Penstemon is a genus of perennials represented by semishrubs and shrubs. This plant is native to Central and North America. Domestic botanists refer to the Penstemon to the Norichnik family, and foreign specialists to the Plantain family, which includes more than 250 genera.
Peculiarities of Penstemon
From the Latin name "Penstemon" is translated as "almost a stamen". The fact is that the flower of this plant has only one unusually shaped stamen, it is sterile and very long, thanks to which it protrudes far beyond the petals.
The English call this plant "bearded tongue". In the middle latitudes, gardeners do not grow this flower very often. But every year the popularity of this culture is growing, thanks to its unusual shape, long flowering and beautiful foliage. Flowers on bushes appear in the first days of June, and the duration of flowering can vary from 2 to 3 months. It is easy to raise this plant in your garden, but only if you choose a good site and care for it properly.
Planning and care of Penstemon in the open air
Selection of location
Penstemon is very light loving. This is why a sunny area is most suitable for its cultivation. Also, when choosing a location for planting, note that this flower reacts extremely negatively to draughts. The soil should be well-drained and light.
Penstemon is propagated by seeds, and is grown both through seedlings and without seedlings.
Sow the seeds in a seedling in February. To do this, take a seedling box and fill it with a nutritious soil mixture. Sow the seeds, and they are sunk into the substrate just a little bit. Water the crops, using a sprayer. Cover the seeds with a thin layer of calcined sand, and then moisten them again.
And top the box with glass (film). Move the container with the seeds in a well-lit and warm place. The first seedlings should show after half a month. Taking care of the seeds is quite simple: they need regular ventilation (once a day) and a temperature of at least 20 degrees, and don't forget to moisten the substrate if necessary.
When the seedlings show their first true leaves, they should be unpacked in peat pots.
Planting seedlings in the garden is carried out in the last days of May, and the soil and drainage should be prepared in advance. Remember that the earlier you plant pistemonium bushes in the garden, the later their flowering will start.
Water such a plant systematically. Water particularly if there is a long dry spell. But make sure there is no stagnant liquid in the soil.
To do this, water the bushes only when the surface of the soil dries up. To avoid fluid stagnation in the root system of the plants, when planting seedlings in the open ground do not forget to make a drainage layer of clay pebbles or coarse sand at the bottom of each planting hole. And to ensure that the moisture does not evaporate from the ground too quickly, its surface around the bushes mulch a layer of dry peat or compost. Whenever you water the plant, don't forget to loosen the soil around it and remove the weeds.
The soil on the plot should be fertile, friable, with good water and air passage as well as a very acidic one.
To improve the quality of the garden soil, it is combined with peat, fine gravel, compost or sand. And for the best acidity, it is recommended to add charcoal when digging the soil.
To ensure that the pistemon always looks nice and tidy, it is best to repot it regularly (once every 5 years). They are usually transplanted in spring. In this case, the procedure of transplanting is combined with the propagation by dividing the shrub.
Remove the mature bush from the soil and carefully divide it into several parts, while trying not to traumatize the root system. The divisions are planted on a new plot in the pre-prepared wells, at the bottom of which a layer of drainage is sure to be made. After completing the planting of the dividers, the surface of the soil is slightly compacted, and then conduct their watering. Backfill the planting with a layer of mulch. After about four weeks, the seedlings will fully take root.
The first time bushes are fertilized is when they are planted outdoors. This is done by adding compost when the soil is turned over. Also plants are fed with organics by adding it to the soil three times during the season.
Before the bushes will bloom, they are fed with a complex mineral fertilizer that contains a large amount of phosphorus. This makes the Penstemon bloom more lush and showy.
Penstemon: description,care,growing from seeds. Plant this unpretentious perennial in your garden!
The bushes bloom in June and the showy inflorescences usually decorate the plant throughout the summer period or until the first frost (depending on species and variety). Some species have flowers similar in appearance to a lion's yawn, other species have bell-shaped flowers. The inflorescences are usually dense, large and pinnately shaped with white, blue, purple, yellow, pink, red or orange flowers. There are also varieties that have bicolor flowers.
When the flowering is over, seeds will form on the plant and can be used for later sowing.
In late fall, while preparing the plant for wintering, cut its stems completely off. During the growing season, don't forget to systematically cut off all the withered shoots, leaf plates, and also the inflorescences from the shrubs. If the flower has grown very large, it should be thinned out.
Preparing for wintering
For the species and varieties of Penstemon, they are cultivated as a perennial in the middle latitudes.
When preparing bushes for wintering the stems are cut off at the root and plantings are covered with a layer of lapnik or dried up fallen leaves. In order to protect the plants' root system from stagnant melt water in the springtime, do not forget to make a good layer of drainage at the bottom of the holes when planting pistemonium, and also with the onset of heat, shovel the snow from the plot before it begins to melt.
Growing from seed
Pistemon is most commonly propagated by gardeners by seed. Seed material can be gathered from bushes in your garden or bought at a specialty store. It is recommended to sow them in the open ground in the fall or spring, after the return frosts are left behind.
Sow the seeds in an area prepared in advance and not with a very thick layer of soil.
Seeds of some pistemons must be stratified before sowing (e.g. alpine pistemons). For this purpose, they are sown in the garden in October or November, where they will undergo natural stratification in the soil during the winter.
However, experienced gardeners recommend sowing the seeds in boxes, with a thin layer of soil or sand on top. The seeds are kept at room temperature for 20 days. During this time the seeds have time to swell. After that, the box on top of the cover with 1 layer of Loutrasil and take it into the garden. Do not forget to secure the litter box, otherwise it can be carried away by the wind.
For example, you can fix it with a rubber band, tying it around the container. Thanks to this covering, the seeds of weeds will not get into the substrate. The seeds should be outdoors for at least 8 weeks, so that they have time to stratify. If snow falls, be sure to cover the seeds with it, because thanks to the melted water, the seedlings emerge much faster. With the onset of spring, the seeds are moved to a warm room or greenhouse, where over time and will appear seedlings.
As a rule, the first sprouts are shown in about a week and a half. However, some of the varieties you have grown from seed may bloom in their first year of growth.
SOWING PENSTEMON PER ANIOR YEAR PART 1
First cuttings should be prepared by cutting those stems that do not have inflorescences. Afterwards, treat the lower part of the cuttings with a solution of a product that stimulates root growth. In the garden, choose an area that is in the penumbra, and plant cuttings on it.
Each cuttings are covered from above with a plastic bottle, from which the neck is previously cut. Once cuttings have fully rooted, they can be transplanted back to a permanent location.
How to propagate by grafts
Grafts can only be propagated by grafts on low growing and creeping varieties. Pick a stem, bend it toward the ground and cover it with a layer of soil. The rootlets should appear after about 30 days, after which it is cut off from the parent bush, removed from the soil and planted in a new location.
Splitting the bush
This is the most convenient way to propagate the Penstemon during transplanting. First, remove the adult bush from the soil, remove the soil from its root system and divide it into parts. After that, divisions are planted in holes, which should be prepared in advance. Remember that you can divide the bush only if it is already 3 years old. Younger bushes in this method of propagation often die.
All Penstemon shrubs should be divided once every 5 years, so that you can both rejuvenate the plant and propagate it. Do not neglect the rejuvenation procedure, as the plant over five years old starts to age very quickly: new stems stop forming, inflorescences do not appear either, which inevitably leads to a complete loss of ornamentation.
Diseases and pests
Often the top parts of garden pistemons start to wither. If this happens to your plant, cut off all of its shoots at the root as soon as possible. Failure to do this can be fatal.
Don't worry, new stems will grow back very quickly if you cut them back. If you water too often and excessively, this will lead to fluid accumulation in the root system, which then causes grey rot. It causes the shoots to begin to wither. At the first signs of the disease, loosen the soil around the bush and pour it with a solution of fungicide. Penstemon is very resistant to pests, so they do not disturb it.
Growing penstemon in your garden is very simple, it will be possible even for a beginner. Such a plant does not make any special requirements for care, and in the middle latitudes it grows well. Because of this, such a spectacular perennial is gaining more and more popularity among gardeners every year.
Penstemon species and varieties with photos
This herbaceous perennial plant is quite bushy, so it can form a lush and quite showy bush. Its straight shoots are decorated with dark green, lancet-shaped leaves.
The bush is about 120 cm tall. The flowers are tubular and bell-shaped and can be red, pale pink, white, lilac and other shades. The flowers are part of the panicles. Blooms last almost all summer.
Penstemon digitalis (Penstemon digitalis)
The bush is about 100 centimeters tall.
The relatively large inflorescences are tinged with a pinkish hue. The bush blooms during the first summer weeks, with a blooming duration of four weeks. The plant is highly frost-resistant, allowing it to winter well in the middle latitudes even without shelter.
Penstemon barbatus (Penstemon barbatus)
This species flowers early and very lushly. The height of an adult bush is about 0.
9 m. The color of the flowers is quite unusual: the outer surface is painted scarlet and the inner is white. The plant blooms in May and fades the last days of July.
Penstemon Dark Towers (Penstemon Dark Towers)
This variety is relatively new. It is good because it is hardy and blooms lushly.
The shape of the dark maroon leaves is lanceolate. During flowering, beautiful panicles of pinkish flowers are formed. These shrubs are medium-high (approx. 0.7m) but bloom all summer long.
Penstemon Carillo Red
Brubs about 0.6m tall are decorated with lanceolate leaves of deep green color. The single-trunked shoots are quite thin. They form purple panicles during flowering which occurs from July to October.
This perennial is similar in appearance to the lion's teal plant.
Its height is about 0.7 meters. The tassel-shaped, large inflorescences have an unusual shape. They consist of orange, purple, scarlet-white or red flowers. The bushes begin to bloom in the second half of summer, with the blossoms adorning them until the first frost.
Penstemon Davidson (Penstemon davidsonii)
This species is low, not exceeding 0.3 meters in height. Its medium-sized, lanceolate leaves are green in color. The small inflorescences are lilac in color. Blossoms begin in the first summer weeks and end in mid-October.
Penstemon Mystica (Penstemon digitalis "Mystica")
The bushes are about 0.7 meters tall. The shoots and foliage are painted a dark maroon hue. From June to the last days of August, the plant is decorated with white fragrant tassels.
Penstemon bell-shaped (Penstemon campanulatus)
The shoots of this species are about 0.
9 meters tall. The small lilac-pink flowers look like bell-shaped flowers. The lanceolate leaves are colored with a greenish hue. Blossoms begin in June and end in September.
Penstemon Hasker Red
This plant is about 0.
7 meters tall. The stems are decorated with brownish-green lanceolate leaves, and during flowering they produce pinkish-white tassels. Flowering begins in May and ends in October.
This annual plant is noted for its decorative appearance. Its stems are about 0.
8 meters tall. The lanceolate dark green leaves have a pointed tip. The pale purple or blue small flowers are bell-shaped. Flowering begins in June and ends in September.
Penstemon hirsutus (Penstemon hirsutus)
This low-growing perennial forms a lush bush that only reaches about 0.
3 meters in height. The surface of the lanceolate, dark green leaf laminae is slightly pubescent. The bell-shaped purple flowers are not very large. This species blooms in summer.
Shallow bushes are no more than 0.
45 meters high. The foliage, pointed at the top, is dark green in color. The long, very showy tassels are bicolor and may be reddish-blue or bluish-white in color. Blooms are observed between July and September.
This perennial plant is about 0.
7 meters tall. The medium-sized, dark green leaf plates have a pointed tip. The large inflorescences are bicolor: pinkish-white, reddish-white or burgundy-white. Flowering occurs throughout the summer period.
The low bush is only about 0.
2 m tall. It is covered with dense dark green, lanceolate-shaped foliage that has pubescence on its surface. From June to August the shrubs are decorated with light lavender tassels.
The stout bush is about 1.2m tall and covered with large greenish leaves with a pointed top.
The relatively large tassels may be colored pinkish-white, reddish-white, white, purple-white or purple-white.
This perennial is about 0.7 m tall. Its large leaves with pointed tops are dark maroon in color. The bell-shaped flowers can be pink, red, white or purple.
The bushes bloom in summer.
Penstemon alpinus (Penstemon alpinus)
Slow shrubs are decorated with dark olive narrow and long leaves. The dense inflorescences are similar in appearance to a lion's yawn and have a bright sky-blue hue. The bushes bloom in June and do not bloom until September.
This plant is about 0.
6 m tall and its dark maroon-colored leaves tapering toward the top. The brushes are colored whitish pink. This species blooms throughout the summer.
Penstemon Ice Cream
This species is about 0.8 m tall, with single-trunked shoots.
The green leaf plates have a pointed apex. The creamy, large flowers have a purple-colored midrib, and their petals have flecks of the same color. It blooms from the beginning to the end of summer.
Penstemon pinifolius (Penstemon pinifolius)
This stunted plant is about 0.3 meters tall.
The single, straight shoots are adorned with lanceolate leaves of a dark green color. The luxuriant, large inflorescences are a deep yellow. Flowering begins in June and ends in August.
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