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How to Care for a Husker Red Penstemon

By M.H. Dyer

Penstemon is a good perennial addition to the landscape, adding dependable color with little maintenance. Penstemon blooms are similar to those of its cousin, the snapdragon. Husker Red penstemon is an especially showy variety, producing bright-white flowers for about a month in midsummer. The flowers grow atop upright stems and contrasting, deep maroon foliage. At maturity, Husker Red penstemon grows to heights of 30 to 36 inches. Husker Red penstemon is hardy to USDA growing zones 3 to 8.

Step 1

Plant Husker Red penstemon in full sunlight. Although many penstemon varieties will do fine in partial shade, Husker Red requires at least six to eight hours of sunlight per day to perform its best. Husker Red penstemon also requires well-drained soil. If your garden soil tends to be soggy, dig in 3 to 4 inches of coarse sand, compost or manure. Otherwise, don't amend the soil.

Step 2

Keep the soil moist after planting Husker Red penstemon. Once the penstemon is established and you can see healthy new growth, water only during extended periods of hot, dry weather, or if the plant looks wilted. Water sparingly, as too much water is penstemon's biggest threat.

Step 3

Cut back Husker Red's stalks after the plant is finished blooming in mid to late summer. Cut the stem down to the next set of healthy leaves.

 

Things You Will Need

  • Coarse sand, compost or manure
  • Garden shears or pruners

About the Author

 

M.H. Dyer began her writing career as a staff writer at a community newspaper and is now a full-time commercial writer. She writes about a variety of topics, with a focus on sustainable, pesticide- and herbicide-free gardening. She is an Oregon State University Master Gardener and Master Naturalist and holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative nonfiction writing.