Forum home Plants

Penstemon cowardly pruning

B3B3 Posts: 21,475
I think maybe I didn't prune my penstemons far enough. I left about a foot on most of them. Is it too late to take some more off or should I leave them? Most of the stems have sprouted. Theres plenty of shoots at ground level too.
In London. Keen but lazy.

Posts

  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 SomersetPosts: 9,259
    I would do half and half, that is cut half the shoots off further down to just above the new green shoots at the base, but leave the rest as an insurance policy. Most Penstemons are pretty tough.
    They flower on the new shoots but will sometimes shoot out from taller branches. They layer really well as well if you take a long pliable new shoot and peg it down. Wait till it's rooted and then you have a new plant.
  • Papi JoPapi Jo Brittany, France Posts: 3,449
    Depends on the cultivar. I prune my own tough 'Garnet' penstemons approx. 25 cm from the ground at the end of each winter season, plus remove any old wooden/dead stems. Right now is definitely too late to prune them, I have actually started to give them the Chelsea chop although it seems like a month early, but it's really time to do it in my garden.
    Pruning/cutting half and half as suggested by @Lizzie27 seems a good idea. It won't do any harm.
    You are invited to a virtual visit of my garden (in English or in French).
  • B3B3 Posts: 21,475
    Thanks both. I have lots of different ones. I think the garnet is the really vigorous . I have another one somewhere called raven. I'll have to be more careful with the more delicate looking white and white/ pink ones ones
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 SomersetPosts: 9,259
    Garnet is fine and is really tough so can take being pruned back quite severely. Raven gets quite tall but I think it's more tempermental, one of mine appears to have died over the winter so I would be more cautious with that one - likewise with the white/pink ones. 
  • B3B3 Posts: 21,475
    Thanks @Lizzie27. Now if I could only remember which is which😉
    In London. Keen but lazy.
Sign In or Register to comment.