When can I plant Penstemon in Zone 5a

One of the best tools that we have as gardeners to help us figure out our gardening schedule is the USDA zone info. The zone info helps tell us things like average date of last frost and lowest expected temperature for our area.

In Zone 5a you can estimate when you can plant penstemon by using the USDA zone info.


Planting Calendar for Penstemon

Frost tolerance for penstemon: Tolerant of some frost.
When you should plant them: Up to 5 weeks before last frost.

You can plant penstemon a bit earlier in the year because they are one of those plants that can tolerate a little bit of cold weather.

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Legend 
A good time to plant penstemon
Possibly ok, but a risky time to plant penstemon
Probably not a good time to plant penstemon

The earliest that you can plant penstemon in Zone 5a is February. However, you really should wait until March if you don't want to take any chances.

The last month that you can plant penstemon and expect a good harvest is probably September. Any later than that and your penstemon may not have a chance to grow to maturity. If you are starting your penstemon indoors then you might be able to get away with starting them a few weeks earlier.

Last Frost Date

In Zone 5a the average date of last frost happens on April 15. We can expect an average low temperature of -20°F in the coldest months of winter.

Just be sure to remember that our actual date of last frost is an average because it is based on the USDA zone info for Zone 5a and it will vary from year to year. Since half of the time in Zone 5a last frost occurs after April 15 be ready to cover your penstemon if we have one of those late frosts.

USDA Zone Info for Zone 5a

Here is the info for USDA Zone 5a.

Average Date of Last Frost (spring)April 15
Average Date of First Frost (fall)October 15
Lowest Expected Low-20°F
Highest Expected Low-15°F

This means that on a really cold year, the coldest it will get is -20°F. On most years you should be prepared to experience lows near -15°F.

Plants to Grow in Zone 5a

You may be interested in our other planting guides for Zone 5a.