Can this Penstemon superbus be saved?
I'm almost sure I killed the star of my spring garden. The Penstemon superbus or Coral Penstemon had 9 spikes, the tallest ones almost 6 feet tall and laden with blooms. This was first year I had penstemon in bloom. I must have gotten too enthusiastic when I pruned spikes back to the "rosette." I took seven spikes away and left two to turn to seed.
Part of the problem is I'm not experienced with letting plant set seed. How long does this take? Some of the seed pods were starting to split and show tip of black seed. Not all of the pods had reached this stage but I figured they were far enough along that they would dry and split after the two remaining spikes were removed from plant.
Well, I started to notice the rosette showing signs of stress after that. In Tucson's string of 100 & 100+ days, I gave the plant 2 gallons water every 10 days. The rosette continued to dry/die. The leaves are all crispy, browning and brittle.
Have I lost the plant? Should I pull the remains out now or hope for a miraculous regeneration from some remnant of roots in the spring? Some of the seeds may germinate but I want to be assured I have one ready to bloom next spring. Would it be wise to buy another superbus to plant in the fall?
It deserved better. I probably should have taken maybe two spikes down at a time at two-week intervals?
Please advise. Many thanks.