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Monday, May 21, 2012

Husker's Red Penstemon in the Garden

One of the neatest perennials in our garden is 'Husker's Red' penstemon (Penstemon digitalis).  'Husker's Red' has reddish foliage that adds color to the garden during the growing season but it also blooms prolifically for several weeks in the spring.  Ours are just now starting to fade so I thought I would take a picture to share with you.  The bees love the bell like flowers that cover the plant!

'Husker's Red' was named a Perennial Plant Association Plant of the Year back in 1996 for good reason. It's easy to care for and very attractive in the garden.  Our penstemon is in several locations easily accessible to deer and rabbits and haven't had any issues with the hungry animals. This penstemon grows between 2-3 feet tall and has a nice mounding habit.  It doesn't spread very much but you can help that along very easily with the propagation technique below!

Propagating Husker's Red Penstemon

You can propagate 'Husker's Red' simply by gently pulling the stalk away from the mound and replanting.  If there is resistance water the penstemon and they should pull away very easily. The group of plants you see in the above  picture started as 4-5 small sprigs that were removed from another location in the yard.  I spaced them at about 8 inches apart and let them merge together around a bird feeder in the front garden.  I wrote a post about this propagation technique for 'Husker's Red' Penstemon two years ago if you would like more information on propagating this penstemon.

Do you have 'Husker's Red' Penstemon in your garden?


  1. I have one of these in the cottage garden and one out in the deer resistant garden. I need to try your propagation technique to make more. Do yours self-sow around? I have been deadheading the blooms.


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