better in summer. Bloom time is late spring through early summer. These are some of the most adaptable and widely available choices: A showy plant with erect spikes of 2-inch-long reddish-orange flowers and glossy lance-shaped leaves. This hybrid selection forms a low clump of … Colder areas where the soil and air warms slowly in spring see the main flowering display around midsummer once temperatures have risen. The range of flower colors cover the full penstemon spectrum. (Zones: 5-8; Height: 3 to 6 feet; Bloom time: Late spring), Loose spires of bright orange-red flowers and evergreen foliage that resembles tiny pine needles. Amend the bed with compost if you're growing hybrid varieties, or leave the soil in its natural state for wild species. The white flowers bloom for a month or longer, and look great with the blue flowers of Ohio Spiderwort and Blue Eyed Grass. You could try growing a few new ones from cuttings and see how they fare in a different site; they're quite easy in a gritty compost mix, I find. Similar to ‘Husker Red’ but with pale pink flowers and darker red foliage. (Zones: 4-8; Height: 1 to 3 feet; Bloom time: Early to midspring), One of the few that are fragrant, honey-scented light pink flowers are held high on spikes as tall as 6 feet. A full-time writer since 2007, Axl J. Amistaadt is a DMS 2013 Outstanding Contributor Award recipient. Planting them in raised beds or sloped areas will help them survive wet conditions. With hundreds of varieties of this resilient native wildflower to choose from, there is a penstemon (beardtongue) ideal for almost any garden. Penstemon digitalis (Foxglove Beardtongue) is a bushy clump-forming perennial with strong, erect stems boasting stalked clusters of bell-shaped, white flowers, 1 in. It is equally at home in wild gardens, at the edges of meadows and prairies. Beardtongues require heat to bloom prolifically, according to the National Gardening Association, so they may flower at different times depending on the local climate. The pollen-free stamen (or staminode) protrudes from the flower and is covered by small hairs, thus the common name beardtongue. They tend to be short-lived plants and will often need replenishment after a few seasons. var theDate=new Date() They are extremely sensitive to poorly draining soils and winter moisture. This is an excellent Penstemon for a big impact in well draining, full sun locations. Most penstemons are 1 to 3 feet tall, but Palmer’s penstemon can grow up to 6 feet, … Deadhead to promote longer blooming. Photo by: InfoFlowersPlants / Shutterstock. A Dutch hybrid developed from Penstemon barbatus, ‘Red Riding Hood’ is a very showy, cold hardy Penstemon. Shell-Leaf Penstemon (P. grandiflorus) Shell Leaf Penstemon is a large flowering variety that has tubular pink-lavender blooms. 18-24" tall x … Most cultivated beardtongues, also called bearded tongue plants, bloom in late spring and early summer, depending on the species. Most species bloom during May and June in the middle latitudes of the U.S, according to the American Penstemon Society. Discover unique garden products curated by the Garden Design editors, plus items you can use to solve problems in your garden right now, and best sellers from around the web. Excellent species for dry rock gardens. Two popular selections include rosy pink Red Rocks® and violet purple Pikes Peak Purple®. Too much water and excess nutrients can cause damage to the roots, which will create an ideal environment for infections as well as cause a decline in the plant's overall vigor. Tall red spikes stand up boldly in the perennial border and are essential in cottage gardens. The first species to bloom, for me, are shrubby penstemon (Penstemon fruticosus) and Chelan penstemon (P. pruinosus), which flower beginning in mid April. Developed in Nebraska, this tough cold-hardy hybrid is ideal for gardens in northern climates The plants form low clumps of deep green foliage, set off in early summer by tall spires of vibrant purple flowers with white throats and magenta veining. The narrow lance-shaped leaves remain evergreen year-round. Bloom Time: Mid Summer . In addition to hummingbirds, bees also adore the pollen and nectar; Penstemon is a smart addition to a pollinator or meadow garden. If you are growing species native to your area, you will rarely have to give them supplemental water after they become well established. Plant beardtongues in a sunny spot with at least 12 inches of space between each plant. ‘Red Riding Hood’ is just one of seven colors in the Dutch-bred Riding Hood series, which also includes blue, delft blue, hot pink, lavender, marble cream, and purple. In early summer, airy spires of white flowers with just the faintest blush of pink emerge, creating a striking contrast with the dark foliage. Click here if you prefer to mix/match up to 6 species in a tray. Leaf spot, rust, powdery mildew, and Southern blight can also occur. The beautiful spires of tubular blossoms add loads of color to the garden and are beloved by hummingbirds and butterflies alike. Herbaceous. ‘Midnight Masquerade’ Penstemon hybrid. Penstemon derive their nickname, beardtongue, from the fact that a hairy stamen sticks out of the “mouth” of the flower. Named the 1996 perennial plant of the year by the Perennial Plant Association, this is one of the few that tolerates moist soils and humid climates. With so many colors to choose from, everyone can find a penstemon to love. A real standout when paired with golden yellow or pink flowers, such as ‘Coronation Gold’ yarrow and ‘Elfin Pink’ penstemon. Cultivars include 'Blue Springs' and ‘Electric Blue’. A favorite of hummingbirds, Beardtongue are low-care, big-color wildflowers that grow quickly when planted in … “There are so many good penstemons, with new ones coming onto the marketplace every year, that everywhere in North America, it is possible to grow at least one [type of] penstemon native to your area.”. Related to foxgloves and snapdragons, a kinship evident in the vertical flower spikes and the flared, tubular blooms, which are perfect feeding stations for hummingbirds. The elegant trumpet-shaped flowers are white or pale pink with the inner surfaces often marked by violet-colored nectar guides. Carefree and drought resistant, this Penstemon sports an interesting purple blush at the stems. ‘Red Riding Hood’ has an abundance of huge, white lipped, coral-red flowers from late spring through summer. If you want to grow varieties that require the least amount of soil preparation and watering and will overwinter reliably, choose species that are native to your area and thrive in soil conditions and climates similar to yours. It’s also one of the longest-lived and one of the easiest to grow from seed. All feature a compact growth habit, prolific flowering, a super-long bloom season, and excellent winter hardiness. The tubular flowers bloom for a long time in summer, attracting hummingbirds. Each flower has two lips – the upper one with two lobes, and the lower one with three lobes. Only three feet high, this clump-forming perennial does well in full sun to … Flowers first year. The shape and color of the leaves vary depending on the cultivar. The blooming season is wrapped up by cutleaf penstemon (P. richardsonii), with its long bloom period extending into August. If you’re looking for a high-impact, long-blooming perennial with low water requirements and amazing diversity, penstemon, or beardtongue, is a top contender. Penstemon is a highly attractive and popular flowering plant. Its purplish-white blooms appear in open clusters on the upper parts of the stems from May through July. ‘Mystica’ is an offspring of ‘Husker Red’ and every bit as showy. Under ideal conditions, the plants will continue to bloom sporadically until late summer when they will experience a second, less spectacular flush of blooming before entering winter dormancy. Beard-tongues are native North American wildflowers, available in a surprising range of colours, heights and textures. * Required FieldsWe will never sell or distribute your email to any other parties or organizations. Plant the seed at a depth of ¼ to ½ inch and keep the soil moist after planting for natural stratification to occur. For hummingbird lovers, they offer another important attribute. For the best beardtongue plant care, beardtongues do well with occasional watering during the blooming season, so provide 1 inch of water every seven to 10 days. Although not as drought tolerant as cactus, many species do grow well in desert-like climates. It occurs most often under irrigated conditions and can be prevented by providing good drainage and restricting water and fertilizer. Part of the plantain family (Plantaginaceae), penstemons are a huge genus of plants encompassing approximately 270 species and over 800 cultivars and hybrids. Nearly 270 species of beardtongue (Penstemon spp.) The 24 Best Plants to Attract Hummingbirds. This plant produces dense spikes with bell-shaped blooms. Photo by: Frank Richards / Millette Photomedia. A California native, ‘Electric Blue’ is tolerant of drought and coastal climates. From tools to furniture, these garden products are sure to delight. (Zones: 3-8; Height: 3 to 5 feet; Bloom time: May to June), A California native with glossy blue-green leaves and blue flowers on slender spikes. Bloom Time: Early Summer: Design Ideas: This perennial is a super showy native that will grow beautifully in most any garden. “The beauty and variability of penstemons have brought them to the forefront of home gardening, especially in areas subjected to droughts,” says Jennifer Bennett, author of Dryland Gardening. Despite their reputation for ruggedness and self-sufficiency, beardtongues perform best and bloom most spectacularly when properly sited and provided with routine care. Penstemon smallii NC State University and N.C. A&T State University work in tandem, along with federal, state and local governments, to form a strategic partnership called N.C. Another variety with colorful foliage, ‘Husker Red’ features striking maroon-red leaves that rival the bronzy purple foliage of ‘Palace Purple’ heuchera. Bloom time for Penstemon typically begins in late spring through early summer, so try combining with plants that start blooming in mid summer, such as coneflower and black-eyed Susan, to fill the gap. For seed sources, visit the American Penstemon Society, which offers an online seed exchange program for members as well as a list of seed companies. Our plants this week are a couple of Penstemons: Brazos, Penstemon tenuis, and prairie, Penstemon cobaea.Although these two beardtongues, as both and many of their relatives are commonly known, have slightly different growing conditions, they have many similarities.. Also try P. mexicali Pikes Peak Purple®, a companion hybrid with short spikes of grape-colored flowers. Although there are no serious threats, watch for root rot in poorly draining soils. Many species will also self-sow freely. This feature may not be prominent in all species. Photo by: Detail Photography / Alamy Stock Photo. Deadheading eliminates the possibility of seed production, so leave a few flower stems in place to ripen so seed can be harvested for next year's garden. Foliage of some species remains evergreen in mild climates. Warmer areas and coastal climates with a less pronounced seasonal temperature variation will see their first flowers in mid- to late spring. The blooming time extends from summer to early fall. Family: Scrophulariaceae Botanical Name: Penstemon eatonii Water Usage: Low Beardtongue are long blooming and will do well in a drier climate; especially happy in loose gravelly soil and good drainage. the way of extra feeding and cosseting to bloom well, IME. Full sun. Features white, two-lipped, tubular flowers (to 1.25" long) borne in panicles atop erect, rigid stems. Requires a well-drained soil. Adds rich, contrasting color to beds, borders and mixed containers. Remove the tip of the flowering stem just above a healthy set of leaves using clean, sharp pruning shears and discard it. Photo by John P. Weiser / Millette Photomedia, A native of California and the Southwest, with brilliant red hummingbird-magnet flowers and large, leathery evergreen leaves. (Zones: 3-8; Height: 3 to 5 feet; Bloom time: May to June) Foothill penstemon (P. heterophyllus): A California native with glossy blue-green leaves and blue flowers on slender spikes. For more growing tips, including advice on purchasing nursery-grown plants and suggested varieties for beginners, read Growing Penstemons: Species, Cultivars and Hybrids, published by the American Penstemon Society. 'Midnight Masquerade' — Buy now from Proven WinnersPenstemon hybrid. Trumpet shaped blooms, on this perennial plant, come in white, red, pink, purple, and lavender. Avoid soil amendments that hold moisture, such as peat moss and manure. Deadheading will also prolong flowering, but be sure to leave a few seed heads on the stalks toward the end of the season so your plants can reseed. Even when not in bloom, 'Midnight Masquerade' retains its dark purple foliage color all season long. Bloom Time: Early Summer . Penstemon hirsutus is a native perennial flower that blooms for 6-8 weeks in late spring, is hardy from zones 3-9. Native to western Colorado, Penstemon mensarum (Grand Mesa Beardtongue) is an evergreen perennial boasting showy spires of brilliant cobalt blue flowers, a shade of blue rarely seen in gardens. schmidel. Penstemon Bloom Time; Penstemon Bloom Time. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. Beardtongues bloom on new growth, which emerges from the tips of the vertical stalks. Sign up for weekly gardening inspiration and design tips. Most penstemons are herbaceous perennials, but some hybrid strains are half-hardy and better suited for use as annual bedding plants. Penstemon digitalis is one of the few penstemons that thrives in clay. The elegant trumpet-shaped flowers are white or pale pink with the inner surfaces often marked by violet-colored nectar guides. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. Because of their tubular nectar-rich flowers, they are one of the best garden perennials for attracting hummingbirds, according to The Hummingbird Society, rivaling salvias, columbines, honeysuckles and other hummingbird favorites. A 2-inch layer of organic mulch spread between the plants will help conserve water and keep weeds at bay, but a 1-inch gap must be left between the plant and the mulch layer to allow extra soil moisture to evaporate. Many are easily grown from seed. Cardwell's Penstemon … document.write(theDate.getFullYear()) Native to southern California, Arizona and Utah, it thrives in arid climates and dry, sandy soils. Penstemon love hot, sunny, dry growing conditions. The most popular variety of Penstemon grow two to three feet tall. On this page: Basics | Types | Growing Guide | Penstemon Pictures | Design Ideas. Bloom Time. Penstemon Electric Blue - Common name:Beardtongue - Flowering spikes with trumpets of vivid blue. Typically grows 1-3' tall. Discover the right perennial plants for your garden. Flowers bloom in mid to late spring. Hybrids bred for garden conditions are not as drought tolerant as native species and may require watering during prolonged dry spells. More about the newsletter. Fast growing to about 30 inches tall and wide; to 36 inches tall in bloom. Copyright Penstemon x mexicali 'Sunburst Ruby' was introduced by Jelitto Perennial Seeds in 2005. Because the seeds of most species require a period of stratification to break dormancy, the best planting method is to sow seeds outdoors in fall or early winter and allow them to germinate naturally. They can be oval, lance-shaped or needlelike with colors ranging from green or blue-green to deep purple. He also covers parenting, juvenile science experiments, cooking and alternative/home remedies. Penstemon digitalis is a clump-forming, Missouri-native perennial which typically grows 3-5' tall and occurs in prairies, fields, wood margins, open woods and along railroad tracks. In early summer, right after your spring bloomers have faded, they fill the garden with spires of foxglove-like flowers in hues ranging from soft pinks and lavenders to bold, fiery reds and electrifying blues. They perform well within U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 to 8. Professional Growers. long (2.5 cm), from late spring to midsummer. Hardiness Zones: 3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b. Penstemon tubaeflorus is a clump-forming, Missouri native perennial which occurs in dryish soils on prairies, limestone glades, open woods and along railroad tracks. Penstemons do best in well-drained, slightly alkaline soil and will even grow in soils that are mostly sand or gravel. Water Category: Average ... but the bed that its in is full of white-petaled penstemon that were here when I moved in, so I was confident of the conditions. They are tubular and asymmetrical with a hairy lower lip, hence the common name beardtongue. This selection has brilliant cherry-red flowers held on tall, upright stems above dense, glossy green foliage. Glossy bronze-red foliage is topped by masses of tubular light pink flowers. The most common flower colors are shades of blue, purple, pink, white and red, some with distinctive veining and white throats. (Zones: 4-8; Height: 2 to 3 feet; Bloom time: June to September), Native to the northern Great Plains and northeastern states, this species is more tolerant of high humidity and moist soil than those of western origin. Varies widely. Native to the Southwest, it grows best in dry climates. ‘Bandera’, a highly ornamental cultivar, offers the advantage of exhibiting greater tolerance for heavy clay soil. Barely a foot tall, this petite clump-forming selection makes a big visual impact when massed in the garden or grown along walkways and borders. In addition to offering a broad palette of colors, these native wildflowers and their many cultivars come in many shapes and sizes, from dwarf varieties you can tuck into rock gardens to waist-high prairie plants that bring color and movement to the back of the border. They will bloom in June in the northern states and in July in Canada. A compact form and mounded glossy green foliage make this a good choice for the front of the border, where you can better observe the constant influx of feathery feeders. Affected plants should be removed to prevent further infections and the bed should be replanted with a fusarium-resistant variety. This long-blooming beauty will lure hummingbirds to your garden for months, enticing them with bright magenta veining that guides them to the nectar deep within the trumpet-shaped rosy-pink flowers. Penstemons in Bloom Submitted May 30, 2013 at 4:58 PM As the Garden springs back to life in leaps and bounds, one flower always makes a statement, the Penstemon. Fusarium wilt (Fusarium oxysporum) is a common fungi known to attack beardtongues and cause foliage decline and flower loss, according to University of California Integrated Pest Management. Prune away the old flowers as they begin to fade and die back. In summer, the large trumpets of pale lavender-pink flowers bloom for weeks, followed by glossy purple seed pods that provide additional fall interest. University of California Integrated Pest Management, U.S. Department of Agriculture NCRS Plant Fact Sheet: Penstemon, Yerba Buena Nursery: Basic Pruning and Deadheading Techniques for Common California Native Plants, National Gardening Association Plant Care Guides: Penstemon, University of California Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program: Fusarium Wilt, Basal Rot. Spring Potted Plants (3-packs and trays of 38) ship when all plants are well-rooted and transit-ready, early May through June. Younger penstemon plants also tend to flower more prolifically than older ones that have got a bit woody at the base. Some species are under 10 inches tall, while others can grow up to 6 feet. (Zones 5-9; Height: 12 to 18 inches; Bloom time: Early to late summer), Native to Wyoming, Utah and western Colorado, this blue-flowered species thrives in rocky or gravelly soil but adapts well to soils in many parts of the country. He publishes online articles with major focus on pets, wildlife, gardening and fitness. Flowers bloom mid-spring to early summer. Full sun to part shade. Resembling foxgloves, they rise above a particularly handsome basal foliage of lance-shaped, deep green leaves. Selective pruning or deadheading encourages the production of fresh stem growth that will bloom again in late summer or early fall, according to Yerba Buena Nursery. While the bloom time is relatively short, 2-3 weeks in May or June, the plant offers beautiful vertical structure and silvery blue-green succulent foliage, making it a versatile player in the garden or naturalized setting. 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And in July in Canada coral-red flowers from late spring through summer Midnight Masquerade Penstemon! And every bit as showy, … resources Penstemon at least 12 inches of between. Most popular variety of Penstemon grow two to three feet with stunning lavender-pink flowers climate ; happy. Also tend to flower more prolifically than older ones that have got a bit woody at the base to. Best plants to attract hummingbirds sensitive to poorly draining soils flower colors cover the full spectrum. Season is wrapped up by cutleaf Penstemon ( P. richardsonii ), from late,..., Inc. ‘ Midnight Masquerade ’ Penstemon hybrid rich, contrasting color to beds, borders and mixed.. Shaped blooms, on this page: Basics | Types | growing Guide Penstemon... Water and fertilizer gravelly soil and good drainage atop erect, rigid stems and fertilizer hairy sticks! 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