The Egyptian Star Flower is a perennial ground cover that will also work well in borders. The Egyptian star flower, Pentas lanceolata, belongs to the genus- Pentas. It is also known as 'Butterfly pentas, and prefers full sun and fertile, well-drained soil with a pH of 5.5-7.0. The plants grows in Zones 9-11. They are usually grown as annuals. The Egyptian star flower has clusters of star-shaped flowers in bright pink, red, lavender, purple, blue, or white. The flowers will appear from spring to autumn.
They can be placed in groups in the border, or massed as an annual ground cover, or used in container plantings. Pentas go well with companion plants such as ‘Snowbank’ white Boltonia, ‘Kobold’ blazing star, and false indigo.
The Egyptian star flower has a rounded form that reaches heights of 1-6’ high and 18-36” wide. It is grown for its foliage and flowers and will look great in your yard and garden.
Care of Egyptian Star Flower
Plant them 18-36” apart in late spring. Apply slow-release granular plant food at the time of planting. Apply 3” of vegetative mulch to them in the summer. Water deeply when the soil becomes dry. They can withstand heavy pruning but flower production will suffer with that type of pruning. You should remove plants just before the first frost or right afterward when frost disfigures the foliage.
Propagation of Egyptian Star Flower
Propagation consists of taking cuttings from nonflowering stems. Be sure to cut pieces that contain at least two healthy leaves and three nodes. Dip exposed nodes into a rooting hormone, then shake off the excess. Then insert them into a moist growing medium, but keeping the leaves well above the soil level.
If you are using seeds, sprinkle them over the soil mix and leave exposed to the light, but do not cover them. Germination should occur in 5-12 days at 72 degrees. Transplanting may begin 20-28 days after sowing. After transplanting reduce the temperature down to 65 degrees.
The Pentas are usually free of pests and diseases if all of their cultural needs, such as, sun, soil, moisture, planting depth, are met. There are several related species that are available, cultivar 'Avalanche' which has white flowers and white-stained leaves, 'Kermesina' has bright rose flowers with a violet throat, and 'Quartiniana' that has rosey-pink flowers.