How to Care for a Phoenix Violet Penstemon

Updated February 21, 2017

Penstemon is a popular flower among home gardeners, valued for its ability to thrive in a variety of conditions with very care. Penstemon Phoenix violet (Penstemon 'Pheni vio') is boasts showy tubular flowers that rise above attractive, bright green foliage. The violet flowers, which are marked with white centres, start blooming in early summer and don't stop until early fall. The "Phoenix" series also includes Phoenix magenta, Phoenix appleblossom, Phoenix pink and Phoenix red. Penstemon Phoenix violet is hardy to USDA planting zones 9 to 11, but can be grown as a summer-blooming annual in cooler climates.

Plant penstemon Phoenix violet in well-drained soil. Locate the plant in a sunny spot, as penstemon is heat- and drought-tolerant and won't do well in shade or soggy soil.

Water penstemon Phoenix violet regularly for two to three weeks after planting. Keep the soil moist but not waterlogged. Once the plant is established and new growth can be seen, water the plant only during hot, dry weather, or when the plant appears wilted. Give the plant about an inch of water, then allow the soil to dry before watering again. Water in the morning, as dampness during the evening can leave the plant susceptible to mildew. Water at the base of the plant and avoid wetting the foliage.

Fertilise penstemon Phoenix violet in late spring or early summer. Scatter a small handful of all-purpose granular fertiliser around each plant, then water the plant. Alternatively, use an all-purpose liquid fertiliser. Mix the fertiliser according to the directions on the label, then apply the fertiliser to the leaves and soil. Never over-fertilise, as too much fertiliser will produce long, thin plants with few blooms.

Deadhead, or remove the blooms when they fade. Pinch the bloom and stem down to the next set of leaves. Deadheading will encourage bushy growth and continued blooming.

Things You'll Need

  • All-purpose liquid or granular fertiliser
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About the Author

M.H. Dyer began her writing career as a staff writer at a community newspaper and is now a full-time commercial writer. She writes about a variety of topics, with a focus on sustainable, pesticide- and herbicide-free gardening. She is an Oregon State University Master Gardener and Master Naturalist and holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative nonfiction writing.