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Tuesday - June 09, 2015

From: Pflugerville, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Planting, Transplants, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Why does newly transplanted Brazos Penstemon look bad
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

I bought Brazos penstemon from a nursery as well as several other drought resistant plants. I have noticed new buds on the salvia and blanket flower and changes in leaf color on the kaleidoscope, but the Brazos penstemon doesn't seem to be doing anything, maybe even looking a bit shabby from when I first planted (leaves do not seem as full, maybe even wilting a bit). I planted at the beginning of the week, and we had several days with rain at the end of the week. I do not know if it has gotten too much water or if it is just too early to bloom. I would appreciate any advice to get this one looking nice like the others. Thanks.

ANSWER:

Brazos Penstemon (Penstemon tenuis) is one of our more forgiving beardtongues and will tolerate clayey and moist soils.  However, any plant that is stressed will exhibit signs of that condition.  It is not at all unusual for a newly-transplanted plant to look puny for awhile.  Many plants require a year of more to recover from the stress of transplantation.

It is usually a good idea when transplanting a mature plant to remove some of the top growth of the plant.  The amount to remove depends on a number of factors, but removing 1/4 to 1/2 of the vegetation from a plant is not unusual.  If the plant is flowering at the time of transplaning, it's very good horticultural practice to remove all, or at least most, of the flowers and flower buds.

Time will tell whether your Brazos Penstemon will recover from the stress of being transplanted and perk up for you.

 

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