This is a flower that blooms during periods when there is a lack of sunlight and there is little or no green outside and it smacks of the arrival of winter. From October to February only some ornamental plants which stand on the windowsill and have not shed their leaves like their distant counterparts outside are pleasing to the eye. Here it is impossible not to pay attention to the pentas, which not just warms the soul with the presence of greenery, but simply explodes the human consciousness by the appearance of its flowering cap, as if an explosion of colorful fireworks on New Year's Eve. At the moment of the appearance of such a hat, studded with inflorescences - stars of five-pointed form, it is impossible not to fall in love with this flower, which as if says that winter will definitely end.
Many florists call pentas a bouquet in a pot or an Egyptian star.
One cannot disagree with this, as even one pot of this flower is enough to lift the spirits. Considering that the bouquet can have absolutely different colors, it has no equal in this respect.
To take proper care of the Egyptian star, one should know certain subtleties.
Home care for pentas
In room conditions, the lanceolate pentas (lancet), based on which many hybrids with different shades are derived, is mostly cultivated. This plant is also interesting because pentas seeds of the same color, you can soon get "offspring" with different color shades.
In one season pentas can bloom several times, making not big stops for rest. With regular fertilisation the flowering periods can be extended, but don't overdo it, as it always needs a rest and this can be seen by the way it looks. If you give it rest periods, the pentas will bloom with renewed vigour every time.
Location and light
The best place for this flower is in a southern window, with enough light, but after a long winter period, it is not advisable to put the plant out in direct sunlight because of possible leaf burn.
In full sunlight the flower should be accustomed gradually.
In summer, if possible, it is better to move the pentas to the garden. If there is no such a possibility, you can put it on a loggia or balcony. As a last resort, regular ventilation of the room can be arranged. It is probably the only indoor decorative plant that is not afraid of drafts, especially summer ones.
The optimal temperature for pentas is 20-25°C, but no more.
At higher temperatures, the leaves begin to wilt and the stems stretch upward, after which they lose their stability.
If, starting in spring, you increase watering of pentas, you can get a flowering plant by summer. The water should be left to stand and should be at room temperature. To ensure that the flower develops and blooms normally, it is necessary to apply a complex fertilizer for flowering, with a predominance of phosphorus, which stimulates the formation of buds. In the autumn-winter period, watering is reduced, but not stopped.
As a result of the lack of moisture, the leaves of the pentas will quickly turn yellow.
For this, the plant, this indicator is of great importance. The humidity around this flower should be about 60%, which is not insignificant, as for the conditions of modern apartments. To somehow approximate the conditions required, it is advisable to bathe (sprinkle) the flower more often with soft water. Care must be taken to ensure that the water does not get on the flower.
Very good results can be obtained if you pour clay pebbles or put moss in the tray, and then moisten them. It is very important to put the pot with the flower at a certain distance, then you can get the right humidity within the location of the flower.
This plant cannot develop properly without frequent repotting. The flower develops very quickly, resulting in many young shoots, which in turn leads to an increase in root mass, so that the plant feels comfortable, it should be transplanted to a larger pot. Young pentas require annual transplanting, and older plants as needed.
If the flower is regularly rejuvenated, there is no point in transplanting it.
Better if this plant is planted in a ready-made, purchased substrate for ornamental-leaved plants. This flower does not like soils that have various salts.
Shaping the bush
Control the growth of pentas from the first days of planting, as it grows in any, unpredictable directions, resulting in loss of decorativeness. To get a neat bush, you should constantly pinch off shoots that begin to leave the aesthetic appearance of the flower.
Trimming should be done in the periods between its increase.
Many florists claim that pentas is an annual plant and this is true. But its life span can be extended to 3 years if constant rejuvenation is carried out. Therefore, it is necessary to consider such a factor and always have young cuttings or seeds in stock. This flower can bloom both in winter and summer, but its main purpose is the classic flowering in winter.
After all, there is such a lack of different flowers in winter, unlike in summer. So all efforts of a florist should be directed to make sure that the flower will please others with its blossoming just in winter.
If the pentas is planted in the garden, then naturally it will bloom in summer, together with all the flowers in the bed.
The best way to propagate the garden pentas is to plant it by seeds (through seedlings). It grows quickly and can be planted in the ground as early as May.
A better way to grow indoors is to root the cuttings in damp earth or water.
Pentas needs to be left alone from time to time so it can accumulate some energy somewhere in a secluded spot. So that it can once again delight those around it with its unique blossom. But it's not that easy. Finding a suitable room for the pentas in summer is a problem.
The most suitable place at this time for it may be the cellar. Before moving it to a cool place (relatively cool), the flower should be pruned and all buds removed. Watering should be reduced but the soil must not be allowed to dry out.
Sometime in August the Egyptian star is taken out of the cellar and transferred into a new pot and placed on the north window. The plant should then begin to be watered more vigorously.
During the fall, it will grow vigorously and gain the strength to bloom again as before.
3 RULES FOR GROWING PENTAS at home and in the garden. See results