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.
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.
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.
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.
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.