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Pentas lanceolata ‘Butterfly Red’ (Egyptian Star Flower)

Egyptian Star Flower 'Butterfly Red', Egyptian Star Cluster 'Butterfly Red', Star Cluster 'Butterfly Red'

Pentas Butterfly Red, Red Pentas, Pentas lanceolata, Egyptian Star Flower

Pentas ‘Butterfly Red’: An In-depth Look

Pentas ‘Butterfly Red’ (Egyptian Star Flower) is a lush-looking, tropical perennial usually grown as a summer bedding annual or as a houseplant in cooler areas. Its stems are topped by large, rounded clusters of star-shaped brilliant red flowers.

Native: ‘Butterfly Red’ is a hybrid cultivar of Pentas lanceolata, native to eastern Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, where it thrives in warm, humid climates and has become a favorite among gardeners in similar zones worldwide.

Plant Type and Habit: This herbaceous perennial exhibits a semi-woody structure with a compact, mounded growth habit. It’s often grown as an annual in non-tropical regions.

Size: This compact plant reaches 18-24 inches in height (45-60 cm) and 10-18 inches in spread (25-45 cm).

Flowers: Its brilliant red flowers are its hallmark. Each bloom forms a tight cluster that looks like a bouquet, particularly attractive to pollinators.

Bloom Time: As a perennial, this plant provides nearly year-round color. As an annual, it blooms continuously throughout the warm months, usually from early summer until the first frost.

Foliage: The foliage consists of pointed oval leaves, which provide a deep green backdrop for the vivid flowers.

Uses: Pentas is perfect for mass plantings, borders, containers, or as a houseplant. It’s also popular in butterfly gardens due to its allure for various pollinators. The blossoms are long-lasting as cut flowers.

Hardiness: It’s hardy in USDA zone 11 and grown as an annual in cooler zones.

Pollinators: This plant is a haven for bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds, providing nectar and habitat.

Toxicity: There are no significant toxicity concerns for pets or humans with Pentas.

Deer and Rabbit: It has a degree of resistance to deer and rabbits, which may pass it over for less pungent-tasting plants.

Drought: While it prefers regular watering, it has a moderate tolerance for short, dry spells once established. It is also heat-tolerant.

Pentas Growing Tips

Light: Full sun to partial shade; full sun promotes best blooming.

Soil: Well-draining, fertile soil with a pH between 6 and 7.

Water: Keep soil consistently moist but not waterlogged; reduce watering in winter.

Fertilizer: Apply a balanced, slow-release fertilizer in the spring; you can also use a liquid feed every few weeks during the growing season.

Pruning: Deadhead spent flowers to encourage more blooms; cut back in late winter or early spring to promote bushy growth.

Propagation: Propagate by seed or semi-hardwood cuttings in late summer. It may be easily grown from seed started indoors in late winter, approximately 8-10 weeks before the last frost date.

Pests/Diseases: Watch for aphids, spider mites, and whiteflies. Prevent fungal diseases by ensuring good air circulation and avoiding overhead watering.

Requirements

Hardiness 11
Heat Zones 1 - 11
Climate Zones 23, 24, H1, H2
Plant Type Annuals, Perennials
Plant Family Rubiaceae
Genus Pentas
Common names Star Cluster
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early, Mid, Late)
Summer (Early, Mid, Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 1' - 2'
(30cm - 60cm)
Spread 10" - 2'
(25cm - 60cm)
Spacing 10" - 15"
(25cm - 40cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Average
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy, Evergreen, Cut Flowers
Attracts Bees, Butterflies, Hummingbirds
Garden Uses Beds And Borders, Patio And Containers
Garden Styles City and Courtyard, Informal and Cottage, Mediterranean Garden
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Alternative Plants to Consider

Pentas lanceolata ‘Butterfly Deep Pink’ (Egyptian Star Flower)
Pentas lanceolata Sunstar® Rose (Egyptian Star Flower)
Pentas lanceolata Sunstar® Red (Egyptian Star Flower)
Pentas lanceolata Sunstar® Pink (Egyptian Star Flower)
Pentas lanceolata Sunstar® Lavender (Egyptian Star Flower)
Pentas lanceolata (Egyptian Star Flower)

Find In One of Our Guides or Gardens

How to Create an Enchanting Butterfly Garden
For the Love of Butterflies: Best Flowers to Attract them to Your Garden
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Pentas (Egyptian Star Flower)
While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.
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Requirements

Hardiness 11
Heat Zones 1 - 11
Climate Zones 23, 24, H1, H2
Plant Type Annuals, Perennials
Plant Family Rubiaceae
Genus Pentas
Common names Star Cluster
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early, Mid, Late)
Summer (Early, Mid, Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 1' - 2'
(30cm - 60cm)
Spread 10" - 2'
(25cm - 60cm)
Spacing 10" - 15"
(25cm - 40cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Average
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy, Evergreen, Cut Flowers
Attracts Bees, Butterflies, Hummingbirds
Garden Uses Beds And Borders, Patio And Containers
Garden Styles City and Courtyard, Informal and Cottage, Mediterranean Garden
How Many Plants
Do I Need?
Not sure which Pentas (Star Cluster) to pick?
Compare Now

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