To Attract Hummingbirds, Butterflies and Bees The many southwestern species in all shades of red are well-known for their attractiveness to hummingbirds and should be planted near windows and outdoor sitting areas. Please do not plant them if cats are around! Butterflies are also attracted to many penstemons and bumblebees love the fat flowers of P. palmeri, which should be planted where its honey-like fragrance can be enjoyed. (Some people are highly allergic to bee stings and flowers that attract bees should not be planted where people will brush against them!)

     Low Care If you want plants that will require the least amount of soil preparation and watering, choose the wild species that grow in areas of similar conditions of soil, temperature and precipitation to yours from the lists in the appendix. Many can be reliable perennials for years. They can be planted with other local wildflowers from like locations in native grass fields and lawns, as colorful specimen plants or along walls and paths. Look for new garden styles that use penstemons in contemporary garden magazines and books. Penstemons' drought tolerance has made them an especially popular subject in recent years.

Selecting, Growing and Caring for Penstemons

From Chapter 41
Lindgren, Dale and Wilde, Ellen. 2003. Growing Penstemons: Species, Cultivars and Hybrids: American Penstemon Society. 519 West Lancaster Avenue, Haverford, PA 19041-1413 : pp. 105-110