Utah Beardstongue –
Diverse species of native perennials with over 250 found throughout North America. Drought tolerant species adapting to a wide range of soils and elevations. Important forage plant for birds and insects. Blooms from early spring to summer.
Venus penstemon is a long-lived native, herbaceous to woody subshrub. The leaves are finely serrulate or toothed, elliptic to lanceolate. The corolla light violet to violet-purple with the staminode white-hirsute toward the tip.
Winchester Gardens generally stocks this item.
Perennial – Native
Select a site with full sun and well-drained soil. Choose a site where the plants will have plenty of room; penstemons don’t like to be crowded.
Plant in spring, spacing plants 1 to 3 feet apart, depending on the variety. Don’t crowd plants. Prepare the garden bed by using a garden fork or tiller to loosen the soil to a depth of 12 to 15 inches, then mix in a 2- to 4-inch layer of compost. Dig a hole twice the diameter of the pot the plant is in. Carefully remove the plant from its container and place it in the hole so the top of the root ball is level with the soil surface. Carefully fill in around the root ball and firm the soil gently. Water thoroughly.
Apply a thin layer of compost each spring, followed by a 2-inch layer of mulch to retain moisture and control weeds. Water plants during the summer if rainfall is less than 1 inch per week. After the first killing frost, cut stems back to an inch or two above soil line.
Lady’s mantle – Lady’s mantle has foamy sprays of chartreuse flowers in late spring and is a fine companion for early penstemon in full sun.
Lamb’s-ears – A low carpet of fuzzy, silvery lamb’s-ears at the feet of brightly colored penstemon presents an interesting combination. Good drainage and full sun will please both.
Catmint – Smaller catmint is fine in combination with penstemon. The gray foliage and loose spikes of the lavender flowers complement each other.