Updated at: 24-05-2022 - By: Sienna Lewis

Want to learn how to remove the penstemon’s flower heads? To maintain your penstemon plants blooming throughout the growing season, you must do the crucial operation of deadheading.

All of these factors can have a significant impact on the success of your plants’ development. Penstemon plants will grow leggy and woody if you don’t prune and deadhead them annually, even if everything else is perfect.

How to Prune Your Penstemon Plants

In the USDA zones 4–9, penstemons thrive. Because they’re drought-resistant, they’ll need less watering, but some hybrid plants may want more frequent watering. Proper penstemon care also includes annual pruning. Most gardeners trim their plants in order to encourage new growth, which extends the blooming season as well as protecting them from frost. You may also keep your plants looking their best by trimming them regularly.

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Pruning penstemons in the spring

This time of the year, young shoots are most likely to benefit from spring trimming. The spring season is a good time to remove old stems from your plants. As a result, your penstemons will put all of their efforts towards producing healthy blossoms and new shoots.

In order to know if the new growth is coming from the base of the plant or an old stem, you should inspect your plant before beginning any pruning procedures.

Growth from old stems

Trim the stems just above the new shoots if they came from old stems.

Growth from the base of the plant

The old stems can be pruned back to the soil level in this scenario.

No new growth

If there were no shoots, you can just chop back the entire plant as you normally would (above the lowest set of true leaves).

Pruning penstemons in the winter

Penstemons can be protected from frost and snow if they are pruned regularly. Penstemons should be trimmed to a few inches above the earth and mulched heavily to keep the soil warm. After flowering, you can prune back your plants by roughly a third in warm winter areas. Remember to leave enough leaves on your plants to protect them from the cold.

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How to Deadhead Penstemon

While pruning and deadheading are similar, there is a tiny difference: deadheading refers to the removal of spent flowers from plants, while pruning refers to the removal of dead and diseased branches. However, pruning refers to removing any component of a plant’s structure.

Once you’ve mastered the art of pruning, the next logical step is to master the art of deadheading penstemon. In this manner:

For two reasons: it encourages new shoots and blossoms to grow, as well as preventing seeds from forming in unwanted regions of your garden. Underneath the healthy set of leaves beneath the blossoms, make a cut. Leave a few flower stems on your penstemon if you want seeds.

Excessive pruning of perennials might extend their flowering period. A second flush of blooms may be possible if the plant is pruned back after the first flush of blooms. Most geraniums and Nepeta can be used for this experiment. By removing the wasted flower heads, you can deadhead penstemons without uprooting the entire plant.

Pruning is an essential part of the care of many plants, although not all of them need it. Depending on the plant you’re pruning, you’ll need secateurs, snips, or shears to do deadheading.

Our gardening team has put together the following list of deadheading suggestions:

  • Aster
  • Bergenia
  • Delphinium
  • Foxglove
  • Hollyhock
  • Iris
  • Penstemon
  • Yarrow
  • Monarda
  • Centranthus
  • Coreopsis
  • Geranium
  • A daisy named Marguerite
  • daisies of the Shasta variety
  • Gaura
  • Chrysanthemum
  • Dahlia
  • Lily
  • Phlox
  • Poppy
  • Rose
  • Cardoon
  • Coreopsis
  • Echium
  • Echinacea
  • Phlomis

How to Propagate Penstemon

Penstemon can be grown from seed, stem cuttings, or root division. To begin sed propagation, the soil should be warm enough after the final scare of frost has passed. For early blooming, you can start your seed inside. If you plant them in a soil that drains properly, spray them, and cover them lightly, they’ll be OK.

The optimal season to proliferate through stem cuttings, on the other hand, is in the summer or fall. Cut the non-flowering stem tips just below the nodes of the leaves. Remove the lowermost leaves and the tips of the branches. Rooting powder should be applied to the bottom of the stem before planting them in a mixture of compost and perlite.

Penstemon can also be multiplied by dividing the roots. To grow multiple plants, simply divide the roots. To get roots, you’ll have to carefully dig out your plant every two to three years.

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Taking care of propagated penstemon

Keep your stem cuttings in a well-ventilated, shady spot. During the winter months, bring your plants indoors. You can either plant your penstemons in the ground or into a larger pot once they have sprouted new leaves. Place them in a spot that receives some or all of the day’s sun. To avoid rotting roots, don’t overwater your plants. Finally, in the spring, apply a balanced fertilizer.

Why Grow Your Penstemons in a Mini Greenhouse?

Penstemons thrive in a tiny greenhouse for a variety of reasons. For starters, you can protect them against pests like aphids, thrips, and caterpillars that prefer to eat your flowers and foliage. Root rot, rust, and powdery mildew can also attack them. Plants that are kept in an enclosed area are less likely to be damaged.

Tender perennials might also benefit from the protection of mini greenhouses. By bringing them indoors, you’re shielding them from the elements including ice, snow, freezing rain, and strong winds. You can keep them healthy in a little greenhouse until the weather warms up enough to replant them outside.

Final Thoughts on How to Deadhead Penstemon

Penstemons don’t require a lot of care and attention, making them an ideal houseplant. For those who know the basics and how to deadhead penstemons are fine. The springtime blooms of penstemons are particularly eye-catching.