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How to Grow and Care for Penstemon Flowers

Penstemon Gloxiniodes

People love Penstemon. And, so do hummingbirds. Do you suppose that gardener's and homeowners alike, love these trumpet shaped flowers because they attract hummingbirds!? ........Hmmmmmmm.

Native to hills and mountain regions of California, there are a couple hundred species of Penstemon plants.

Penstemon is a highly attractive and popular flowering plant. Trumpet shaped blooms, on this perennial plant, come in white, red, pink, purple, and lavender. When in bloom, 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.

Plant Height: 24" - 30"

Plant Propagation:

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

Days to Germination: 7 - 14

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.

Fertilizing these plants is not necessary. It will only result in more foliage, not blossoms.

Space  or thin plants to  about 18" apart.

Water plants during dry periods. Roots, do not go deeply. 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.

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.

Flowers Bloom: Summer through Fall


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