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Growing Penstemon palmeri: Palmer's Penstemon

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Description
Form: Herb.
Lifespan: 4-5 years.
Leaf retention: Evergreen.
Growth rate: Rapid.
Mature Size: The flower stems reach 3-6' high depending on growing conditions.
Flowers: Reddish-pink to white, broadly tubular with large mouths, bearded bottom stamen, in a long, narrow cluster on stem, very fragrant.
Bloom: Spring.
Fruit: Seed capsule.
Leaves: Blue-green, triangular, and depending on subspecies, possibly boat-shaped surrounding stem, possibly serrated margins.
Stems: No thorns.
Roots: Taproot.
Wildlife: Attracts hummingbirds, butterflies and bees. Browsed by mammals and should be protected by fencing for the first two years.
Toxic / Danger: No.
Origin: Western North America.

Cultivation and Uses
USDA hardiness zones: 4-9.
Heat tolerant: Yes, once established.
Drought tolerant: Yes, once established.
Sun: Full sun to light shade.
Water once established: Once or twice a month. Do not overwater.
Soil: Well drained, dry, low in organic content, pH 6.6-8.5 (neutral to alkaline). This plant is only moderately salt-tolerant. Decomposed granite or crushed volcanic cinders are the only fertilizers it should receive.
First Year Care: In full sun, mulch using decomposed granite and/or pea gravel and water lightly each day, especially when blooming, to establish an extensive root system. Do not overwater.
Prune: Remove dead leaves and flower stalks after the seed capsules have dried.
Litter: Low.
Propagation: Seed planted in the fall.
Uses: Ornamental, hummingbird garden, xeric garden.

Comments
This plant is a member of the Penstemon and Plantain family (Plantaginaceae). It is one of the few fragrant penstemons and is fairly easy to grow when conditions are right.



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Latest update: January, 2019.

Penstemon palmeri: Palmer's Penstemon - flowers

Penstemon palmeri: Palmer's Penstemon - flower stalk

Penstemon palmeri: Palmer's Penstemon