8/25/2006

Some Like It Hot 2: Pentas

The Pentas lanceolata deserves the nickname "Starflower" for its performance this summer. While hanging out poolside in large containers this summer, they continue to bloom and bloom and bloom.

According to some sources, they attract butterflies and hummingbirds. I've had a good share of hummingbirds in my back yard this summer, but they seem to prefer the feeder. Sigh. It seems even the humming birds are becoming Americanized these days and prefering fast food.

Anyway, my only disappointment with the Pentas is that I recently found out that they are annuals. (They were apparently placed in the wrong section of the garden center.) I was hoping for a repeat performance next year, but it will be worth the $2 each to buy a couple more of these plants next spring!

Are you a gardener that likes it hot? (Or at least tolerates the heat?) Starting with the Moss Rose, I've started a series of posts on plants that seem to thrive in hot, dry conditions. If you have suggestions, I'd love to know about them. I figure it will be a great starting point for next spring to go back to this series.

Also, I'd love to hear what *does not* work for you. I have tried zinnia and verbena this year, hearing that they like it hot, and I don't agree. Perhaps the problem was putting them in containers?

I have another couple plants to feature in the next month, when hubby remembers where he put the digital camera.

5 comments:

OldRoses said...

I've found that in hot weather it is necessary to water containers twice a day to keep the plants happy no matter what kind they are.

M Sinclair Stevens (Austin) said...

I believe they are short-lived perennials that are grown as annuals. They will freeze and die if left out. But if you have yours in planters you should be able to bring them in and overwinter them.

The question is time cost versus money cost. Is it worth pampering them all winter and possibly ending up with weak straggly plants next year? Or is it just easier to start over with fresh plants?

Jill said...

I usually get these toward the end of summer. They are great for butterflies, too!

Annie in Austin said...

The woman across the street from me has most of her Pentas live over, but I don't think she does anything for the plants - she just picked a good location. They're in a sunny cove, protected from the NW winds by the wall of her house.

Annie

Melvin said...

I think water is require more in hot for plants.......
thanks for all these info............
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Melvin
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