Penstemon Care And Maintenance – How To Grow Beard Tongue Plants
The following are some things that you need to know about Penstemon Care And Maintenance – How To Grow Beard Tongue Plants:
1) The Penstemon Species
There are different species of Penstemons. They include:
Which One Should You Choose?
You may choose one or two species. But if you want to grow several types of Penstemons then it will not be possible to do so. If you have only one type of Penstemon, then it would be best to choose the most common variety which is the brownish-red variety. However, there are other varieties with similar appearance but different coloration. These are called “dark tower” varieties. There are many varieties of these dark tower varieties. So, you should look at the pictures below to decide which one you like best.
What Kind Of Plant Do I Need For Growing Beard Tongue Plants?
A Penstemon is a flowering plant which produces flowers and fruits during its life cycle. The fruit is edible when ripe and tastes good even though it does not contain any vitamin C. These plants need well-draining soils with good air circulation. If grown in containers, it should be big with a diameter of at least 30cm (12 inches). These plants can be propagated through cuttings.
NOTE: The pictures below show the different beardtongue varieties that you can choose from.
Here are the different Penstemon varieties that are available:
The different beardtongue varieties that you can choose from
“Royal purple” is a great penstemon variety
“Alabaster white” is a unique and beautiful beardtongue plant
“Aloha white” is a small, bright white-flowered penstemon
“Alphorn bright” is a red penstemon with yellow highlights
“Arrowhead copper” has a feathery appearance and is red in color
“Bigelow’s Variety” is a bright red and yellow variety
“Bridal bouquet” is very similar to the famous wedding bouquet flowers
“Butter rum” has yellow petals with a red center
“Candy stripe” is a unique penstemon that resembles candy canes
“Catlin’s Giant” is a rare type of penstemon that grows over 2 feet tall
“Cerise beauty” is a bright red penstemon
“Crimson gladiator” is a very dark red color with blue eyes
“Dwarf Pink” is a unique pink and white striped variety
“Elfin magic” is a pretty purple penstemon
“Frosted Violet” is a very cool-looking penstemon
“Garnet beauty” is a deep red penstemon
“Grandma Ethel” is a very old variety of beardtongue
“Gray’s Compact” is a unique gray penstemon variety
“Holiday Cheer” is a bright red and white variety that looks great during the holidays
“Lavender gem” is a very popular variety with lavender petals
“Longwood Gardens” is a popular penstemon among gardeners
“Mardi Gras” is a bright and festive penstemon
“Mediovariegata” is a very colorful Italian variegated beardtongue
“Miniature Variegated” is a cute, tiny variegated variety
“Olympic Fire” is an orange and red variety that resembles the Olympic Flame
“Pink delight” is a pretty pink penstemon
“Pink zebrina” is a striped variety with pink stripes
“Pixie mist” is a small penstemon that resembles a pixie’s hat
“Purple monster” is a large purple and white penstemon
“Redoubtable” is a large red variety with a yellow tube
“Rococo” has an ornate appearance resembling the decorations of Old Paris
“Sierra Nevada” resembles the mountains of the Sierra Nevada Mountains
“Silver penny” is a pretty silver-colored penstemon
“Snowball” is a unique penstemon that produces pure white flowers
“Snowcloud” is a rare penstemon that is covered by snow year-round at Yellowstone National Park
“Snowstorm” is a unique white and gray penstemon
“Sonora Sunset” has an orange and red flower just like the Sonora Desert southwest of Arizona
“Sunset Yellow” has a similar appearance to the Sonora Desert in Arizona
“Velvet Curls” is covered by curly hairs, hence the name
“Willy Wonka” is a unique penstemon that resembles Willy Wonka’s hat
“Yellow Submarine” is a very bright and pretty yellow penstemon
If you are interested in growing beardtongue flowers in your garden, the best way to grow them is by starting the plants from seed. The seeds can be purchased online or in some specialty gardening stores.
The best time of year to start seedlings is early spring. Prepare your soil by mixing in some organic matter like peat moss, compost or rotted manure.
Add a general purpose fertilizer at the rate recommended on the package and mix everything together. You want the soil to be loose and fertile without being packed down or too heavy.
Thin out your seedlings so there is about an inch of soil between each seedling. They can be planted outside after all danger of a frost has passed.
Set them out in an area that gets at least six to eight hours of full sunlight a day and water them daily or whenever the soil feels dry.
Once the plants are a few inches tall, you can thin them out so they are about 8 to 10 inches apart. Deadhead the flowers once they fade and when the weather gets too hot, your beardtongue plants should be able to handle the heat and humidity of summer just fine.
Good penstemon flowers can also be purchased online and at some garden centers. They can be planted in spring or fall, but a well-maintained garden can have flowers blooming from early spring all the way into fall.
Unattractive or invasive weeds can easily be pulled from the garden. If your soil is dry, you can water the beardtongue plants daily or every other day.
If it does not rain for a week, give the plants a deep watering once a week.
You can divide the plants every few years to promote new growth and to get more flowers. This is best done in spring just as the plants begin to bloom.
Using a sharp spade, cut the plant about an inch below the surface of the soil and gently lift it out of the ground. Separate the divisions and replant them in an empty area of your garden.
The best way to keep your garden looking great is to limit the number of visitors. Unless you live on acreage, your neighbors may not be too happy if your yard is overflowing into the alley.
If they ask you to keep your plants contained, then respect their wishes.
If you have no intention of limiting your flower garden on purpose, you can still enforce some limits by keeping the inside of the bed neat and orderly.
Sources & references used in this article:
… and Plants; Determination of Endangered Status for Ipomopsis polyantha (Pagosa Skyrocket) and Threatened Status for Penstemon debilis (Parachute Beardtongue) … by US Fish and Wildlife Service – … debilis (Parachute Beardtongue) and …, 2011 – cabdirect.org
Penstemon Schmidel: penstemon, beardtongue by SE Meyer – … Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. p. 774-777., 2008 – fs.usda.gov
Genetic diversity and population structure in Cary’s Beardtongue Penstemon caryi (Plantaginaceae), a rare plant endemic to the eastern Rocky Mountains of … by BW Stone, A Ward, M Farenwald, AW Lutz… – Conservation …, 2019 – Springer
MONITORING PENSTEMON GIBBENSII (GIBBENS’BEARDTONGUE) IN SOUTH-CENTRAL WYOMING–2011 AND 2016 UPDATES by B Heidel – 2017 – uwyo.edu
Penstemon Schmidel by SE Meyer – Penstemon Schmidel: Penstemon, Beardtongue (nd) – Citeseer
Propagation protocol for blowout penstemon (Penstemon haydenii), a federal endangered species of the Nebraska Sandhills and Wyoming by R Gilbert, T Luna, G Wright – Native Plants Journal, 2020 – npj.uwpress.org