How to Prune Palmer's Penstemon


Palmer's penstemon is one of 250 species of penstemon that are common to the western and southern United States. The foliage of this perennial grows to 1 foot tall. The flower stems grows 4 to 6 feet tall, with large, light pink fragrant tubular flowers that attracts butterflies, hummingbirds and bees. Penstemon has a long blooming season, extending from June to October. Pruning Palmer penstemon aids in re-blooming and propagation.

Step 1

Use gardening shears to remove spent flowers. This will encourage repeat blooming. If the faded blossoms are healthy, add to the compost.

Step 2

Take cuttings from Palmer's penstemon during the mid-summer. Although a wide range of penstemons grow from seeds, they also grow well from cuttings that are overwintered in a greenhouse frame.

Step 3

Prune the penstemons before the first freeze. Cut them completely to the ground. Use plant markers to avoid accidentally damaging them when digging the garden in the spring.

Step 4

Cover the clumps with a layer of mulch. If mulch is not available, use decaying leaves.

Things You'll Need

  • Gardening shears
  • Plant markers
  • Mulch or decaying leaves


  • The Complete Garden Flower Book: Catie Ziller, Publisher; 2001

Who Can Help

  • Phoenix Home & Garden; Pestemons for the Low Desert
Keywords: perennials, Palmer's penstemon, pruning

About this Author

After attending Hardin Simmons University, Kay Dean finished her formal education with the Institute of Children's Literature. Since 1995, Dean has written for such publications as "PB&J," Disney’s "Family Fun," "ParentLife," "Living With Teenagers" and Thomas Nelson’s NY Times bestselling "Resolve." An avid gardener for 25 years, her experience includes organic food gardening, ornamental plants, shrubs and trees, with a special love for roses.