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Penstemons....This is the first time that I have grown Penstemons, please can anyone tell me what I should do with then now (or before the winter weather) at the moment they are still in flower and stand about 18ins high.Thanking you.



Not to much to do with these except apply a thin layer of compost each spring, then a 2 inch layer of mulch to keep the moisture in and to control the dreded weeds lol. Water plants during the summer in dry spells. After the first frost, cut stems back to an inch or two above soil line. Thats it -- Ken

14 Nov, 2013


And try taking a few cuttings - its a bit late but they do root easily.

14 Nov, 2013


I have lots of them and in the autumn I shorten and tidy them I tend to leave the stems about 6" above ground as I think this protects the crown from frost damage.

14 Nov, 2013


i find the large leafed forms more tender than the smaller leafed forms. I tend to reduce to about 8" in height and use the trimmings for cuttings. If i have any spare mulch I add some around the plant crowns too.

when growth restarts in spring i then trim them down to about 6 " and let them get on with them.

15 Nov, 2013


THANKS for all your help, I think I will try a few cutttings they are so pretty and the flowers seem to last ages,I hope to buy more next season (I guess I`m hooked)

15 Nov, 2013


I don't do any hard pruning until new growth starts in spring. Once they've finished flowering in late autumn I remove about a third of the top growth and leave the rest because the stems slow down the wind and give some frost/windchill protection to the base of the plant .

Be warned though, penstemmon are not entirely hardy particularly if there's a mixture of very wet and very cold weather. Some varieties are much tougher than others.

I bought two different penstemmon last year and planted then a few feet apart. One sailed through the horrible spring we had with no ill effects at all, the other looked very sad and i thought I would lose it but has since recovered but is only half the plant it was

15 Nov, 2013


I have a fine-leaved red one which has been fantastic this year and came through last winter perfectly ok but I lost the other, broader-leaved ones. I took cuttings off this red one and they rooted easily.

15 Nov, 2013


Thanks to you both, have been out this morning and planted up 6 cuttings.(fingers crossed but nothing to lose)

16 Nov, 2013


I've added this to GoYpedia Penstemons ..
good luck Annabella with your cuttings :o)

16 Nov, 2013


At this time of year taking quite long cuttings with a firm base is a good idea. Anything up to 9 inches with 6 inches underground. This gives the base of the cutting 6 inches of frost protection and often they'll sprout from underground if the winter kills off the top growth.

I've had more success with outdoor penstemmon cuttings in a sheltered spot in my light very free draining soil as I find pots can get very soggy in if watering isn't done very sparingly and sometimes freeze solid even in a cold frame

16 Nov, 2013


Useful advice, Anchorman .. thank you :o)))

16 Nov, 2013



17 Nov, 2013


Thanks Anchorman, I`ll give it a go. Annabella.

24 Nov, 2013

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