Why plant Audubon® Native Foxglove Beard Tongue?
Happy hummers! Ruby-throated Hummingbirds will entertain you in late spring and early summer when you include Foxglove Beardtongue in your backyard bird sanctuary. This spritely native Spirit hoists its tubular white flowers on slender stems then, and the nectar-seeking birds come from far and wide. Plant it near your outdoor sitting area, where you can watch the air show. It’s fun to watch the bumblebees methodically working the flowers, too. They disappear inside each one and pop back out, pollinating the blooms as they go. Butterflies, such as tiger swallowtails and skippers, may also stop by for a sip of nectar.
Beardtongue gets its name from the hairy stamens (male flower parts) inside the blossoms. It is also known as Penstemon. This sturdy species of Beardtongue, the Foxglove Beardtongue, grows in sunny, open areas all over the East, Midwest, and Southern Plains. It nourishes not only Hummingbirds, bumblebees, and butterflies, but a wide array of valuable pollinators. Honey bees relish the blooms, as do digger bees, miner bees, mason bees, sweat bees, and leaf-cutter bees. Sphinx moths may visit the flowers, and a little moth called the chalcedony midget lays its eggs on its foliage. Its caterpillars feed only on Penstemons and a couple of related plants.
How to use Audubon® Native Foxglove Beard Tongue in the landscape?
Easygoing and dependable! Penstemons, often native to mountainous areas and regions with low humidity, can be difficult to grow in the eastern United States. Foxglove Penstemon, on the other hand, is quite accommodating. It is easy to please in most climates and will come back year after year.
Hardiness Zone: 3-8
How To Plant Audubon® Native Foxglove Beard Tongue
Give Foxglove Beardtongue a site in full sun. It must have soil that drains freely. Although it will need regular irrigation while it gets established, afterwards this self-reliant Spirit will be remarkably drought tolerant. The rusty brown winter stems and seedheads have subtle charms during the dormant season, and you may choose to leave them standing. Doing so may result in seedlings appearing here and there. You can also make more Foxglove Beardtongue plants by dividing clumps in the spring. Trim back the stems and any unsightly foliage before new growth appears in spring.
How To Fertilize
Incorporate Elements Starter Plant food granular form into the soil when planting. If planting in spring or summer, start fertilizing late fall using Elements Starter Plant food granular form on an annual basis each late fall. Continue this for the first three years to get your plant well established.