Height 30-60cm (1 -2ft)

Planting distance 30cm (1ft)

Flowers mid to late summer

Ordinary well-drained soil Full sun

Half-hardy annual

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 flowers, penstemons are an attractive half-way house between foxgloves and snapdragons.

Popular varieties

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

Trouble free.

Height 60cm (2ft)

22. February 2012 by Dave Pinkney
Categories: Annuals, Biennials, Bulbous Plants, Featured Articles | Tags: , , , | Comments Off on Penstemon


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