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

Growing Penstemon superbus:
Coral Penstemon

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Form: Herb.
Lifespan: Perennial.
Leaf retention: Evergreen.
Growth rate: Moderate to rapid.
Mature Size: 4-6' high with stalk, 1-2' wide.
Flowers: Dark pink, red, or orange-red, tubular with five flared broad lobes, 3/4" to 1" long, arrayed on a tall spike.
Bloom: Winter or spring, depending on local climate.
Fruit: Seed capsule.
Leaves: Green to blue-green, lance-shaped, long, opposite, clasping stem.
Stems: No thorns. Erect or arching, purple.
Wildlife: Attracts hummingbirds.
Toxic / Danger: No.
Origin: Arizona, New Mexico and Mexico.

Cultivation and Uses
USDA hardiness zones: 4-10.
Heat tolerant: Yes.
Drought tolerant: Yes.
Sun: Full sun to light shade. Better with light shade in high temperatures.
Water once established: Once or twice a month.
Soil: Well drained, dry, sandy, pH 7.6-8.5 (slightly alkaline to alkaline).
Mulch: Decomposed granite or small gravel.
Prune: Deadhead spent flowers to extend bloom.
Litter: Low.
Propagation: Seed planted in the fall; seed cold stratified for one month and planted in the spring; cuttings taken from new growth in the spring; half-woody cuttings taken in the summer.
Uses: Ornamental, hummingbird garden.

This plant is a member of the Penstemon and Plantain family (Plantaginaceae). Another common name is Superb Penstemon.

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Penstemon superbus: Coral Penstemon - flower

Penstemon superbus: Coral Penstemon - flowers

Latest update: May, 2021
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