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More on penstemons: seeds, mail order, a society.

More on penstemons: seeds, mail order, a society

If you'd like to grow any of the penstemon varieties shown on page 90, you can order seeds or plants now from one of the mailorder sources listed here. Or if you join the American Penstemon Society, you can participate in its yearly seed exchange as described in the last paragraph.

Sowing seeds

Penstemons are easy to grow; some gardeners simply scatter seeds from their own plants in the garden. However, if you have ordered a special variety, you'll have better luck sowing seeds in flats outdoors in a sunny spot away from drying winds. That way you can ensure that they receive enough water, and can protect them from romping dogs or other threats.

Choose a fast-draining potting mix (such as equal parts soil, coarse sand, and fine gravel), and scatter seeds over the surface. Keep moist. Many will sprout in two to four weeks, but some seedlings may take months to appear.

Once seedlings have four or five pairs of true leaves, you can set them in the garden 12 to 18 inches apart.

Seeds of some of the hardy penstemons are slow to germinate unless they get proper chilling. To give them the cold they need, mix seeds with moist vermiculite and place in a sealed container in the refrigerator. Seeds from high-mountain areas need at least six weeks of chilling; some gardeners leave them in the refrigerator for two to three months.

Mail-order sources for seeds

Two have free catalogs; others charge as indicated.

W. Atlee Burpee Co., 300 Park Ave., Warminster, Pa. 18991. Sells only Giant Floradale and hyacinty-flowered mixes.

Far North Gardens, 16785 Harrison St., Livonia, Mich. 48154 ($2). Offers nine kinds of penstemon.

J.L. Hudson, Seedsman, Box 1058, Redwood City, Calif. 94064 ($1). Lists nine kinds.

McLaughlin's Seeds, Box 550, Mead, Wash. 99021 ($1). Sells 16 penstemons.

Plants of the Southwest, 1812 Second St., Santa Fe, N.M. 87501 ($1). Offers 14 kinds.

Southwestern Native Seeds, Box 50503,

Tucson 85703 ($1). Lists 19 penstemons.

Thompson & Morgan, Box 1308, Jackson, N.J. 08527. Sells 10 penstemons.

These sell plants only

Most penstemons sold by mail order come in seedling size, ready for transplanting into the garden. Expect to pay about $2 to $3.50 per plant.

Bluestone Perennials, 7211 Middle Ridge Rd., Madison, Ohio 44057 (ships only in spring). Offers four penstemons.

Lamb Nurseries, E. 101 Sharp Ave., Spokane 99202. Offers 10 penstemons.

Siskiyou Rare Plant Nursery, 2825 Cummings Rd., Medford, Ore. 97501 ($1.50). Sells 15 kinds.

White Flower Farm, Litchfield, Conn. 06759 ($5). Sells five kinds. Ships in spring.

Woodlanders, 1128 Colleton Ave., Aiken, S.C. 29801 ($1.50). Offers five kinds.

Join the American Penstemon Society

Besides the opportunity to participate in the society's annual seed exchange, members also receive the twice-yearly APS Bulletin and are invited to participate in regional meetings and field trips. Dues are $7.50; write to Orville Steward, APS, Box 33, Plymouth, Vt. 05056.
COPYRIGHT 1986 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1986 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Sunset
Article Type:Directory
Date:Sep 1, 1986
Words:497
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