Pentas are semi-tropical shrubs grown as annuals that will be ideal if we have a long warm summer. (What is one of those I hear you ask?) They may last through a mild winter and gradually become a woody a 3 foot high shrub .
How to Grow Pentas
- The nectar-rich blossoms grow in 3” clusters over a long blooming season in vibrant red, white, pink, and purple shades.
- Bees and butterflies are attracted to them due to the open flowers and high insect food content.
- Pentas will tolerate some shade but perform best in full sun that is also attractive to the butterflies.
- Pentas appreciate a mildly acidic soil above pH 5.5
- Grow from fresh saved or purchased seed providing light for germination. Don’t cover them with soil when sowing.
- Soft wood cuttings may be grown in a greenhouse.
- To avoid leggy growth keep in the sun and provide moisture rich soil.
Pentas Varieties to Try
- Penta lanceolata belongs to the Rubiaceae family are often called “Egyptian Star Flower” due to the flower’s shape.They are very popular in the USA where the following varieties may be acquired.
- ‘Butterfly’ series: Easy to grow from seed
- ‘Graffiti’ series: Compact mounding plants
- ‘Kaleidoscope Appleblossom’: Pale pink and rose on the same flower; an early bloomer
- ‘New Look’ series: Upright plants that don’t flop
- ‘Northern Lights’: Continues to produce pale lavender flowers in cool temperatures
- Other common names for Pentas include star flower or star cluster.
Another view of the same plant