S & J Nursery’s Guide to Growing
Pentas Old Fashion Heirloom
/ Egyptian Star Flower
in the St. Augustine / Jacksonville Florida area Landscape
( Pentas Lanceolata)
Pentas Old Fashion Heirloom Origins:
Native to tropical regions of Africa.
This old fashion flower has loads of pollen, on a visit to The Butterfly House in the Gainesville Florida, I took a tour of the facility ( you should go there if you’ve never been its a nice trip) but
they were using a single 3 gallon Pentas plant for each butterfly cage that they changed out daily to supply all the nectar that the butterflies needed each day. I was told that they had found the amount of nectar provided in the old fashion Pentas as the best source to feed their large butterfly
populations. I have been a fan of them ever since and have grown them in the garden for over 15 years now.
These plants will last multiple seasons, reliably coming back after winter season with just a trim and a helping handful of compost or fertilizer. For that reason, combined with the high nectar source, I have differentiated the old fashioned Pentas from their newer Hybrid counterparts for the purpose of this website instead of clumping them together.
Pentas Old Fashion Heirloom Preferred Exposure:
– Pentas Old Fashion Heirloom will prefer a full sun or partial shade partial sun location but will flower well in areas that only receive a few hours of light a day( I have Pentas planted in my mothers landcapes that receive only filtered light through tall thick Oaks and they still bloom freely) in the
North Florida | Jacksonville | St. Augustine area gardens landscape.
Pentas Old Fashion Heirloom Foliage:
– Dark green herbaceous leaves will go dormant for the winter season after fall flowering is complete. Don’t toss the roots to these plants as they will regrow quickly in the following spring season. A little mulch or straw over the base of the plant in the winter season will have this plant looking great FAST the following spring!
Pentas Old Fashion Heirloom Soil Preference / Salt tolerance:
– Pentas Old Fashion Heirloom is not particular about the components of the soil it is planted in providing they are planted in a well draining location.
– Salt tolerance for Pentas Old Fashion Heirloom is unknown.
Pentas Old Fashion Heirloom Size Variance:
– Pentas Old Fashion Heirloom is a tall grower reaching 3-5 ft and a little
higher in the shade. Plants tend to be a bit taller than wide but may still reach 2-3 ft wide.
Pentas Old Fashion Heirloom Growth Habit:
– Thinly foliated plants tend to be taller than wide.
Pentas Old Fashion Heirloom Growth Rate:
– Fast growing Pentas Old Fashion Heirloom can be expected to reach its full height in the first season in the North Florida | Jacksonville | St. Augustine area landcapes.
Pentas Old Fashion Heirloom Bloom:
– Three to four inch wide clusters of star shaped tubular blooms in late spring summer and fall. White / Pink / Red / Lavender or Hot Pink colored blooms.
Pentas Old Fashion Heirloom Water Requirements:
– Pentas Old Fashion Heirloom will require supplemental irrigation for best
Butterfly or Bird Attracting:
– Pentas Old Fashion Heirloom will attract loads of butterflies to your gardens landscape. Hummingbirds will be attracted in particular to the Red selection.
Best Uses For Pentas Old Fashion Heirloom in the North Florida | Jacksonville | St.
Augustine area garden:
– Pentas Old Fashion Heirloom have been a personal favorite of mine through the years, and for good reason. They are a great low maintenance plant selection for loads of booms with almost no maintenance after planting.
– An absolute must for any butterfly garden. Hummingbird attracting!
– Pentas Old Fashion Heirloom makes a great companion plant for other
perennials in the garden and adds an instant cottage garden feel when planted in any landscape.
– Used as a cut flower the blooms will last up to 2 weeks!
Care of Pentas Old Fashion Heirloom in the North Florida | Jacksonville | St.
Augustine area landscape:
– Water every day during the establishment period after planting in the garden from a nursery container, once plants have established themselves into the landscape taper water back to just a weekly application if local rainfall levels are low.
– Leave foliage and roots in place for next years growth.
– Fertilize each spring and a gain in mid summer and fall with a handful of
garden compost or a mixture of Milorganite and a slow release poly coated plant food such as Osmocote or Stay Green general purpose plant food