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Penstemon ‘George Home’ (Beardtongue)

Beardtongue 'George Home', Beard Tongue 'George Home'

AGM Award
Penstemon 'George Home',Beardtongue 'George Home', Red Penstemon, Evergreen Penstemon, Beard Tongue 'George Home'

Penstemon ‘George Home’ is a perennial favorite, lauded for its tubular, magenta-red blooms with white throats, creating a stunning display from late summer to early autumn. ‘George Home’s’ vibrant flowers are irresistible to hummingbirds and bees, fostering garden biodiversity.

Penstemon ‘George Home’: An In-depth Look

Native: This cultivar is not a native species but derived from parent species native to North America.

Plant Type and Habit: It’s a herbaceous perennial with a semi-evergreen habit in milder climates. It has a clump-forming habit that makes it suitable as a border plant.

Size: This Penstemon grows to 28 inches tall (70 cm) and 18-24 inches wide (45-60 cm), adding lovely vertical lines to the landscape.

Flowers: It boasts funnel-shaped, broadly flared, bright cerise flowers, 1 inch long (2.5 cm), with contrasting white mouths and throats.

Bloom Time: Expect a spectacular show from late summer through fall.

Foliage: The flowers rise above the foliage mound of narrow, dark green leaves.

Award: Recipient of the prestigious Award of Garden Merit of the Royal Horticultural Society.

Uses: This Penstemon is versatile, suitable for border plantings, container gardens, rock gardens, and as part of pollinator-friendly landscapes. Good as cut flowers, too!

Pollinators: Penstemon attracts various pollinators, especially bees and hummingbirds, drawn to the nectar-rich flowers.

Toxicity: Penstemons are not known to be toxic to humans or pets. However, it’s always prudent to prevent ingestion of any non-edible plants.

Deer and Rabbit: A bonus is its resistance to deer and rabbits, a characteristic attributed to the texture and taste of the foliage that these animals generally find unappealing.

Drought: Once established, this Penstemon shows good drought tolerance. While it prefers consistent moisture levels, it can endure short periods of dry conditions, a boon for gardeners in more arid climates.

Invasiveness: Penstemons are not known for being invasive.

Penstemon Growing Tips

Light: Full sun (at least 6 hours of direct sun per day). Tolerates light shade.

Soil: Well-drained soil is crucial. Penstemons prefer rocky or sandy lean soils rather than rich garden loam. Avoid overly moist, poorly drained soils.

Water: Water well until plants are established. Once established, Penstemons tolerate some drought. Allow the soil to dry out between waterings. Over-watering or wet soils can lead to root rot.

Fertilizer: Penstemon plants generally do not require heavy fertilization and can thrive in relatively lean soil conditions. However, providing them with a light application of an organic fertilizer in the fall can help boost their growth and flowering potential.

Pruning: Deadhead spent flowers to encourage continuous blooming. Cut back plants in late autumn or early spring to promote vigorous growth.

Mulching: Mulching Penstemon can help regulate ground temperature and suppress weed growth. Choose a mulch that does not hold water. Use organic materials like shredded bark, compost, or pine straw. Avoiding direct contact with the stems to prevent rot and pest issues.

Propagation: Propagate by softwood cuttings in early summer or semi-hardwood cuttings in midsummer. Propagate by division in spring.

Pests and Diseases: No serious pest or disease issues, but watch for slugs, snails, and nematodes. Fungal diseases can occur in overly wet conditions; ensure good air circulation and avoid overhead watering to prevent issues like powdery mildew, leaf spot, and root rot. Rust can cause small, rust-colored pustules on leaves and stems, leading to defoliation and stunted growth.

Penstemon: How to Grow and Care with Success


Properly growing Penstemon ensures robust, vibrant blooms and foliage, enhances garden biodiversity by attracting pollinators, prevents disease, and maintains plant health. Thriving plants provide longer-lasting beauty and environmental benefits, contributing positively to local ecosystems and the aesthetic value of your landscape.

Requirements

Hardiness 6 - 9
Heat Zones 1 - 9
Climate Zones 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Perennials
Plant Family Plantaginaceae
Genus Penstemon
Common names Penstemon, Beardtongue
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Summer (Late)
Fall
Height 2' - 3'
(60cm - 90cm)
Spread 1' - 2'
(30cm - 60cm)
Spacing 24" (60cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Low
Soil Type Chalk, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Cut Flowers, Plant of Merit, Showy, Semi-Evergreen
Tolerance Drought, Deer, Salt, Rabbit, Dry Soil
Attracts Hummingbirds, Bees
Garden Uses Beds And Borders, Wall-Side Borders
Garden Styles Prairie and Meadow, Coastal Garden, Informal and Cottage, Traditional Garden
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Penstemon (Beardtongue)
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Alternative Plants to Consider

Penstemon pallidus (Pale Beardtongue)
Penstemon pseudospectabilis (Desert Beardtongue)
Penstemon parryi (Parry’s Beardtongue)
Penstemon heterophyllus ‘Electric Blue’ (Foothill Beardtongue)
Penstemon ‘Evelyn’ (Beardtongue)
Penstemon ovatus (Eggleaf Beardtongue)

Recommended Companion Plants

Agapanthus africanus (African Lily)
Kniphofia ‘Tawny King’ (Red Hot Poker)
Stipa arundinacea (New Zealand Wind Grass)

Find In One of Our Guides or Gardens

A Splendid Fall Border Idea with Penstemon, Asters and Grasses
A Hot Summer Border Idea with Dahlias, Helenium and Easy Perennials
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Penstemon and Pollinators: A Harmonious Dance in the Garden
Thriving in Thirst: Colorful Penstemons for Water-Wise Landscapes
Penstemon: How to Grow and Care with Success
Penstemon (Beardtongue)
For the Love of Bees: Best Flowers to Attract them to Your Garden
How to Cultivate a Thriving Bee-Friendly Garden
Best Flowers to Attract Hummingbirds
While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.
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Requirements

Hardiness 6 - 9
Heat Zones 1 - 9
Climate Zones 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Perennials
Plant Family Plantaginaceae
Genus Penstemon
Common names Penstemon, Beardtongue
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Summer (Late)
Fall
Height 2' - 3'
(60cm - 90cm)
Spread 1' - 2'
(30cm - 60cm)
Spacing 24" (60cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Low
Soil Type Chalk, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Cut Flowers, Plant of Merit, Showy, Semi-Evergreen
Tolerance Drought, Deer, Salt, Rabbit, Dry Soil
Attracts Hummingbirds, Bees
Garden Uses Beds And Borders, Wall-Side Borders
Garden Styles Prairie and Meadow, Coastal Garden, Informal and Cottage, Traditional Garden
How Many Plants
Do I Need?
Explore Great Plant Combination Ideas
Penstemon (Beardtongue)
Not sure which Penstemon (Beardtongue) to pick?
Compare Now

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