How to Grow Broadbeard Beardtongue

Broadbeard Beardtongue image by Montucky/


Broadbeard Beardtongue or Penstemon angustifolius is a perennial that grows 6 to 18 inches tall. The foliage is smooth in texture and evergreen. The tubular flowers bloom in the mid-summer in various colors, including pink, violet, light blue and medium blue. The flowers provide early forage for honeybees. Insects and hummingbirds rely heavily on the flowers in the springtime.

Step 1

Choose a planting site that gets full sun. This plant should be propagated from seed in the fall.

Step 2

Check the soil pH to determine the type soil's type. Broadbeard Beardtongue requires soil with neutral to alkaline pH, ranging from 6.6 to 8.5. Use a test kit, available at most gardening centers and hardwares, to determine the pH.

Step 3

To increase the pH by one point to make it more alkaline, add 4 ounces of hydrated lime per square yard in sandy soil. If you have loamy soil, add 8 ounces. Mix in 1 1/5 ounces of ground rock sulfur per square yard of soil to reduce the soil pH by one point, making it more acidic.

Step 4

Make holes in the soil with your finger or the tip of a trowel. They should be 1 inch in depth. Place a seed in each hole and cover with soil.

Step 5

Space the holes 6 to 12 inches apart.

Step 6

Feel the soil with your finger to determine if it's wet or dry. Broadbeard Beardtongue needs water about every two to three days.

Step 7

Avoid overwatering the plant because it is sensitive to root rot fungi. It is tolerant to drought and needs only about 8 to 10 inches of precipitation annually.

Step 8

Fertilize Broadbeard Beardtongue with a water-soluable fertilizer once or twice per month. Add water to the liquid concentrate as per manufacturer's instructions.

Things You'll Need

  • Seed
  • pH test kit
  • Hydrated lime
  • Ground rock sulfur
  • Trowel
  • Liquid fertilizer


  • USDA
  • The University of Texas at Austin
  • Dave's Garden

Who Can Help

  • About Soil pH
Keywords: broadbeard beardtongue, penstemon angustifolius, soil pH

About this Author

Based in New York State, Kelly Shetsky started writing in 1999. She is a broadcast journalist-turned Director of Marketing and Public Relations and has experience researching, writing, producing and reporting. She writes for several websites, specializing in gardening, medical, health and fitness, entertainment and travel. Shetsky has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Marist College.

Photo by: Montucky/