Viewing post #833984 by RickCorey

You are viewing a single post made by RickCorey in the thread called Piggy Swap # 26 Let the Sowing Begin.
ImageRickCorey
Feb 24, 2012 3:03 PM CST
Name: Rick Corey
Pacific NorthWet Zone 8a
>> My Penstemons in the ground don't die back they stay green all winter.

Hunnh! Thanks for the tip. My only experience with adult Penstemon is looking at pictures on seed packets. If they stay green through a Zome 6 winter, they should find Zone 8 like a vacation!

(Of course, mine are stressed from being indoors all winter. I originally WSed them so they would startify and then "be toguh", but they were still too tiny to put in the ground and expose to slugs, last fall.)

I'm reluctant to share MY blankets with seedlings, especially since I might not wnat them back on my bed after being rained on & muddied up. Hopefully plastic tarps will help, or the airspace between layers will help.

>> rick - 15 months old and 1" tall - you have the patience of a saint. I would have killed them once the weather warmed up and I forget to water.

More like the patiemnce of an idiot, plus a tendency to overwater. MONTHS of WS produced nothing, so I ignored them with the slit lid on for another few months, letting a bit of rain in plus limiting evaporation. When I got around to THROWING THE SOIL onto a bed, I thought that the Perlite was "stained red-green" in a funny way.

Squinting really hard, I figured out those were 5-6-month-old Penstemoin seedlings! So the first half was truly "the patience of an idiot".

They stayed in 3" pots on the deck (elevated & surrounded by slug bait) but never grew big enough to really need potting up. Watering was easy, since I have to water my beds anyway, and I just misted them each time in passing.

I finally had to decide between feeding them to the slugs, or potting up and bringing indoors. I needed comapny for the winter anyway, so I broke up the tiny seedlings, getting 1-3 seedling into each new 3" pot. A micro-HOS?

Since they lived in my bedroom under lights through winter, and I turn lights on and off manually every day, and I just can't resist over-watering, getting them throguh the winter was a no-brainer.

Most have just very gradually inched larger, mostly as low rosettes, but two P. strictus "Rocky Mountain Blue" plants decided to defy all expectations and took off. One is around 16" tall, with one big pair of green&red leaves every 2". The other is around 12-14" tall, but has been slowly, coyly unfurling 5 TINY PINK blooms at her tip for several weeks. Light pink blooms on a 'Rocky Mt. Blue'? Not blue or blue-violet? Maybe mislabelled?

Penstemon strictus 'Rocky Mt. Blue'
Penstemon digitalis 'Mystica'
Penstemon smallii 'Violet Dusk'
Penstemon cobaea 'Showy Beardtongue'
Penstemon calycosus 'Calico Beardtongue'

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