Height 30-60cm (1 -2ft)
Planting distance 30cm (1ft)
Flowers mid to late summer
Ordinary well-drainedFull sun
Most of the species in this genus are hardy perennials grown in rock gardens and borders, but some outstanding hybrids, developed from Penstemon hartwegii, are half-hardy and best treated as bedding plants. With their long spikes of tubular red, pink, purple and white, penstemons are an attractive half-way house between foxgloves and snapdragons.
The following are readily available from seed.
‘Early Bird Mixed’ has spikes of white, pink, mauve, lavender and scarlet flowers on 45-50cm (18-20in) high plants.
‘Skyline’ has bell-shaped pink, red and white flowers. The plants stand 45-60cm (18-24in) high.
Sow the seeds under glass in late winter and early spring and keep at a temperature of 13-18°C (55-64°F). Harden off before planting out in late spring, 30cm (1ft) apart in well-drained soil in sun.
Pests and diseases
Height 60cm (2ft)