How to Care for a Penta Plant


Penta (Pentas lanceolata) is an evergreen bush that, in warm climates, will light up the landscape all year with colorful star-shaped clusters. Hummingbirds and butterflies will often visit the penta blooms before they visit other flowering plants. Although penta can survive an occasional light frost, it won't tolerate a hard freeze. If you live in a cold climate, either grow penta as an annual or plant it in a container and bring it indoors for the winter.

Step 1

Plant penta in full sun or partial shade and well-drained soil. If you're planting more than one penta bush, leave 18 to 24 inches between each plant.

Step 2

Water pentas when the top of the soil feels dry to the touch. Pentas are only moderately drought-tolerant and will need regular watering, especially during hot, dry weather.

Step 3

Pinch the tips of penta stems often to encourage a bushy plant and continued blooming. Pinch the stem just above a leaf. Cut blooms as desired. When used in indoor bouquets, the blooms will last three to five days.

Step 4

Feed the penta plant monthly during spring, summer and fall, using a general-purpose liquid fertilizer. Mix the fertilizer according to the directions on the package and dilute to half strength before applying. Withhold fertilizer during the winter.

Things You'll Need

  • General-purpose liquid fertilizer


  • Texas A&M: Egyptian Star Flower, Pentas Pentas lanceolata (P. carnea)
  • University of Florida Extension: Pentas lanceolata
  • The Power and Beauty of Penta Pink
Keywords: penta, container garden, evergreen bush, egyptian star flower

About this Author

M.H. Dyer is a long-time writer, editor and proofreader. She has been a contributor to the East-Oregonian Newspaper and See Jane Run magazine, and is author of a memoir, “The Tumbleweed Chronicles, a Sideways Look at Life." She holds an Master of Fine Arts from National University, San Diego.