Friday, August 29, 2014

My favorite plant this week: Pentas lanceolata 'Kaleidoscope Appleblossom'

When the garden as a whole is not looking its best, the plants that sail through the pressures that beat most down really shine.  At present, one such plant is Pentas lanceolata 'Kaleidoscope Appleblossom.'   This plant is more resilient than any of the other Pentas I've grown.  Pentas lanceolata is classified as a semi-tropical shrub but it's usually grown as an annual.  I planted this one in June 2013 and it's still going strong.




My plant is almost 2 feet (60 cm) tall and wide, which is on the upper end of the spectrum quoted for this variety.  Mine receives partial shade but the species can handle full sun.  However, it can't handle freezing temperatures and is best suited to USDA zones 10a-11.  Although it can tolerate dry conditions, as my plant has, the stress may make it prone to infestations of spider mites.

The flowers attract butterflies and hummingbirds.  I dead-head it regularly to keep the flowers coming.  It produces blooms almost year-round.




The flowers also do very well in a vase.

Vase containing Penta lanceolata, photographed in late October 2013


Pentas lanceolata 'Kaleidoscope Appleblossom' is my pick as my favorite plant this week.  Please visit Loree at danger garden to view her choice as this week's favorite plant.


All material © 2012-2014 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party


18 comments:

  1. That's a pretty one! It reminds me of a large Hoya and the pink shade of the blooms somehow reminds me of sweets :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The flower shape is similar to the Hoya, although their textures are very different.

      Delete
  2. Great choice, such a pretty flower!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is pretty! I wish I could find more of the same variety.

      Delete
  3. You pointed out the obvious -- not all Pentas are equally strong growers.

    Every color is a favorite here. They are root hardy some winters. I take cuttings just in case. There's a trick to growing from seed. I don't know what it is. A seedling planted itself in the greenhouse floor.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wish I could find some equally resilient varieties - in any color. I'll try taking cuttings when the weather cools.

      Delete
  4. Those flowers look wonderfully fragrant, are they?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sadly, no - at least none that I can detect.

      Delete
  5. It must be hard with the long drought and heat, but your savings you show looks so nice out and filled with wonderful exciting plants.
    Good that there are beautiful and hardy plants, understand that it is difficult to resist buying new ones, have the same problem.
    Hug
    Mariana

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I need to focus on Mediterranean and Australian plants and let go of the notion of creating an English-style garden here, Mariana.

      Delete
  6. I love the starry flowers of Pentas. This one is a real beauty, I can see why you love it. The arrangement is stunning.
    I have tried growing it from seed without success, but of course it won' t do outdoors here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was surprised to find it was so cold sensitive, Chloris.

      Delete
  7. Pentas are annual here but one of my favorites. They attract butterflies like crazy! Yours is gorgeous, and I love the bouquet. You always have the prettiest bouquets!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This one is by far my favorite. I'd hoped to find more this summer but haven't come across it. I have to try taking cuttings, as Jean suggested above.

      Delete
  8. I love pentas, too. They grow as annuals here and do well with our summer heat. Your plant really looks fabulous - so lush and healthy. Your bouquet is a beauty. They always are! :o)

    ReplyDelete
  9. What a lovely plant, the blooms are so pretty. Your arrangement in the vase is gorgeous!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love this Pentas, Paula, and wish I could find more.

      Delete

I enjoy receiving your comments and suggestions. However, with apologies to bona-fide commentators, due to a significant increase in spam, I've eliminated the option to post comments anonymously.