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Upper Midwest Gardening: Penstemon question

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Forum: Upper Midwest GardeningReplies: 9, Views: 184
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patsotr
Milwaukee, WI
(Zone 5a)

June 13, 2009
11:31 PM

Post #6683602

I am in Wisconsin, zone 5. In my garden bed facing south, I have two plants that I do not remember planting, flowering right now. The tallest one is 33 inches tall and the flowers are a bright purple. In looking at the leaves, and flowers, I think it is a Penstemon strictus or possibly a Penstemon barbatus'Purpureus'. My question is will I kill them, if I try and move them? Should I wait until they stop flowering? Do they flower all summer off and on, or do they flower and stop? They are in the front of my flower bed and covering smaller plants. They are beautiful plants with bright flowers and they match my color scheme, but they're in the wrong place.
KaylyRed
Watertown, WI
(Zone 5a)

June 14, 2009
2:43 AM

Post #6684370

I think it really depends on the plant. Could you maybe post some photos so folks could help you identify them first?

Most perennials don't object too much to being moved if you're careful about it, but some are harder to move than others. I don't remember hearing anything about penstemons objecting to transplanting, though.
jcoakley
Chicago, IL
(Zone 5b)

June 14, 2009
2:50 AM

Post #6684393

I don't know if it depends on the penstemon, but I have a penstemon digitalis that was moved about this time last year from my MIL's yard to mine and it did absolutely fine. Bloomed and everything. This year it has about tripled in size in its new home . . .
caitlinsgarden
McGregor, IA
(Zone 4b)

June 17, 2009
2:38 AM

Post #6698689

I have a Penstemon Mystica which has lots of babies that I am moving right now. It's similar to Huskers Red but prettier, I think. Each individual stem with some roots will grow easily when moved, in my experience.
Leftwood
Saint Bonifacius, MN
(Zone 4a)

July 22, 2009
3:03 AM

Post #6849297

You should be able to move all penstemon species and varieties now. Cut the foliage back by half. if it were me, I'd wait til they are done flowering, simply so I can enjoy the blooms. Penstemons bloom once a year, but sometimes if you cut them back severely after the bloom they will put on a few more flowers, barring transplanting (of course).
patsotr
Milwaukee, WI
(Zone 5a)

July 25, 2009
3:24 PM

Post #6863313

Thank you for the information. I did let the penstemons bloom, and haven't transplanted yet. The second one is almost finished blooming. I love the color!

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caitlinsgarden
McGregor, IA
(Zone 4b)

July 30, 2009
11:57 AM

Post #6883974

I love it too! I will have to look for this one. Is it a "husky" husker's type of penstemon that grow well with all the rain we get here, or is it one of those desert zone penstemons that I can't get to grow?
patsotr
Milwaukee, WI
(Zone 5a)

August 9, 2009
7:03 AM

Post #6925184

I think it is more of a desert type penstemon. But so far it has done well in my garden. July was very dry around here, although I watered it regularly with all of my other flowers in the garden. I am figuring since I never bought this plant, and it grew, and seems to be flourishing, it must like the soil, light, water etc. I will experiment though, and I am putting one where the
soil conditions are drier by my coneflowers and I am going to keep the other one in the same bed and see what happens.
Leftwood
Saint Bonifacius, MN
(Zone 4a)

August 9, 2009
2:38 PM

Post #6925808

It certainly does look like strictus to me. I asked my learned friend, Todd_Boland (he's a member here so you can look up his bio) to look at your pic, and he thinks strictus too, although I don't think he has a penstemon key.
patsotr
Milwaukee, WI
(Zone 5a)

August 9, 2009
5:14 PM

Post #6926384

Thanks for the id. I like to know what is in my garden and I really do love the color of this penstemon. I am hoping that it will multiply, but just in case, I saved the seeds.

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