Red Lace and HoneyCluster White pentas have given
four months of continuous color in Old Town in
seems to be a banner year for butterflies in the south.
While the big Monarch migration hasnít hit, everything
else appears to be high. Iím not sure if there is a
correlation, but it also seems as if pentas are having
the most incredible year ever.
a quandary for the landscape industry. It's nearly time
to start planting cool-season flowers, and pentas and
many other warm-season annuals are not only showing out
but are adorned with butterflies.
group of pentas that I've noticed in Georgia is the
Graffiti series, mainly because a little over a decade
ago I received a postcard for the California Pack Trials
displaying the Graffiti Red Lace pentas. They were so
beautiful; I thought the photo had been photoshopped or
I went to the California Pack Trials, the pentas were
just as beautiful and I too easily duplicated that same
image. Now a decade later landscape professionals, home
gardeners and places like the Coastal Georgia Botanical
Gardens are using them in mass, much to the delight of
pollinators. There are several colors and a mix in the
series. I also love the Graffiti Lipstick and Graffiti
Violet. The Graffiti series is brought to us from Benary
Seed headquartered in Germany.
impressive series I've spotted in commercial landscapes
this year is the HoneyCluster series from Syngenta. The
HoneyCluster series comes in four colors and a mix and
is a medium height. For next year there's the Falling
Star series the first trailing pentas in the market.
you love butterflies, hummingbirds and four months or
more of non-stop color, youíve got to try these new
pentas. The leaves are shiny and attractive making for a
great contrast with the colorful, star-shaped blossoms.
will be produced in abundance all summer long if beds
are prepared correctly. Choose a site in full sun for
best flower production. Prepare the bed by incorporating
3 to 4 inches of organic matter, and till to a depth of
8 to 10 inches. While tilling, incorporate 2 pounds of a
slow-release, 12-6-6 fertilizer.
next step may be the most crucial to happiness with your
pentas. If your soil is acidic and you grow azaleas,
camellias or blueberries with ease, you will need to add
lime to your pentasí planting area. While preparing
the soil, add 5 pounds of a pelletized lime per 100
square feet in sandy soil, or 10 pounds in a clay-based
soil. This is recommended because pentas prefer a soil
pH of 7. Many gardeners annually apply lime to grass or
vegetable gardens, and in this case, a little will help
the pentas keep their flowers all summer.
fit any style of garden. I like them in a tropical
setting in front of bananas and elephant ears, but I
love them in our Cottage Garden. Here we have paired
Graffiti Red Lace, with Chapel Hill yellow lantana and
the blue-flowered Brazilian button bush creating a
perfect triadic harmony of color and all bringing in
butterflies has become popular for some wedding venues.
Here at the Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens our
weddings have had the continuous flight of butterflies
in our Cottage Garden with southern gazebo thanks to
Graffiti pentas. Your home can become a butterfly and
pollinator sanctuary too.