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The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens is committed to engage and inspire through the arts, gardens and education. A permanent collection of nearly 5,000 works of art on a riverfront campus offers more than 95,000 annual visitors a truly unique experience on the First Coast. Nationally recognized education programs serve adults and children of all abilities.

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Gardener’s Corner – How to Care for Pentas



Written by Ginny Mirzoyeva, Marketing Intern

Pentas, also known as the Star Flower, is a perennial plant that grows well in tropical regions. When other plants fade in Florida’s hot and humid summers, perennials like Pentas truly shine. These attractive plants produce red, pink, or white flowers throughout the summer and are a great source of food and attraction for hummingbirds and butterflies. These plants reach their full height of 4 feet in perennial zones, growing as a small shrub at maturity. Pentas are relatively easy to plant and are low maintenance.

Pentas maybe be planted from seeds or as plant cuttings. For best results, plant Pentas in late spring in a site that receives full sun and has well-drained soil. Make sure to leave ample space for them to grow if planting in beds, or more than one bush. Pentas grow best in acidic soil that is fertile and well-drained. Add compost and fertilizer to the soil for added nutrients and acidity. Continue fertilizing the soil with a balanced fertilizer every six weeks or so to improve performance. Water the plants regularly at first and then only as necessary when the soil feels very dry to the touch or when rainfall is limited. Bring the plants indoors during cold weather if they are in a container. For garden plants cover the soil with a thick layer of mulch during the winter to retain nutrients and moisture. When the Pentas have grown to full height dead stems and foliage may be cut back. Spent flower heads should be pinched off to encourage bushier plants and promote the growth of new blooms.

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