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Description

Firecracker penstemon has the perfect name. As can be seen by the images of plants in full bloom, this high desert California native produces a dramatic display of bright red flowers during the spring. It is a robust species, 2-3 ft. tall with lush green foliage.

Firecracker penstemon is naturally suited to southwestern style landscape plantings in the Inland Empire. It grow best on well drained soils, in full sun and with low amounts of supplemental water during summer. It combines well with other desert perennials and around boulders, on banks and for seasonal accent value.

Water Needs

Firecracker penstemon easily grows in Inland Empire gardens in full sun and with low amounts summer water. The chart shown below provides a recommended baseline guide to the monthly irrigation schedule and volume of supplemental water needed to maintain healthy growth throughout the average year. It should be noted there are several months indicated by an asterisk (*) when winter rains can provide sufficient moisture and irrigation is not needed. The high and low range of moisture indicates Firecracker penstemon can grow with varying amounts of water; established plants need little summer irrigation.

Irrigation Schedule and Graph

Low Water Use Plants

Irrigation Schedule 2

  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
Runs per Month 0x to 2x 0x to 2x 0x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 0x to 2x 0x to 2x
Inches per Run 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1"
 
Inches per Month 0" to 2" 0" to 2" 0" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 0" to 2" 0" to 2"

Range of supplemental summer water: 7"-14"
Range of supplemental winter water: 0"-10"

 
0"-2"
0"-2"
0"-2"
1"-2"
1"-2"
1"-2"
1"-2"
1"-2"
1"-2"
1"-2"
0"-2"
0"-2"
  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
For more information on how to use this Irrigation Schedule and Graph, follow this link.

For information how to calculate your irrigation system’s schedule and precipitation rate, please follow this link.

Plant Properties

Plant Type: Perennial
Foliage Character: Evergreen
Habit: Spreading, Robust, Clumping
Growth Rate: Fast
Height: 2 ft. - 3 ft.
Width: 12 in. - 24 in.
Water Needs: Low 2
Foliage Color: Medium green
Flower Color: Red
Flower Season: Spring
Soil Adaptations: Well-draining soil
Exposure Adaptations: Heat, Frost, Drought, Aridity, All day sun
Function: Wildlife value, Rock gardens, Hummingbird plant, Flowering accent plant, Container plant, Borders, Attracts butterflies, Small spaces

Maintenance

Remove dead flower stocks after flowering in late Spring or Summer (1). Consider leaving some stalks on established plants to develop seed for wildlife food and for "volunteers" to develop in the landscape (S).

References

Associations

Plant Palettes

Plant Lists