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propagating perennials: Penstemon digitalis-“Husker Red” Penstemon
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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Penstemon digitalis-“Husker Red” Penstemon

Propagating Penstemon is hard because there are different varieties and sometimes garden centers will sell plants that are not hardy to your zone so before you buy make certain the variety you are buying is hardy to your zone because there are west coast and east coast types. “Husker Red” is an east coast type and it can be propagated by division, however other varieties can only be propagated by layering or cutting(mid summer to early fall) in west coast types. Now Penstemon’s are native to the USA, however “Husker Red” was hybrized at the University of Nebraska and is hardy in Zones 3-8, however its flower color is white to pale pink however its leaves and stems are deep purple. It grows to a height of 2 ½' and its flowers are hummingbird and bee magnets. To be hardy this variety needs good draining soil where west coast type generally do well in poor soils and need full sun, 10-12 hours daily. Normally “Husker Red” is evergreen and is supposedly deer resistant. One could always check the hardiness of their purchase by going to the Penstemon Society.

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