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Penstemon digitalis 'Husker Red'

Penstemon digitalis 'Husker Red' Photo/Illustration: David Cavagnaro


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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
Botanical Name: Penstemon digitalis 'Husker Red' PEN-steh-mon dij-ih-TAL-iss Genus: Penstemon
'Husker Red' is one of the few penstemons that does well in wet winters and hot, humid summers. Ruby-toned leaves appear in spring, followed in late spring and early summer by 3-foot-high stems adorned by panicles of white blooms.  The flowers attract bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies, but the plants are not magnets for deer or rabbits. In autumn and winter, songbirds feast on the seed. For a stunning display, plant 'Husker Red' in groups. -Chris Kelley, Regional Picks: Midwest, Fine Gardening issue #120
Noteworthy characteristics: 'Husker Red' was the Perennial Plant Association Plant of the Year in 1996.
Care: Provide full sun to light shade and average, well-drained soil. Stake plants if necessary.
Propagation: Divide plants in spring; take cuttings in summer; start seed indoors at 55-64°F.
Problems: Nothing serious, but root rot can occur in wet soil. Leaf spots occur occasionally.  
Height 1 ft. to 3 ft.
Spread 1 ft. to 3 ft.
Growth Habit Clumps
Growth Pace Moderate Grower
Light Full Sun to Part Shade
Moisture Dry to Medium
Maintenance Low
Tolerance Deer Tolerant;Drought Tolerant
Characteristics Attracts Birds; Attracts Butterflies; Attracts Hummingbirds; Native; Showy Flowers; Showy Foliage
Bloom Time Early Summer; Late Spring; Spring; Summer
Foliage Color Colorful/Burgundy Foliage
Flower Color White Flower
Uses Beds and Borders
Style Cottage Garden
Seasonal Interest Spring Interest, Summer Interest
Type Perennials

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