Sow Penstemon seeds indoors or under glass from February to April on the surface of a good quality seed compost and cover with a very fine sprinkling of compost or vermiculite. Place the seed tray in a propagator at a temperature of 15-20C (59-68F) or seal inside a clear polythene bag until germination which can take 1-4 months. Keep the compost damp but not wet and do not exclude light as this helps germination.
When seedlings are large enough to handle, transplant into 7.5cm (3") pots or module trays and grow penstemon plants on in cooler conditions. When all risk of frost has passed, gradually acclimatise to outdoor conditions over 7 – 10 days before planting outdoors. Plant penstemons at a distance of 30cm (12") apart on fertile, well drained soil in a sunny or semi-shaded position. Penstemons can tolerate dry soils once established but dislike heavy soils that are particularly cold and wet in winter. Improve heavy soils by adding plenty of coarse grit prior to planting.
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