Growing Pentas In Florida

How to Grow Pentas in South Florida

Growing Pentas In Florida-butterflly-collecting-nectar-from-pentas
Butterfly collecting nectar from Pentas

Florida is also known as the Sunshine State and has the perfect environment to grow Pentas, Pentas is also known as the Egyptian Star, these garden beauties produce many flowers that come in an array of colors from purple, white, red, dark pink, and so on. What also makes Pentas so unique is the small star-shaped flowers that grow in clusters. Pentas can be grown as annuals or perennials and can be planted in a wildlife garden to attract butterflies and hummingbirds.

I have worked with Pentas on several garden projects and have seen how they perform once they’re properly taken care of, we will be discussing how to grow Pentas in the State of Florida.

Pentas Growing Tips

Although we are just about in the fall months there is still time to install these flowering beauties while the soil is still warm, location is the key to getting the most out of your Pentas.

Planting Location

Penats can tolerate partial shade but the ideal location for Pentas is to locate them in an area that gets a lot of sunlight. This warm-season plant thrives its best in sunny locations.

Pentas Soil Type

Pentas can grow in just about any soil type but prefer soil that’s well-drain or soil that doesn’t remain soggy after heavy rainfall.

Water Methods

Pentas cannot hold up well in soggy soils as we looked at earlier it’s therefore best to give Pentas a good soaking and then allow the soil to dry before giving them another drink of water.

How to Fertilize Pentas

Fertilize Pentas during the growing season with a slow-release fertilizer such as Osmocote. Read and follow the manufacturer label for directions.  Because we’re heading into the fall months fertilizing your Pentas may not be necessary at this time.

How to Control Pentas Insect Pests

Keep an eye out for these garden insect pests.

  • Aphids
  • Whiteflies
  • Thrips

Aphids

Aphids are tiny pared shape insects that cause damage by sucking the plant’s fluids causing yellowing of the leaves followed by leaf drop. Aphids are among the easiest garden insect pests to kill. A strong spray of water from a garden hose will knock them off your Pentas eliminating them however this strong spray of water can also break the leaves and the branches of your Pentas.

The use of insecticidal soap will also give good results or a homemade remedy that has proven to be effective is soap liquid and water. Add a tablespoon of soap liquid to a gallon of water shake well and apply to a 32 oz spray bottle. When applying this mixture get both the top and the underside of the leaves. Adjust the head or the spray nozzle so that this solution can come out fine and misty getting full coverage.

Coarse droppings will be ineffective. Allow this solution to remain for about an hour and a half and then rinse your Pentas with fresh clean water. Wait for seven days and if there are still signs of aphids then repeat the application and follow as was directed.

Whiteflies

Whiteflies are tiny white-winged insects that feed by sucking the plant’s fluids which can lead to yellowing of the leaves followed by leaf drop. To identify whiteflies gently shake or tap the tree, if a bunch of insects dislodges from your plant and then quickly re-attaches they are whiteflies. The use of insecticidal soaps will bring these garden insect pests under control.

Thrips

Thrips can also cause server damage, I have had many challenging experiences with them. The adult thrips are tiny and slender, with colors of black, brown, or yellow. The babies resemble the parents and are yellow to light green.

The damage of thrips includes white patches on the plant’s leaves along with streaks and slivery speckling this damage is caused because the fluid is being extracted from the plant by these garden insect pests. A serious infestation may also cause leaf drop, the use of insecticidal soap will offer some help.

Diseases of Pentas

There is an old saying that is so true and that is “prevention is better than cure,” many garden plants could have been saved if only the proper measures were taken but even if your garden plants fall prey to disease there still may be hope depending on the type of the disease and the stage which it is at. In the case of Pentas to avoid root rot allow the soil to dry between watering and when giving your Pentas a drink of water avoid water getting on the leaves and the flowers. When watering water from the ground or the soil level.

Some ideas on where to install Pentas

  • Pentas can be used as a front drop-in garden bed
  •  Install them in a circular pattern around the trunks of trees
  •  Place them throughout your garden plant bed
  • Install them in large containers and place them on either side of your front door
  • Place them in table-size containers or baskets and place the containers on an outside patio table or a table near the pool
  • Alight them in color masses along a garden walking pathway.

The final word on growing Pentas in Florida

Pentas are garden beauties that can add so much flavor with their amazing colorful star-like flowers that grow in clusters. These plants can take your garden and landscape to the next level. Pentas are a great investment and will not disappoint but will make you so happy that you made the decision to install them so go ahead and make these babies a part of your garden and landscape design.

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About the author

+ posts

Norman loves being in the garden, both at home and for his job....
he is 'Natures Little helper' being outdoors, growing his vegetables and flowers from an early age.
Now having spent over 22 years in the profession he want to give some of his knowledge to others...
his vast array of hints and tips you will find scattered over this site will help you no end growing plants in your garden.