Beardtongue Penstemon 'Pensham Wedding Bells' (Pensham Series)

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Non-toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
Penstemon 'Wedding Bells'


Penstemon 'Pensham Wedding Bells', commonly known as beardtongue, is a perennial plant prized for its striking floral display. It possesses upright stems that are sturdy and hold clusters of bell-shaped flowers gracefully. The blooms come in a captivating shade of white with a subtle, soft pink throat that adds a touch of romance and elegance, reminiscent of traditional wedding attire. These flowers are tubular and have a flared mouth, giving them a distinct, plush appearance that is appealing to both gardeners and pollinators alike. The foliage of the beardtongue is a lush green, forming a nice backdrop that highlights the purity and vibrancy of the blooms. The leaves are lance-shaped and may have a slightly glossy finish, contributing to the plant's overall lush and healthy look. Together, the combination of the luxurious blooms and the lush foliage makes the Penstemon 'Pensham Wedding Bells' a coveted plant for garden displays, borders, and as an accent in cut flower arrangements.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Synonyms


    • Common names

      Penstemon 'Pensham Wedding Bells'

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Penstemon, specifically the 'Pensham Wedding Bells' variety, is not known to be toxic to humans. There are no common symptoms of poisoning because it is generally considered a safe plant. However, it is always prudent to avoid ingesting any part of ornamental plants as they are not intended for human consumption.

    • To pets

      Similarly, Penstemon, including the 'Pensham Wedding Bells' variety, is not recognized as being toxic to pets. It should not cause any symptoms of poisoning in animals if ingested accidentally. Nonetheless, it's always a good practice to monitor pets and prevent them from eating plants, as individual animals might have unique sensitivities or allergic reactions.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      2 feet 6 inches (76 centimeters)

    • Spread

      2 feet (60 centimeters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area

      North America


  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Aesthetic Appeal: Penstemon 'Pensham Wedding Bells' provides vibrant flowers that enhance the visual attractiveness of gardens and landscapes.
    • Attracts Pollinators: The plant is known to attract bees and butterflies, which are beneficial for pollination of gardens.
    • Drought Tolerance: Once established, it has good drought resistance, reducing the need for frequent watering.
    • Low Maintenance: Requires minimal care beyond initial establishment, making it suitable for gardeners of all skill levels.
    • Long Blooming Period: It has a lengthy flowering season, often from early summer till the first frosts, providing extended color in the garden.
    • Adaptability: Can thrive in a variety of soil types as long as they are well-draining.
    • Cold Hardy: The plant is relatively resistant to colder temperatures, making it suitable for growth in many temperate regions.
    • Versatility in Garden Design: It can be used in borders, rock gardens, or as a specimen plant, providing flexibility in garden planning.
    • Resistant to Deer and Rabbit: Its foliage is often not favored by deer and rabbits, making it a good choice in areas with wildlife pressure.
    • Seeds for Birds: Once the blooming period is over, its seed heads can provide food for birds in the fall and winter.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Artistic Inspiration: Penstemon 'Pensham Wedding Bells' can provide inspiration for artists and photographers due to its striking flowers, which can be translated into paintings, drawings, and photography projects.
    • Educational Tool: Educators can use the Penstemon as a subject in botany and horticulture classes to teach students about plant breeding, particularly in the Pensham series, and characteristics of perennial plants.
    • Crafts: The stems and flowers can be used in dried floral arrangements, wreaths, or other decorative crafts where their beauty can be preserved beyond their typical blooming season.
    • Floral Language and Symbolism: In the language of flowers, Penstemon can be used to convey a message of thoughtful consideration, making it a special addition to a bouquet meant to communicate a personal sentiment.
    • Garden Design: Penstemon can be used to create a 'living painting' in the garden, taking advantage of its form and color to compose scenes or patterns when planted in groups or alongside other plants.
    • Container Gardening: The Penstemon plant can thrive in pots and containers, ideal for urban gardeners or those with limited garden space, providing color and vibrancy on patios or balconies.
    • Culinary Decoration: Although not edible, the flowers can be used as non-toxic garnishes for their aesthetic appeal on plates or platters for special occasions.
    • Watercolor Dye: The blooms, while not traditionally used for dyes, could potentially be experimented with as a natural watercolor source for dyeing fabrics or in art projects.
    • Bee Gardening: Planting Penstemon can attract bees and other pollinators to the garden, which can be an educational opportunity to study pollination and support local ecosystems.
    • Events and Celebrations: As its common name 'Wedding Bells' suggests, the Penstemon can be integrated into wedding floral arrangements or venue decorations for its elegance and connection to matrimonial themes.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Beardtongue is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Beardtongue is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Fidelity: The Penstemon, also known as Beardtongue, often symbolizes fidelity due to its long-lasting nature, which reflects enduring commitment and loyalty in relationships.
    • Communication: As its common name Beardtongue suggests a human-like feature, it is often associated with the idea of communication and the need to express oneself or one's thoughts.
    • Sturdiness: Penstemons are known for their sturdy stems and resilience, making them symbols of strength and the ability to withstand challenges.
    • Diversity: With the variety of Penstemon species and their range of colors, they represent the beauty of diversity and the richness that different perspectives bring to life.

Every 1-2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Spring-Early Summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    Beardtongue 'Pensham Wedding Bells' should be watered deeply but infrequently to encourage a deep and healthy root system. Aim to water the plant when the top inch of soil feels dry, which may be roughly every 1 to 2 weeks, depending on climate conditions. It is important to avoid overwatering, as this can lead to root rot. During the growing season, it might be necessary to water about one to one and a half gallons every couple of weeks, ensuring that the soil is moist but not waterlogged. Adjustments should be made for rainfall and during winter, watering can be reduced as the plant goes dormant.

  • sunLight

    Beardtongue 'Pensham Wedding Bells' thrives best in full sun to partial shade conditions. It prefers a location that receives at least 6 to 8 hours of sunlight a day, although some afternoon shade can be beneficial in extremely hot climates. A spot that provides morning sun and some light afternoon dappled shade would be ideal to promote healthy blooms and foliage.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Beardtongue 'Pensham Wedding Bells' can withstand a temperature range with a minimum temperature of around 20°F and maximum temperatures typically not exceeding 90°F. The ideal temperature range for this plant is between 60°F and 75°F. Extreme temperature fluctuations should be avoided to ensure the health of the plant.

  • scissorsPruning

    Beardtongue 'Pensham Wedding Bells' benefits from pruning to promote bushier growth and to remove spent flower spikes, which encourages reblooming. Pruning should be done after the first flush of blooms has faded, usually in mid to late summer. Deadheading, or removing the old blooms, can be done as needed throughout the growing season to maintain a neat appearance and promote continuous flowering.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Beardtongue requires well-draining soil with a pH of 6.0 to 8.0. A mix of loam, sand, and compost is ideal to provide necessary nutrients and drainage.

  • plantRepotting

    Beardtongue does not need frequent repotting; repot every 2-3 years or when rootbound.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Beardtongue prefers moderate humidity levels but is adaptable to various conditions and does not require high humidity.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place in bright, indirect light with good air circulation.

    • Outdoor

      Full sun to partial shade, shelter from extreme winds.

    • Hardiness zone

      4-9 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Penstemon 'Pensham Wedding Bells', also known as Beardtongue, begins its life cycle when seeds are sown in late winter to early spring, ideally under glass for protection. The seedlings emerge and are grown in cooler conditions until they are large enough to handle. Once the threat of frost has passed, young plants are hardened off and then planted out in their final position. Beardtongue then enters a stage of vegetative growth, developing a robust root system and foliage throughout the spring and early summer. In mid to late summer, the plant produces tall spikes with bell-shaped flowers that attract pollinators. After flowering, seeds mature in the fall, and the plant begins to die back to the ground with the onset of colder weather, becoming dormant through winter until the next growing season.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring-Early Summer

    • Propogation: The Beardtongue 'Pensham Wedding Bells', a cultivar in the Pensham Series, is typically propagated by taking cuttings. This method is popular for its simplicity and effectiveness. Softwood cuttings are usually taken in late spring or early summer when the plant is actively growing. A healthy, non-flowering shoot is selected, and a cutting about 2-4 inches (5-10 centimeters) long is taken just below a leaf node. The lower leaves are stripped off, and the cut end can be dipped in rooting hormone to encourage root development. The cutting is then inserted into a pot filled with a moistened mixture of perlite and peat, ensuring at least one node is below the surface. The pot is placed in a warm area with indirect light, and the cutting should root within a few weeks, after which it can be transplanted to a more permanent location.