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New pemstemon plants - when to plant out

dappledshadedappledshade Top of the Hill, North London Posts: 873
I have just received a few new plants for my front garden border, most of which (gaura, euphorbia) I intend to plant out now, when the soil is still warm and the weather mild-ish.

However, I’ve heard that penstemons are not always that hardy (I live in London), so I was wondering if I ought to hang fire on planting them out, but rather wait until spring.
They are very healthy looking, about 10cm tall with fresh, green foliage, in 9cm pots.

Best to wait and keep them in the greenhouse, or just go for it?
thanks 
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Posts

  • B3B3 Posts: 18,969
    I haven't got a greenhouse but I keep new penstemons and gaura in pots for the first year until they have a good root system. I put them in a sheltered place over winter.
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 8,337
    I agree,  keep them somewhere sheltered over the Winter. 
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 7,622
    I agree - they're small plants so I'd keep them away from whatever winter may throw at them.
    As a general indicator, the narrower the leaves on penstemons the hardier they are.

    I've never lost a 'Garnet' which has very narrow leaves, but I have lost a few Raven and White Bedder in the past which both have relatively broad leaves. I have several clumps of each, so I take cuttings to replenish those that didn't make it
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • dappledshadedappledshade Top of the Hill, North London Posts: 873
    Thanks everybody - mine are indeed Ravens, so I’ll need your excellent advice and stick them in my little greenhouse, over the winter then.
    It’ll give me a chance to really work the soil where they’ll be living, adding some grit etc. It’s good soil, very well drained, but I’ve heard they really dislike winter wet, so why not!
    I’ll look out for Garnet next year!
    When is the best time to take cuttings - now, or Spring? So I know for next year…
  • dappledshadedappledshade Top of the Hill, North London Posts: 873
    Interesting about the gaura @B3 I thought they were really tough. Mine are in 1L pots, look very sturdy and healthy. Quite large plants. Should I still overwinter those too, do you think? Thanks.
  • B3B3 Posts: 18,969
    edited 11 October
    Maybe they are @dappledshade but I never plant anything in the ground the first year. If it's too small, I'd probably weed it out by accident  or forget where I put it😊
    I think 1l is big enough, especially if you can see the roots coming through the bottom.
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • dappledshadedappledshade Top of the Hill, North London Posts: 873
    Haha point taken!
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 8,337
    I normally take my penstemon cuttings around July. I have several ones of Garnet sitting in a coldframe as we speak. 
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 7,622
    I find 'Garnet' almost indestructible.
    I have a few patches of them, but the best is in a bed that I have never watered. All they get is a mulch in the spring.
    Any stems that touch the ground sprout roots in no time so they spread nicely.

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • dappledshadedappledshade Top of the Hill, North London Posts: 873
    They’re beautiful Pete!
    I have penstemon envy now.
    So as three quite short lived plants, do you find that the ones that have popped up from rhizomes that have spread, then last a bit?
    I suppose they can all succumb to a hard frost though, hence why you all take cuttings.
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