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Planting Instructions for Penstemon (beardtongue):

Bloom Time:  Early to mid summer Light:  Full sun to part shade
Soil:  Average to loamy, well-drained Moisture:  Average, drought tolerant
Planting Depth:  1/2" deep, mulch lightly Spacing:  15 to 24", depending on variety

Upon arrival:  Unpack box and check that you have everything on your packing list. Bare root Penstemon should be dry in the bags, so if condensation has formed on the inside of the bag, open and let it air out. Plant everything within a day or two.

Soil/Location:  Plant your Penstemon in full sun to part shade in average to loamy, well-drained soil. Add compost or peat humus to enrich and loosen the soil if needed, but they are very adaptable to almost any soil conditions. Remember to keep the soil light and airy for perennials, so cover them with loose soil and don't pack them in after planting.

Moisture:  Penstemon do not require much moisture, even after they are actively growing. Early season plantings (April and May) and plants that have no foliage should be started on the dry side. During that time we like to water lightly once and then we don't water again until the foliage has started to emerge. When actively growing they can be watered once or twice a week or as needed if they wilt, allowing the soil to dry out between watering, however they are quite drought tolerant once established.

Spacing:  15 to 24", depending on variety

Depth:  Plant with the crown a little below soil level. Crowns grow horizontally just below the soil - just be sure not to overwater, especially while dormant.

General Instructions:  Enrich soil with compost if needed, but these are adaptable to any well-draining soil. Mix a couple teaspoons of garden food or bone meal into the garden if desired. Plant the roots as listed above, then water in lightly. Penstemon is best started somewhat dry and rarely needs any supplemental watering even after it is actively growing.

Landscape Uses:  Penstemons are a great addition to the hummingbird garden. Combine them with other summer blooming plants such as hardy geranium, yarrows, catmints (Nepeta), bellflowers (Campanula), russian sage (Perovskia), lilies and daylilies. Plant low growing varieties in the rock garden and most will naturalize so they are all best planted in the mixed wildflower or cottage garden.

Hallson Gardens
PO Box 220
Brooklyn, MI 49230

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