Pentas lanceolata

USDA ZONE 9 – 11

Pentas are also known as Egyptian Star Flowers and have been a favorite in Texas gardens for many years. The cultivar Butterfly Deep Pink was promoted many years ago and the taller type Butterfly series are still classics. The Kaleidoscope series is another taller type that performs well. More compact types that are still vigorous enough to survive our hot summers are the Lucky Star and Graffiti 20/20 series which are more recent introductions with heavy flowering. Overall, the pink and deep pink colors seem to perform the best. But all pentas attract butterflies and hummingbirds!

Exposure: Full sun with late afternoon shade or at least some shade during the afternoon is best in Texas landscapes. Will tolerate partial shade well but flowering may be reduced.

Size: Height — Taller types can reach 24 inches tall and wide, whereas the more compact types will be 12 to 16 inches tall and wide.

Plant type: Annual in Texas except in coastal areas and the Valley where temperatures never fall below freezing.

Planting time: Best in spring from 4 inch or quart size pots or larger as large plants establish more quickly. Plant early enough to allow for establishment before summer heat arrives.

Soil type: Tolerant of soil type but prefers a slightly alkaline pH with good drainage a must.

Suggested uses: Mass bedding, mixed borders, and mixed containers. Taller types can be used as cut flowers.

Special notes: Benefits from mulching and regular summer irrigation. Does not tolerate high salt water, especially when irrigation is overhead.

Additional information in this AgriLife Today article.