University of Maryland Extension

Pentas, Egyptian star flower

Text and Photo by Debbie Ricigliano

Pentas lanceolata

Pentas thrives even during the hottest days of summer and deserves more space in summer annual gardens or containers.  Blooming in shades of pink, red, violet and white, the starry five-petaled flowers grow in clusters atop dark green lance-shaped leaves. In drifts of similar colors or contrasting patterns, they attract butterflies and hummingbirds. For best flowering, plant in full sun in well-drained soil. Most varieties grow to 1-2’ tall and wide, with few pest or disease problems. Expect blooms all summer long until frost, especially if you deadhead the spent flowers, although this is not necessary. Pentas can be started from seed indoors about 8 weeks before the last spring frost date; then planted outdoors after the last killing frost. 

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