These perennial plants have a long flowering period (June-October) and are excellent in the perennial border as they require no staking. I leave the top growth on over winter and cut back hard in spring to stop the plants getting too leggy. In my experience it is wet/cold conditions that kills these plants rather than frost. I find that the very showy varieties often on sale in garden centres are much less hardy than the more simple specimens shown in these pictures. I have read that the narrower the leaves on these plants the more hardy the plant and this does seem to be true in my garden. Cuttings are easy to take in late summer (September) and I find that the best way for success with pentstemons is to leave them uncovered in the cold frame to root as they tend to rot easily if put in a propagator. They can also be raised from seed although these plants have rarely survived the winter in my garden and I treat them as annuals.
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