The Q&A Archives: Care of Pentas

Question: We have just started Pentas 'Pink Profusion'. Book and web search gives us basic on Pentas, but not a thing on 'Pink' or any variety Pentas planting instructions. We are just outside Houston, Texas (Zone 9-10). Do you have any info on outdoor planting, e.g., water, spacing, sun, food, special care, etc.

Answer: I'm taking an educated guess when I say it's a variety of P.lanceolata. Where did you obtain the seed? The supplier should definitely be able to tell you about its growth habit, and that would advise you on how far apart to space the plants. The wild P. lanceolata grows 1-2' tall, but most garden varieties are shorter (8-10"). In general, you can follow the general instructions for growing Pentas - they are, after all, very hardy plants (to quote the NY Botanical Garden Encyclopedia, "Few plants are easier to grow. Moderately fertile, well-drained soil and a sunny location suit its needs."). It should perform very well through your hot, sunny summer. It's a tender perennial, and may well overwinter in your southern location. Hope this helps!

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