Friday, June 21, 2013

Pentas and Friends

Pentas are among my favorite butterfly plants and also a favorite perennial. Most places they are treated as annuals. I take cuttings in the form of bouquets late in the fall, sometimes as late as the week before Christmas to root for the next year.

White Pentas in the Yellow Rose Bed. Roses are mostly resting here
right now, as are yellow Daylilies. I always aim for succession of bloom.

Shastas and Pentas would make a nice bouquet.

These Shasta Daisies   are from a packet of seeds I sowed nearly 20 years ago when their botanical name was Leucanthemum × superbum . I saved the most promising and divided them into many plants. These were the most nearly like the cultivar 'Becky' that was so popular.

Pink Pentas are in the bed with Red Pentas and Friends. Either I mislabeled them or they returned from last year, possibly both. I wouldn't pull one out; more nectar for butterflies.

In this bed: 
Chlorophytum comosum, Spider Plant -- bet you thought it was just for hanging baskets!
Setcrease purpurea, Purple Heart -- could also be in a basket.
Sedum acre
Hemerocallis, Daylily.

Caesalpinia pulcherrima, Pride of Barbados -- second year plant, not yet blooming.
Pride of Barbados is blooming in the Fiesta Bed, show you later.

Gomphrena globosa, Globe amaranth, just coming into bloom

More blooms as first Agapanthus to bloom sheds its florets.
Red pentas in the shade of Redbud tree.


Pentas have few pests except when night-flying moths decide they are great host plants for their larvae.
Most of the Pink Pentas are in the Upper Garden, and even some small lavender Pentas with some Persian Shield. We'll look at those in another post.  


  1. Once again we share a plant in common. I have shastas blooming now and they were started many years ago from a free seed packet. Becky, touted though she was, has been gone many years. She didn't stand up to our weather or my neglect or both.

    I need to dig up some starts and place this more sturdy one in more places.

    I need to see if pentas are offered here. If I could keep them growing from year to year, I would love adding them....I need to draw more butterflies.

    The red one is particularly pretty.

  2. I really love the drift of white Pentas. I think white is my favourite Pentas colour. Here Pentas is commonly used in our gardens, but it grows all year round, and flowers pretty much all year round as well. It's such a hardy plant.

    Those Shasta Daisies are just brilliant. All from a packet of seeds sown twenty years ago. That's marvellous.

    I too grow Spider Plant in garden beds. It makes a fantastic bedding plant.

  3. I hadn't thought about putting pentas in with roses but I like the idea. Maybe they'll help to choke out some of the Santa Barbara daisy used by the previous owners to underplant the roses.


I look forward to comments and questions and lively discussion of gardening and related ideas.

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