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Botanical Interests "Rocky Mountain Blue" Penstemon Seeds

Perennial to USDA zones 3-4. Blooms for several weeks in early summer. Full sun or part shade. 2' to 3' tall. 18 wide. Elegant bluish purple spikes with 1" tubular flowers lends a touch of formality to any planting. A larger penstemon with more visual impact, 'Rocky Mountain Blue' is beautiful in a range of settings from the formal borders to casual flowerbeds and roadside wildflower plantings. Excellent plant for year round interest. Forms satiny brown teardrop shaped seed heads if faded flower stalks are left standing. In winter, evergreen basal rosettes turn from green to reddish purple. Attracts hummingbirds and hawkmoths and makes a nice cut flower. A native of the Western United States, it is extremely drought tolerant, but can also handle considerable moisture. Requires a little more water in sunny areas than in shady places. Cut back on water and fertilizer if stalks become floppy. Cut flower stalks back to ground in spring. May reseed. Penstemon is also known as Beards Tongue due to its bristly hairs on the lower lip which extend into the throat.

When to plant outside: Sow in early spring, 3-4 weeks before average last frost when nights are still cold or in fall up to 2 months before average first frost.

When to start inside: Sow 6-8 weeks before average last frost. Like many other perennials, germination is best in cooler temperatures around 55 degrees.

Special Sowing & Germination Instructions: Requires cold stratification to mimic natural winter conditions. An easy method is to sow seeds in moist potting soil in seed pots. Then, place the pot in a plastic bag, seal, and place it in refrigerator for 2-3 weeks. Afterwards, follow instructions for starting seeds indoors. "

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