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

Pruning a Young Cercis canadensis (Redbud) Tree
April 05, 2014 - I have a redbud tree that was transplanted when very young (five years ago). It just started budding last year. It is growing very well but the branches are low. It's like it's growing out instead o...
view the full question and answer

Do yuccas die after blooming?
October 11, 2010 - We have a blue yucca which was planted 2 years ago and is just now blooming with a tower of white flowers. Will the entire plant die after blooming as the century plants do? If so, is there a way to s...
view the full question and answer

Trimming dead blooms from turkscap in San Antonio
July 10, 2009 - Great answer to the Turk's Plant question. But, I can't seem to find an answer to mine. I've had Turk's plants for years and cut them back as you suggest, but have always been confused about wha...
view the full question and answer

Problems with Anacacho Orchid tree in Austin
May 17, 2010 - I have an Anacacho Orchid that is about 9ft tall. It is early May and has not started to put out leaves yet on the old growth. I can't even see any noticeable buds yet. It is still alive because I ha...
view the full question and answer

Trimming American beautyberry in Austin
December 20, 2009 - I have recently developed an interest in plants and since I work for a country club taking care of all the House & Grounds Maintenance, the landscaping is certainly a part of my work. I have a questi...
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center