En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
3 ratings

Sunday - June 21, 2009

From: South Jordan, UT
Region: Rocky Mountain
Topic: Pruning, Seasonal Tasks
Title: Care for penstemons in South Jordan, UT
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have Firecracker Penstemons and they bloomed beautifully this year. How do I trim them and when? Will they continue to bloom throughout the summer?

ANSWER:

Penstemon eatonii (firecracker penstemon) is a desert mountain plant. Turns out Salt Lake County, UT, besides being desert, ranges from elevations of 4300 to 5200 ft., so you have the perfect plant in the perfect spot. The plant ordinarily blooms from May to August, and if you don't want seeds, you should trim off the blooms as soon as they are done and before setting seeds. This may inspire the plant to put on some more blooms. When the penstemon dies back in late Fall, we recommend that you trim it down close to the ground, leaving some stubs so you know where it is and where to expect it to re-emerge in the Spring. Be sure and clean up the plant litter around your perennials to prevent the overwintering of insects or fungi in the litter. This UNPS website Firecracker penstemon has some added information. 

 

From the Image Gallery


Firecracker penstemon
Penstemon eatonii

Firecracker penstemon
Penstemon eatonii

Parry's penstemon
Penstemon parryi

Firecracker penstemon
Penstemon eatonii

More Pruning Questions

Trimming back Agave havardiana
June 05, 2008 - Hi.. thanks for all the great information on Agaves. We have a number of Agave Havardiana (blue) that love where we planted them. Several have gotten HUGE. So much so that they are starting to ge...
view the full question and answer

Branching on plants
March 14, 2008 - Hi Mr SmartyPlants, I would like to cause my cerus peruvinesus (sp?) to branch low to the ground and another plant to branch higher up..what causes branching & how can I duplicate this?
view the full question and answer

Maintenance of Bicolor Sage in Austin
February 05, 2009 - I had quite a bit of Bicolor Sage planted when my yard was landscaped. I am now wondering on the proper plant maintenance. Do I prune back and if so, how much and when do I prune?
view the full question and answer

When is the best time to trim oak trees in Driftwood TX?
September 09, 2010 - When is the best time to trim oak trees?
view the full question and answer

Time to trim oak trees in Austin
October 29, 2011 - We have several large oak trees in desperate need of a good trimming. Given that the trees have had a very stressful drought year, when would be the best time to trim them?
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center