Polaris™ Red Beard Tongue
Penstemon hartwegii 'Polaris Red'
Polaris™ Red Beard Tongue flowers
(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)
Plant Height: 16 inches
Flower Height: 22 inches
Spacing: 16 inches
Hardiness Zone: 7a
Other Names: Beardtongue
Group/Class: Polaris Series
Brand: Darwin Perennials
A vigorous variety, prized for its abundance of vivid red blooms with white throats; a showy complement to other perennials; great for border fronts, along walkways, or in containers; remove spent flower stems to encourage re-blooming
Polaris™ Red Beard Tongue has masses of beautiful spikes of red tubular flowers with white throats rising above the foliage from late spring to early fall, which are most effective when planted in groupings. The flowers are excellent for cutting. Its narrow leaves remain green in color throughout the season.
Polaris™ Red Beard Tongue is an herbaceous perennial with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its relatively fine texture sets it apart from other garden plants with less refined foliage.
This is a relatively low maintenance plant, and is best cleaned up in early spring before it resumes active growth for the season. It is a good choice for attracting bees, butterflies and hummingbirds to your yard, but is not particularly attractive to deer who tend to leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. It has no significant negative characteristics.
Polaris™ Red Beard Tongue is recommended for the following landscape applications;
- Mass Planting
- Rock/Alpine Gardens
- Border Edging
- General Garden Use
- Container Planting
Planting & Growing
Polaris™ Red Beard Tongue will grow to be about 16 inches tall at maturity extending to 22 inches tall with the flowers, with a spread of 16 inches. When grown in masses or used as a bedding plant, individual plants should be spaced approximately 16 inches apart. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 10 years. As an herbaceous perennial, this plant will usually die back to the crown each winter, and will regrow from the base each spring. Be careful not to disturb the crown in late winter when it may not be readily seen!
This plant does best in full sun to partial shade. It prefers dry to average moisture levels with very well-drained soil, and will often die in standing water. It is considered to be drought-tolerant, and thus makes an ideal choice for a low-water garden or xeriscape application. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America. It can be propagated by cuttings; however, as a cultivated variety, be aware that it may be subject to certain restrictions or prohibitions on propagation.
Polaris™ Red Beard Tongue is a fine choice for the garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor pots and containers. With its upright habit of growth, it is best suited for use as a 'thriller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination; plant it near the center of the pot, surrounded by smaller plants and those that spill over the edges. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.