Herbaceous Plant Profile: Penstemon digitalis

By: Cy Gettliffe

Features: The flowers of this plant are both aesthetically pleasing and beneficial because they attract butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds. It is drought tolerant but also performs well in wet soils, making it an ideal plant for a rain garden12. Although the plant is short lived the showy foliage it provides has aesthetic value for the viewers20.

Siting: The plant is a great plant for places in yard that are clay loam soil and have poor drainage. This plant does well in a rain garden but will also tolerate dry shade10. In South Carolina it can be grown in the Upstate, Midlands, and Coast19.

Care: Plant crown at soil level18. At planting, water the roots and surrounding area slowly and deeply. Keep soil moist until plant is established, then apply enough water to thoroughly moisten the root zone when the soil is dry or during drought. Modify water recommendations to reflect site drainage and rainfall. Apply 3” of mulch over the planted area. Do not allow mulch to touch the plant stems18. For a cleaner appearance cut the bloom stalks once they have turned brown. Short-lived and will need to be reseeded or replanted intermittently10.

Pests: Foxglove is tolerant of deer, and relatively pest resistant if culture preferences are met12.

This plant does not appear on the following invasive plant lists on (___2/24/2019___):

X USDA SC Invasive Plant Species Web site at http://www.invasivespeciesinfo.gov/plants/main.shtml

X SC Exotic Plant Pest Council Web site at http://www.se-eppc.org/southcarolina/

Sources may be viewed at the Sustainable Landscape Demonstration Garden Web page: https://www.clemson.edu/cafls/demo/sources.html

Cy Getliffe is a student in Dr. Vincent’s HORT 4080 Creative Inquiry research project: Sustainable Landscape Demonstration Garden. He is a horticulture major at Clemson University and his hometown is Clemson, SC.


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