Garden Oracle / Drought and Heat Tolerant Gardening / Tucson - Phoenix - Arizona - California

Growing Penstemon pseudospectabilis:
Desert Penstemon

social icons Facebook Pinterest Instagram

Form: Herb or subshrub.
Lifespan: Perennial.
Leaf retention: Evergreen.
Growth rate: Moderate to rapid.
Mature Size: 2-4' high and 2' wide.
Flowers: Magenta or pink, tubular, 0.75" long, arrayed in spikes.
Bloom: Spring.
Fruit: Seed capsule.
Leaves: Green, boat-shaped, surrounding stem, toothed edges, may turn magenta during drought after seed production.
Stems: No thorns.
Wildlife: Attracts hummingbirds.
Toxic / Danger: No.
Origin: Arizona, California and Mexico.

Cultivation and Uses
USDA hardiness zones: 5-10.
Heat tolerant: Yes.
Drought tolerant: Yes.
Sun: Full sun to part shade. Best in part shade.
Water once established: Monthly at most. It needs only small amounts of water once established and is intolerant of frequent watering.
Soil: Well drained, dry, low organic content, pH 6.1-8.5 (slightly acidic to alkaline).
Mulch: Decomposed granite or small gravel.
Prune: After the last freeze, remove winter damage. Removing spent stalks after flowering may extend blooming.
Litter: Low.
Propagation: Seed sown in the fall or stratified one month and sown in the spring.
Uses: Ornamental, hummingbird garden, xeric garden.

This plant is a member of the Penstemon and Plantain family (Plantaginaceae). Other common names are Canyon Penstemon and Arizona Penstemon. Do not overwater or this plant will die.

Do you have additional information or a different experience for these plants that you would like to share? Email All contributions are welcome and appreciated.

Penstemon pseudospectabilis: Desert Penstemon

Penstemon pseudospectabilis: Desert Penstemon - seed pods

Latest update: May, 2021
© 2008-2024 by