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Penstemon Penstemon

Growing Penstemon: Tips at a Glance

Hardy, long-blooming perennial penstemons start to put on a show in early summer with flower spikes in colors ranging from purple to pink to burgundy. Drought-tolerant hummingbird magnets, they deserve a spot in the front of the border.

  • Type Herbaceous flower
  • Lifespan Perennial
  • USDA Zones 3 to 8
  • Light Sun
  • Soil Well-drained
  • Water Drought tolerant
  • Design Tip Stabilize slopes
  • Companions Cosmos, coneflowers
  • Peak Season Summer

Penstemon: A Field Guide

Penstemon’s slender spikes of delicate flowers in shades of purple, pink, lavender, or burgundy may remind you of foxgloves or snapdragons. With good reason—the flowering plants all belong to the plantain family.

But foxgloves are stately and snapdragons prone to garish colors. Penstemons are more delicate, often used as front-of-the-border friends, where they will mingle happily with creeping geraniums. Taller varieties (depending on the species and cultivar, penstemons can grow to heights of from 1 to 3 feet) can keep company with airy gaura, coneflowers, or black-eyed Susans.

A classic cottage-garden flower, Penstemon is also useful in meadow gardens and low-water landscapes; after they establish themselves, they become drought tolerant.

Planting, Care & Design of Penstemon

More About Penstemon

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