Garden flowers

The penstemons, flowers all summer long


With their bells that give them a false look of foxgloves, penstemons (also called galanes) bring their bright colors to summer beds: they are in flower from May to October.

Originally from North America, penstemons remain relatively unknown in France. However, there are a hundred cultivars of this perennial which can take a shrub or creeping form. The first is ideal in massifs, with its long-lasting and colorful flowering; the second dresses them rockeries or low walls with lightness.

All have a wide range of colors, ranging from white to red through pink and blue. The most resistant is the perennial hybrid, which goes well in flower beds with roses, agapanthus, bellflowers, asters, lavender ... They are also good cut flowers.

  • To read : all the advice on growing and caring for penstemon

The right conditions for growing penstemon

The penstemons crash at sun or partial shade, in one fresh, rich and well-drained soil.

The crawling species are sown in February-March in pots, under a bell or in a cold frame; the shrubs transplant in April-May, they measure from 10 to 90 cm depending on the species.

The crawling species need fertile, well-drained soil, while shrubs cope with poor, stony soil.

The galanes tolerate cold relatively well, down to minus 15 ° C for the more robust, but they fear stagnant humidity. Space the plants about thirty centimeters apart.

Care is reduced: remove faded flowers as you go to promote flowering and cut the leaves in spring and not in winter, where they play a protective role for the plant.

Hardy varieties of penstemons

Among the hardiest species, "Jingle Bells" and "Coccineus" have scarlet tubular flowers with vigorous stems surrounded by rosette leaves at their base.

"Husker’s Red" is a vigorous perennial with white flowers in elongated bells. If you are looking for a rock garden plant, try the penstemon hirsitus pygmaeus, with purple flowers with a white heart, which does not exceed 15 cm in height.

L. H.

Visual: © La Plante du Mois

  • To read : all the advice on growing and caring for penstemon

Video: Penstemons (October 2020).