March 2022 Showy Penstemon Plant

Plant Form: Perennial Herb

Water Use: Very low

Mature Size: 2-4 ft. tall x 3-4 ft. wide

Exposure: Full sun

Bloom Time: Spring (March – May), Summer (June)

Hardiness: Cold Hardy to 0°F

Native to: Southern California, Central California, Baja California

Showy Penstemon knocks you out with its spectacular blue, purple, and pink flowers, while their wide-mouthed, tubular blossoms also attract butterflies, hummingbirds, bees, and other beneficial pollinators. The upper half of their leafy stems can produce up to 100 flowers – what’s not to love? This fuss-free, fast-growing perennial herb is easy to grow and needs little to no added water once established. Cut back stems after early flowering, but allow later flowers to set seed for new plants. Water every 3-4 weeks or not at all after established. While it has no serious pests or disease issues, it is susceptible to root rot if kept in wet, poorly-drained soils. Showy Penstemon provides charm at the back of the dry borders and beds either singly or in masses, in hummingbird and butterfly gardens, Mediterranean and cottage gardens, and in bold groupings.


Warm, mild weather this month prompts rapid growth of plants, as well as insect pests

  • Plant perennials as early as possible this month is you missed the fall planting season
  • Transplant Joshua Trees and Yuccas from March to mid-April
  • Teach plants to grow deeply for moisture.  In spring, for average soils, water deeply only every 2-3 weeks
  • Check aphids on new growth; wash off with strong jet of water
  • Get rid of weeds while they are small, especially before they reseed