The Q&A Archives: Huskers Red

Question: My Huskers Red Penstamen isn't growning well. It is not increasing in size. It just stays the same and I think it is supposed to increase so you could later divide it.
Does it need full sun? What fertilizer does it need and what should I use to amend the soil?
Thanks for all your help! Dorian

Answer: I don't think your plant is very happy! Penstemon Husker's Red is also sometimes sold as Penstemon cobaea. The foliage of Penstemon Huskers Red is red, even more so when grown in full sun. This Penstemon will gradually make a clump that is a couple of feet across. Penstemon Husker's Red requires a moderate amount of water. It has entire basal leaves and white deep throated flowers with a touch of violet at the base of the flower. It blooms from spring to early summer. If the spent blossoms are removed it may come back for a second time. Use a time-release garden fertilizer (I use 20-20-20) and apply in amounts and with the frequency as directed on the package. You can amend the planting bed with organic matter such as compost or aged-manure. Spread a 3-4" layer on top of the soil and dig it down to a depth of 6-8" . Best wishes with your penstemon!

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