Penstemon Plant Growing Guide and Tips

Last Updated on January 11, 2022 by Real Men Sow

Penstemon is a valuable plant for the garden. It is grown for its long-flowering seasons and popularity with bees. There are many types of penstemons, some of which are suited for the alpine garden and others that are best suited to be planted in a border of herbaceous plants. The tubular late-summer flowers of border penstemons come in a variety of colours.

Penstemons can be a great way to bring colour and life to your garden in the late summer. For maximum impact, plant in groups of three to five. The majority of border penstemons will flower until the first frost.


How to Grow Penstemon

Plant penstemons in well-drained, moist soil that is in full sun to part shade. Mulch once a year with well-rotted manure or leaf mould. Feed weekly in the summer. Penstemons can be short-lived perennials that can become senile in winter. Don’t cut down plants before spring to avoid any losses. To prevent winter losses, take summer cuttings.

Does Penstemon Like Sun or Shade?

Penstemons thrive in moist, fertile, and free-draining soil and their Ideal conditions are in full sun or partial shade. The perfect place to grow border penstemons is in the middle or center of a mixed border.

How to Plant Penstemons

So that new plants can establish themselves before winter, plant penstemons in spring. Plant supports are only necessary in an exposed garden because its stems are strong.

Propagating Penstemons

From late summer through early autumn, you can take penstemon cuttings. Choose soft growth that does not bear a flower. Each cutting should be cut to just below the leaf joint. The lower leaves must be removed. As long as the leaves do not touch, more than one cutting can go into a pot with compost.

Your penstemon cuttings should be placed in a protected area in your garden or in a cold frame. They will be ready for planting next May, if all goes well.

How to Care for a Penstemon Plant?

Apply a general-purpose fertiliser to your mixed borders in spring. To help the penstemons establish on dry soil, water them for their first summer.

To prevent them from rocking due to wind, reduce the fall foliage by one-third. Then, cut the remaining leaves hard in spring.

Real Men Sow
Real Men Sow

Hello, I’m Pete and I’m currently based in the west of Scotland, in a small place called Rosneath, where I’m exploring my garden adventures. I personally started gardening around 6 years ago and initially, I started out by growing my favorite fruits and berries, such as strawberries, Raspberries & Gooseberries. Since then I’ve added a lot of vegetables and working closely with my neighbor, it’s been a lot of fun.