This too was picked up as a bee, hummingbird and butterfly attractor. Not only does pentas come in red, but also white, purple and pink. It can reach 3′ tall and 2′ wide. The flower clusters can reach 4″ across, flowers are quite tiny individually. Dead head frequently to keep pentas blooming.
The more sun the pentas receives, the more blooms you will receive. It will bloom all summer. Pentas loves the heat and humidity.
Moist soil is preferred. If you see yours wilting, give it some water.
Pentas can be easily rooted from cuttings placed in a glass of water.
It prefers basic not acidic soil. Which shouldn’t be a problem anywhere you water frequently since tap water is so basic. If you just rely on rain you may want to add a bit of lime around this plant. Leaf tips tend to brown when soil is too acidic.
Pentas can reach 3′ tall when happy. It may get tall enough that stems refuse to remain upright and need to be trimmed.
Somewhat cold sensitive, rated for zones 8-11, should survive winter in Houston with out protection. I find it lost all its leaves and died back quite a bit after a hard freeze. Once it warmed up it bounced back and is covered with leaves at the end of March.
Occasionally some sphinx moth caterpillars will find your plant and eat it to the ground. Not too worry the Sphinx moths are beautiful and the plant will come back. Keep an eye out for spider mites and aphids.
Pentas are from Africa and distant cousins of gardenias.
Died off during the heat and drought of summer 2011
Floridata: Pentas lanceolata