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What to do with floppy supermarket bought Penstemon

yarrow2yarrow2 Posts: 782
Bargain tray plant on left is Penstemon 'Arabesque Orchid'.  One on right is Penstemon 'Phoenix Magenta'  I've never planted penstemon thinking my clay soil would be a no-no.  But I have a little square bed which has been much prepped with organic matter and which I have just cleared as was using it as nursery type bed for divisions of various perennials until they had grown on and tough enough to go in final placings in borders.  I seem to have improved and made light enough the soil combination in this little bed to really bring on young plants and divisions with no problem

However, as these penstemon are floppy and look like they need pepping up - I'm wondering if I should just pot them a size up for a spell in multi-purpose compost and see if they strengthen up in a month or two - or if I should plant them in my little nursery bed and attempt to stake them.  Never having had penstemon, and really wanting to try them - I'm not sure what to do for the best at this stage.

Would welcome all advice.  Thank you.

PS I bought two others of each plant and they have harder stems and are healthily upright and look ready to plant in a final position.  There again, not knowing penstemon, maybe I should put them also in the little nursery bed for this summer?


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 83,878
    I think I'd cut them hard back and pot them up and grow them on in pots in a cold frame, you'll have lovely sturdy plants to plant out next spring   :)

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Posts: 11,391
    I agree with @Dovefromabove and did exactly that.  I also managed to root 3 cuttings from the floppy stems which were removed, so now have 5 plants instead of 2. :)
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 83,878
    I was going to suggest that @BobTheGardener ... honest I was  :D

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • yarrow2yarrow2 Posts: 782
    Yo!  Thanks so much Dovefromabove and BobTheGardener.   That's exactly what I'll do - hard chop back and try to propagate cuttings as well.  I ought to take cuttings from the others as well!
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