Red Riding Hood Penstemon dying

tacotac(5a)June 13, 2014

I bought 2 lovely red riding hood pentemons. I planted them along the garage with my rudbeckia, salvia, echinacea, etc....

I mulched since I planted everything. After the flowers were spent, I cut off the dead flower stalks. I heard they are supposed to bloom all summer, and it helps to dead head. Well, I noticed recently the leaves are turning a pale green color & the plant is starting to wilt. Some stalks have even turned crispy & dead already. The soil is moist, so it isn't dried out. What could be wrong with it?

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

when did yo plant them

why not a pic??


    Bookmark   June 13, 2014 at 8:22PM
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I planted them this spring. Sorry, here's some pics.
The pink stalky plants are them.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2014 at 8:34PM
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Here is what they look like now.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2014 at 8:36PM
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I don't know where you live or what exposure your penstemons have, but penstemons need good drainage, lots of sun and fairly dry conditions. I have mine growing on gravel in full sun with very occasional watering, and I live in New Mexico.


    Bookmark   June 13, 2014 at 8:41PM
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My guess would be soil is too moist or else retains water. Penstemons do best in well-drained soil. I have them in full as well as part sun, growing in healthy sandy loam and all are thriving.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2014 at 9:20PM
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My penstemons grow in sandy soil, full sun, gravel mulch. As Cheryl said, they need good drainage, and I killed a bunch I planted in average soil; it held too much moisture. I don't know if yours can be saved, but if they were mine, I'd move the mulch out of the way, dig them up, and plant them in a mound of sandy soil so they are above the surrounding soil, and mulch with gravel.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2014 at 9:23PM
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