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Chris9Chris9 Posts: 92


I bought the free  Penstemons that  was on offer last week, but not sure what to do, sorry but love a bargain.  Will I need to pot these plants up and keep under cover if so, how long will I need to keep undercover and what time of year do I plant them out.  Also. what compost do I use for potting on.

Sorry to be vague. 

Regards Chris 



  • jo4eyesjo4eyes North East Derbyshire Posts: 2,058

    They can go outside in the borders/pots now it's summer. They are hardy, but some varieties more than others. If they are still under cover then give them a couple of days of inside at night, putting outside in day until they are used to the temperature change- hardening off. Decent compost, a John Innes type 2 or 3 would be fine if keeping them outside in pots.

    Deadhead the flowers as the season goes on, & they should repeat flower until the frosts come.

    They may not come through next winter, so it's a good idea to take cuttings off them in late July/August & then overwinter those under cover ready for next year.

    Any that do come through next winter outside in borders dont need cutting back until late March/April, depending on whereabouts in UK you are, although I do tend to do mine earlier than advised & they cope- am in NWest. J.


  • Chris9Chris9 Posts: 92

    Thanks for the reply, I have not received them yet it says Aug/September and they are plug plants from this site.  So will be wee little things.




  • sotongeoffsotongeoff Posts: 9,802

    Then I would grow them on through the winter in pots -first outside and then in a greenhouse when the bad weather comes-they should then be good sized plants to be planting out next March/April-they can take a certain level of frost

  • Chris9Chris9 Posts: 92

    Thanks Jo and sotongeoff for the great info, will have to buy some sort of greenhouseimage

  • BookertooBookertoo Posts: 1,306

    You can keep them under a hedge if you have one, ina garage if there is a window, or anywhere cool where they will not freeze.  failing all of that, a cheap plastic grow house will work, but make sure it is pinned down well as they blow away very easily - leaving your baby penstemons uncovered.  In fact, they are tough little plants, and if you have sheltered part of the garden, and we get some decent weather later in the year (sigh of hope!), they may well establish well enough in the ground to get through the windter, depending how much of one we get of course..  A cloche or  large plastic bottle with the lid removed and the bottom cut off to act as a cloche will protect them - especially come spring when the slugs are hungry - come to that at any time, they are always hungry!!

  • gardeningfanticgardeningfantic Posts: 1,019

    yeah and there is certainly plenty of htem about this year.. everywhere.. first time i have had to use slugh pellets in my garden.. unbelievable...

    i also have got lots of grey small catipillars on my plants with tiney black heads.. did take picture bt cant load onto my computer at mo.. have eaten everything in their path.. and also my dwarf irises have got covered in eggs small grey ones right at the bottom near soil.. will have to wait and see what they hatch into.. then start collecting them..

    I have several penstemons in the garden and up to now all have survived the winters. I take quite a few cuttings and as long as they are kept frost free for the first winter they should be ok. I have never had them eaten by slugs, even when young. They are one of the very few plants I have that they dont seem to go for.
  • weejennyweejenny Posts: 386

    They are so easy to take cuttings from by this time next year yours will be big enough plants to do this. I took some yesterday and have just put them in water in the window sill

  • Chris9Chris9 Posts: 92

    Sorry, only just got back to this thread just to say thanks for the advice not expecting these plants until the end of August so may pot them up and see how they get on.

    regards Chris 

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