The Q&A Archives: Beard-Tongue Care

Question: I planted 2 beard-tongue perennials while in bloom. The blooms have fallen off now. Do I cut back these plants,
and if so, how far back? Or do I simply pick off the remaining blooms? Will they re-bloom?

Answer: Beard-tongue (Penstemon barbatus) sends up bloom stems from a basal mass of foliage. When the flowers are finished blooming, remove the entire bloom stem close to the bottom, being careful not to damage the basal foliage. Unfortunately, while these plants bloom over a fairly long period they will not bloom again until next year.

These wildflowers and their hybrids are lovely in the garden and are very tolerant of both heat and winter cold. They do best with full sun and low fertility. In addition, they require excellent drainage in order to survive the winter. Good luck with your new perennials!

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