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Herbaceous Perennial

Penstemon 'Southgate Gem'
  • RHS Plants for pollinators

penstemon 'Southgate Gem'

'Southgate Gem' is a herbaceous perennial 70-75cm high with semi-evergreen leaves and deep pink-red flowers with burgundy and white throats from midsummer to midautumn

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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
Moist but well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Green
Summer Pink Red Green
Autumn Pink Red Green
Winter Green
Position
  • Full sun
Aspect

West–facing or South–facing

Exposure
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 plant overwinter with a dry winter mulch. See penstemon cultivation for further advice

Propagation

Propagate by softwood cuttings in early summer or semi-ripe cuttings in midsummer, by division in spring, or by layering

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • City and courtyard gardens
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Coastal
  • Gravel garden
  • Wildlife gardens
  • Flower borders and beds
  • Wall side borders
Pruning

Deadhead to encourage a longer flowering season; in autumn, cut plants down to about a third of their height to prevent windrock but leave some protection from frosts; in late spring or early summer after new growth appears and after frosts are over, cut out old stems

Pests

May be susceptible to slugs and snails and chrysanthemum eelworm

Diseases

May be susceptible to powdery mildews and grey moulds but generally disease-free

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