- Full Sun (At Least 6 Hours Of Direct Sunlight)
- Height 3.5 Feet
- Width 38 - 42 Inches
- Growing Zones 3-8
A hardy improved hybrid of a native North American wildflower, Onyx and Pearls is a striking medium to large upright perennial. A play on words, the name Onyx and Pearls refers to gemstones in dark and light colors. The foliage is a dark, nearly black stem and leaves, and the flowers are a white/lavender blush, held above the foliage. The contrast in the colors makes a lovely display in your summer garden. Nicknamed Beardtongue due to its stamen that protrudes out of the throat of the three lobed lip, Penstemon has been a sought after perennial for informal gardens for decades. Bees, butterflies and hummingbirds will be frequent visitors to your lovely perennials.
Native to North America, and one of the cold hardiest perennial flowers, Penstemon is hardy to Zones 3-8. Related to snapdragons and foxgloves, Penstemon are a part of the plantain family. There are about 250 species of native Penstemon across North America and many more hybrid cultivars exist. Once you grow a Penstemon in your perennial garden, you may find yourself seeking out more varieties as they quickly become a favorite flower and there are so many different colors and forms available.
Onyx and Pearls Beardtongue Care
With their reputed cold hardiness, able to take sub zero winter conditions, Penstemon is an easy to care for perennial. Preferring average to fertile garden soil with a pH range of 5.8 to 6.2, Penstemon will grow in just about any well drained soil. They are drought tolerant once established and make an excellent addition to a xeriscape garden. Coastal gardeners will be pleased to learn they are also salt tolerant, growing well in the sandy soil typically found along the East Coast of the United States. Heat tolerant to Zone 8, Penstemon does require the cold winters to reenergize the plant for the next season. Deer are not typically drawn to it. Plant in full sun for best flowering. Fertilizer is generally not needed, but a light application of well composted organic material may be applied to feed particularly poor soils.
Deadheading is not required for good bloom production, but will enhance the creation of new flowers. Remove the flower head just below the first set of leaves. While pruning is generally not needed, you may pinch back a leggy stem to create a more compact plant. Prune any dead or diseased stems right to the ground, and when the plant ceases its growth for the season and goes dormant, prune back to about â…“ of the plants volume, especially in harsh winter zones that will require mulching to protect the root zones.
Onyx and Pearls Beardtongue Spacing
Space your plants about 38 to 42 inches apart for good air circulation. This is a tall and wide plant, maturing at about 42 inches tall and 42 inches wide. It makes a great companion to low growing mounding perennials in cool and warm colors. Some great companion plants are Russian Sage, Salvias, Dianthus, and other bright colored perennials and annuals that will look great in contrast to the dark dramatic foliage of Onyx and Pearls Beardtongue. Whether massed out in a full sun landscape border, or as a companion plant of medium to large size in your garden bed, you will enjoy the spectacular contrast of Onyx and Pearls in your garden this spring.
Onyx and Pearls Beardtongue Information
|USDA Hardiness Zones: 3-8|
|Plant Type: Perennial|
|Sunlight Exposure: Full Sun|
|Mature Height: 3.5 Feet|
|Mature Width: 38 - 42 Inches|
|Plant Spacing: 3 - 3.5 Feet|
|Growth Habit: Upright|
|Flower Color(s): Pink, White|
|Flower Shade: Pink Shades/White Shades|
|Seasonal Interest: Early Summer|
|Foliage Type: Herbaceous|
|Foliage Color(s): Near Black|
|Attracts: Bees, Hummingbirds|
|Tolerates: Drought, Salt|
|Features: Attracts Pollinators, Cut Flowers, Foliage Interest, Low Maintenance, Native to North America|
|Uses: Border Plant Cut Flower Mass Planting|
|Plant Brand: Proven Winners|
|Botanical/Scientific Name: Penstemon hybrid 'Onyx and Pearls'|
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