Pentas lanceolata

Pentas lanceolata, also known as Egyptian star cluster, was for many years part and parcel of most frost-free suburban gardens. Like so many other plants they then seemed to go out of fashion for a while but have made a significant comeback.

Pentas like full sun to very light shade, are heat tolerant with medium to light water usage, and are perfect for attracting pollinators like butterflies. The plants need little to no maintenance and are avid re-bloomers, not needing any cheering on. A monthly feed with a soluble fertiliser for flowering plants is more than enough for them. They can be treated as annuals or as perennials depending on the climate.

They are the perfect gap filler for hot, humid, subtropical gardens and are ideal for both sun and dappled shade. Again the importance of deadheading cannot be over emphasised as this enhances their garden performance enormously.

The genus Pentas is found in tropical Southern Africa, the Comoros, Madagascar and the Arabian Peninsula.

‘New Look Hybrids’

These new generation hybrids are squat, compact little plants growing some 50 to 60 cm in height. They are covered for months on end in flat flower heads comprising many little star shaped flowers. The colour choices include white, red, purple and a lovely clear pink form.

‘Lucky Stars’

You will thank your lucky stars when you have a summer filled with many dense clusters of bright, star-shaped flowers in containers or garden beds.

The ‘Lucky Star’ series consists of compact, upright-growing plants with lush and hairy bright green leaves and clusters of flowers in dark red, deep pink, raspberry, violet and white. Size is about 40 x 35cm

The Gardener