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Herbaceous Perennial

Penstemon 'Midnight'
  • RHS Plants for pollinators

penstemon 'Midnight'

'Midnight' is a semi-evergreen perennial, the dark purple stems to 70cm high carry deep-green lance-shaped leaves and forms an upright clump. Profuse, tubular to bell-shaped deep purple-blue flowers flushed violet with a white throat heavily marked plum are carried through summer

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Size
Ultimate height
0.5–1 metres
Time to ultimate height
2–5 years
Ultimate spread
0.1–0.5 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Green
Summer Red Purple White Green
Autumn Green
Winter Green
Position
  • Full sun
  • Partial shade
Aspect

South–facing or West–facing or East–facing

Exposure
Exposed or Sheltered
Hardiness
H4
Botanical details
Family
Plantaginaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Semi evergreen
Habit
Clump forming
Genus

Penstemon may be deciduous or evergreen perennials or subshrubs, with simple, narrow leaves and racemes or panicles of bell-shaped or funnel-shaped flowers in summer and early autumn

Name status

Accepted

How to grow

Cultivation

Grow in fertile, well-drained soil in full sun or partial shade. In cold areas, protect plants overwinter with dry winter mulch

Propagation

Propagate by softwood cuttings in early summer or semi-ripe cuttings in midsummer; propagate by division in spring

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • City and courtyard gardens
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Coastal
  • Flower borders and beds
  • Underplanting of roses and shrubs
Pruning

Deadhead after flowering to maintain vigour. Then cut back to base in early spring

Pests

May be attacked by slugs, snails, glasshouse red spider mite, and leaf and bud eelworm

Diseases

Powdery mildews or a downy mildew may be a problem

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