Plant of the Month – March


Showy Penstemon
Penstemon spectabilis 

  • Plant Form: Perennial herb
  • Water Use: Very low
  • Mature Size: 2-4 ft. tall x 3-4 ft. wide
  • Exposure: Full sun
  • Bloom Time: Spring (March-May), Summer (June)
  • Native to: Southern California, Central California, Baja California
  • Hardiness: Cold hardy to 0°F

You will love this prolific bloomer as much as butterflies, hummingbirds, bees, and other beneficial pollinators do. This easy-care, fast-growing perennial herb can produce hundreds of blue/purple/pink flowers per stem, and needs little to no added water after becoming established.

Showy Penstemon knocks you out with its spectacular blue, purple, and pink flowers, while their wide-mouthed, tubular blossoms also attract butterflies, hummingbirds, bees, and other beneficial pollinators. The upper half of their leafy stems can produce up to 100 flowers—what’s not to love? This fuss-free, fast-growing perennial herb is easy to grow and needs little to no added water once established. Cut back stems after early flowering, but allow later flowers to set seed for new plants. Water every 3-4 weeks or not at all after established. While it has no serious pests or disease issues, it is susceptible to root rot if kept in wet, poorly-drained soils. Showy Penstemon provides charm at the back of dry borders and beds either singly or in masses, in hummingbird and butterfly gardens, Mediterranean and cottage gardens, and in bold groupings.


Check out our “Garden Tasks” for March