Pentas, a bouquet in a pot, an Egyptian star - this is the name used by many evergreen dwarf shrubs from the Marenov family. More than 50 species of this plant grow on our planet, but only one of them, called herbaceous or lanceolate, is successfully grown in indoor floriculture.
A nice plant pleases owners with a long and practically year-round flowering. Pentas flowers are native to Africa, and more specifically, the island of Madagascar, where this exotic plant is represented by a huge number of species and varieties that differ in color and shape of flowers and leaves.
Flower Pentas: description and photo
When grown at home, this flower does not exceed a height of 50 cm. The plant has upright weakly branching shoots. The leaves are opposite, painted in bright green. They are quite wide and have an oval shape. The length of the leaves ranges from 5 to 8 centimeters. The surface of the plates is wavy, pubescent. On it the central vein is well looked through.
Pentas flowers, undoubtedly, are the main decoration of an exotic plant. They can be painted in a variety of shades depending on the variety. Pink and red, beige and purple, purple or white flowers in the form of five-pointed stars are collected in dome-shaped large inflorescences, the diameter of which reaches 10 centimeters.
In order for the flower pentas to actively develop and please with beautiful blooms at home, the air temperature in the room should not be below +20 ° C. In winter, the semi-shrub feels great at temperatures up to +16 ° C. Unlike many indoor plants, pentas do not frighten drafts and sudden changes in temperature.
Only gusts of cold wind that can frost the leaves can harm the plant, so when you air the room during the cold season, remove the plant from the window. If the temperature is too high for pentas, it will immediately “inform” about this with dry tips of the leaves and excessively extended stems.
This important factor should be taken into account when growing pentas. The flower is very fond of moisture, so its rate should not fall below 60% during the entire period of growth of the plant. It is easy to achieve this - put a container filled with water next to the flower, put the pot in a pan with expanded clay, which should always be wet, and also regularly spray the leaves of the flower, trying not to fall on the inflorescences.
The plant loves bright light and develops well even in direct sunlight. That is why its window of a southern window can become its permanent residence. However, you should closely monitor the plant, and if in the summer you notice burns on the leaves, you should shade the window a little. If in the winter time your flower is very stretched and lost stability, this indicates a lack of lighting. During this period, the use of additional lighting is justified.
Pentas flowers are not too demanding on the composition of the soil. You can use the finished soil mixture for flowering plants or prepare it yourself. For this you will need:
- turf and leaf soil - in two parts
- sand is one part.
The plant loves a fertile, nutritious, loose soil.
This method is attractive because it can be used at any time of the year. It is not complicated, and in order to grow pentas, you need to buy plant seeds in a specialty store, sow them, without burying, on moist soil and leave them on a sunny windowsill so that heat, moisture and light will stimulate the seeds to germinate.
With an air temperature of about +25 ° C and a humidity of 60%, within two weeks you will see the shoots of your future flowers.
This method is suitable if you have cuttings after cutting the plant. It is important that the cut stems were not less than 5-8 cm in length. Reproduction in this way is allowed at a minimum temperature of about +18 ° C. Pre-cuttings incubated for several hours in water, and then planted in moist soil. Rooting occurs after 10 days.
How to care for a plant?
The pentas flower, the photo of which you can see in the article, does not require complicated care arrangements for its normal development and flowering at home. As a rule, care is reduced to the traditional set of mandatory procedures.
Exotic shrub needs abundant and regular watering, especially during the vegetative period. It is necessary to use only distilled water. Watering is carried out after the topsoil dries. It is dangerous to flood the flower, because stagnant moisture in the pot will inevitably cause the plant root system to rot. In winter and during the rest period, when the plant does not bloom, watering is minimal.
In modern indoor floriculture use special flasks that are designed for automatic watering. Flower growers successfully apply them to care for pentas in the summer. This is convenient for owners who do not have the opportunity to regularly water indoor plants or simply forget to do it. The mechanism of these flasks irrigates the soil in the quantity required for each particular pot.
Anyone who wants to extend the flowering period of pentas should use complex mineral compositions for flowering plants that are added to the water for irrigation (“Master”, “Clean Sheet”). They will enrich the soil with phosphorus and activate the process of bud formation. In winter, plants do not require top dressing.
Since pentas grows rather quickly and reacts to various negative factors by lengthening shoots, it needs regular pruning to help maintain the shape and pomp of the plant. Stems should not exceed 50 centimeters in height, and the tops exceeding this size should be pinned.
Novice flower growers need to know that pruning and pinching of pentas is carried out only during the rest period, when the shrub does not bloom.
Diseases and pests
Leaf chlorosis is the most common plant disease. Having noticed its first signs, which primarily include the causeless yellowing of leaves, it is necessary to feed the plant with chelate fertilizers, which contribute to an increase in chlorophyll in the greenness of the flower ("Hydro Flor", "Hydro Vera").
Pests affecting pentas include spider mites and shields. You can fight them using drugs such as Actellic or Fitoverm, or you can treat the leaves with folk remedies — a solution of ordinary soap, medical alcohol, onion or garlic infusion. The leaves are simply wiped off with a solution and after a few minutes they are washed away with water at room temperature.
Growing flower pentas from seed
My first acquaintance with the plant Pentas happened a few years ago. Received by mail seeds in the month of February. He did not hesitate and immediately sowed the seeds in the purchase of universal soil. Before sowing, the soil was moistened with a spray bottle and spread over the seeds.
I didn’t sprinkle anything, but I covered it with a bag and put it on a window sill of a southern orientation, where the temperature was about twenty degrees. Seed shoots were not friendly, out of five pieces just a couple came up. Growing slowly. After the first true leaf appeared, the seedlings were picked into the hundred plastic cups.
In April, the Pentas cheered up, after which they actively went up. A couple of times the young plants pinched for greater bushiness. It should be noted that the pentas flower is very light-loving and suffers from a lack of sunlight in room conditions, therefore at the first opportunity he carried the plants to a warm place protected from the winds.
In June, they pleased me with the first buds. The flowers of the pentas are collected in umbellate inflorescences and come in various colors: pink, red, purple, and white. I had - with red flowers. Pentasy flowered well until the end of the summer period, but did not survive the winter period - it was flooded.
Pentas home care
The following year, bought seeds with a purple color. Seeds sowed the same as last time. The plants bloomed profusely, and the flowers were larger than those of red. In the summer, he fed once a week with complex fertilizer for flowers.
The plant was in a three-liter pot on the west side of the house, where the sun lit it from three o'clock in the afternoon until sunset. Heat pentas tolerates well enough. The main thing is not to be late with irrigation.
The plant fades, but after watering the turgor is restored, but the flowers partially fall off. Keep it on the street until it gets cold.
My pentas wintered in an unheated room at a temperature of ten to fifteen degrees above zero. Watered after a good drying of the upper layer. And in the spring, cut off.
What is the best rooting, did not know, so put some cuttings in the water, and some landed in the ground. In the water, the cuttings quickly took root, but they sat in the soil for a long time and eventually disappeared.
The rooted cuttings were planted in hundred cups, where they grew up before transplanting to a permanent place. Land, for planting, took the purchase and interfered with the garden, while adding sand. Pests on pentas did not notice.
Care and cultivation of pentas at home
In room floriculture the most popular is pentas lanceolate. It is this type that is often taken as the basis for breeding hybrids with the most amazing colors. It often happens that you have sown the seeds of one shade, and the offspring have grown all the colors of the rainbow. Interesting? Then go ahead!
Pentas blooms several times during the season. Novice flower growers may think that the plant simply stops forming flowers for a while, but this process is natural. In fact, the owner can directly affect only the duration of flowering. Plant nutrition increases this period, and if you stop fertilizing, pentas will have the opportunity to rest. My advice: do not get carried away feeding. If you notice that the flower is already "tired" to bloom, give it time to rest, the next wave will be even more magnificent.
Location and lighting
Our handsome man prefers the south window and the sun's rays. However, remember that you cannot immediately put a flower where there is a lot of light. It is better to teach gradually, without unnecessary burns. In summer, the window should be pritenyat, otherwise the leaves can burn. If you have a private house, be sure to transfer the plant to the garden, if the high-rise building is on a loggia or balcony. When there is no such opportunity, ventilate the room more often. Draft pentas tolerates well.
Forming a bush
You have already seen that pentas is not difficult to maintain. It is much more problematic to follow not his physical condition, but the aesthetic view: he sometimes stretches, then grows not in the right place, he wants to crawl to the side. If you notice such "unnecessary" movements, it is time to pinch the flower. To make the bush look neat, constantly prune shoots - somewhere at a height of 40-50 cm - otherwise the plant will look uncollected and will lose some beauty. Important: pinching is carried out only in the intervals between the flowering periods!
Resting a plant is a rather complicated question, since the plant needs a cool place, and where can it be found in summer? At the end of winter, as the pentas ottsvetet, I pinch the stalks, cut the buds and transfer to the coolest room - the cellar. I water occasionally, just to keep the soil dry. In August, I get a pot, I change the ground and slowly make me get used to the sun - I start from the north window. Moisturize abundantly. In September-October, the plant grows greens and forces for flowering, and in November it is covered with shining stars.
This is basic. I would be glad if my experience of breeding pentas is useful to you!
Morphological features, varieties of pentas
In the tropics of Africa, pentas grows as an evergreen grassy shrub, with oval or lanceolate leaflets of bright green color. The flower, consisting of 5 petals, is shaped like an asterisk. In Africa, it is called the "Egyptian star." The corolla petals have a wide color range: from white to lilac. Umbrella inflorescences, like Christmas balls, cover the entire bush. Despite the difficult care, this plant is popular with gardeners, as it blooms continuously from vein to mid-autumn. In total there are about 50 types of pentas. Some of them are presented in the photo.
- The most popular type is pentas lanceolate. The arrangement of leaves is opposite. Stem erect, slightly lignified at the base. The leaves are pubescent, bright green. The diameter of the inflorescence is about 10 cm.
Cultivation in open ground: care, feeding and watering
For planting pentas in the open field choose the sunny side with fertile soil. Since the plant loves moisture, you can drain the landing site by placing a little pebble on the bottom of the hole. Pentas is sensitive to the salt content in the soil, their high content leads to illness or death of a flower.
Watering is carried out as the soil dries. For irrigation, use settled, heated water. It is not necessary to water the flower with cold water, just recruited from the water supply, it will lead to a decrease in the decorative effect and stretching the flower shoots.
Pentas can reach 50 cm in height and more. In order for the plant to bush and form more flowering shoots, it is necessary to pinch the tops. With the help of pinching you can give a different shape to the plant. Experienced gardeners break off shoots that have finished flowering to stimulate the growth of new ones. The beauty of the blooming "star" can be estimated from the photo below.
Top dressing is carried out every 15 days with complex fertilizers. Fertilizers are best purchased at a flower shop, there are special mixtures for flowering plants. Fertilizer must contain nitrogen and iron. The Egyptian Star does not need transplantation, since it grows in open ground as an annual plant.
Combating diseases and pests, combination with other colors
Despite the capriciousness of pentas, this plant is not too susceptible to diseases, so it will not cause much trouble. With iron deficiency, chlorosis may occur. The first sign of the disease is yellowed leaves. Making iron chelates will cure pentas.
Of the pests especially annoying aphid and spider mite. With the spread of aphids can fight pesticides or folk methods. When aphids appear, try spraying the leaves of a flower with infusion of garlic or marigolds. If it does not help, you have to resort to chemical means. With the defeat of a spider mite that lives on the inner side of the leaf, white dots appear on the plant. With a small number of harmful insects, you can resort to popular methods - spraying infusion:
In extreme cases, refer to the chemical means. Before processing the plant, tear off the affected leaves and burn them.
Due to the long flowering period, pentas is widely used for the formation of landscape design. It can be used to design borders. It looks great combination of different varieties in one flowerbed:
- can be planted in a chaotic manner,
- ray location of different varieties,
- circular rotation
- the formation of various geometric shapes.
Pentas in the foreground is very bright in combination with conifers and thujas. The combination with other plants depends on the color of the petals and variety.
If you work a little, grow seedlings and plant this unusual flower in the garden, you can admire its “shine” for 4 months. Pentas will decorate your garden, add exotic to the design of the landscape. The main thing is to provide proper care and water the plant in time.
At home, pentas often reaches 50 cm in height. His shoots are upright and weakly branched. The leaves of this plant are opposite, have a bright green color, rather wide, oval.
The length of one leaf varies from 5 to 8 centimeters. Their surface is wavy, pubescent, with a pronounced central vein. Pentas flowers are his main decoration.
They can be of various colors depending on the variety. Its red, pink, purple, beige or white flowers have the shape of five-pointed stars and are collected in large dome-shaped inflorescences with a diameter of up to 10 centimeters.
How to propagate pentas: landing rules
There are two popular ways to propagate this flower: seeds and grafting.
This method is good because it is suitable for any season. It is light enough and in order to propagate pentas in this way, you need to purchase flower seeds at any specialty store, sow them on moist soil without burying, and leave them in a sunny place so that light, heat and moisture generously stimulate the seeds to germinate. . Если соблюдать температуру воздуха в районе 25 градусов, а влажность не менее 60 %, через 2-3 недели вы получите первые ростки ваших будущих полукустарников.
Для размножения пентаса таким способом вы можете использовать черенки, которые у вас остались после омоложения или обрезки вашего растения, или же срезать новые.
The main thing is that the trimmed stems should be at least 5-8 cm long. The minimum temperature for this kind of breeding should be 16-18 degrees.
Cuttings can be preliminarily held for several hours in water or planted in prepared, moist soil immediately. Rooting should occur in 8-10 days. After the roots of the plant occupy the entire pot, it is transplanted.
Pentas does not require special labor-intensive care measures for normal growth and flowering at home. All you need to do is reduced to a standard set of procedures.
This shrub loves watering and needs it regularly, especially during the period of vigorous growth and in the summer. To do this, use distilled water at room temperature, without chlorine.
Watering is worth every time, as you noticed that the top layer of soil began to dry out. The main thing is to remember that it is dangerous to pour a flower, because stagnation of water in a pot provokes rotting of the root system of a flower. In winter and during the period when the flower does not bloom, watering is minimized.
If you want to prolong the flowering period of your pentas, you can add a complex mineral composition for flowering plants, such as Clean Leaf or Master, to the water for irrigation.
This will enrich the soil with phosphorus and provoke the formation of new buds. In winter, the plant does not need additional feeding.
Since this shrub grows rapidly and reacts to various negative factors by lengthening the shoots, it regularly needs pruning to maintain shape and fluffiness.
The stems should be kept up to 50 centimeters high, and the tops pinch to preserve the pomp of the plant. However, it should be remembered that pruning and pinching can be carried out only during periods of rest, that is, when the shrub does not bloom.This flower grows quickly, so a young plant needs regular transplantation once a year, for an adult a two-year interval is suitable. Usually this operation is carried out in the spring. Each time when transplanting, you should take a pot with a diameter slightly larger than the previous one, giving the plant roots more space for growth. After the plant takes a pot with a diameter of 20 cm, it is recommended only to change the top layer of soil.