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Pentas for Summer Color

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Do you want to invite butterflies in to visit? Or maybe you just want some great summer color from a reliable perennial. Well, look no further than your local garden center for the red hot pentas.

Not that long ago this was an all but forgotten flower growing tall, lanky and out of control. But new dwarf varieties have made pentas practical for the small gardens, border plantings and containers. You can also choose from a wide assortment of colors including pinks, reds, purples, whites and some bicolors.


Pentas like the full sun to lightly shaded locations. Also make sure you give them a planting site with a loose enriched soil. Set the plants in the ground at the same depth as they were growing in their containers. Give dwarf varieties an 18- to 24-inch spacing and full size selections a 24- to 36- inch spacing.

Plantings are relatively care free but here are some tips to obtain the best growth.
Add a 2- to 3-inch mulch over the root systems.
Feed monthly with a 6-6-6 or similar garden fertilizer or use a slow release product following label instructions.
Trim off old flower heads to encourage new blooms.
Stake tall plants as needed to prevent wind damage.
Periodically prune tall growing selections to keep them in bounds and compact.