Pentas lanceolate at home: care and photo
For lovers of long and abundantly flowering plants, we recommend planting a lanceolate pentas in the garden or on the balcony, which is also called the "Egyptian star", despite the fact that the plant originates from Africa, Arabia and Madagascar.
For growing in room culture, breeders bred a dwarf hybrid of the lanceolate pentas.
Pentas lanceolate at home
Pentas is a low herbaceous bushy perennial with a woody stem. If the plant is pruned regularly, it will grow to just over half a meter. The leaves of the pentas are lanceolate, opposite, light green in color, pubescent with a soft bristle, reaching a length of 6 cm. Small stars of red, purple or pink flowers are collected in an inflorescence, reaching a diameter of 10 cm.
In the photo: Growing pentas in the garden
Lighting... The plant loves bright, diffused light, but can also tolerate light shading. For the summer months, the pentas pot can be placed on the balcony or taken out to a well-lit and ventilated area of the garden, however, the plant should be tamed gradually to the bright sunlight. This miniature shrub spends winter on the southern windowsill.
Temperature... During the active growing season, the comfortable air temperature for lanceolate pentas is 20-25 ºC, in winter it is desirable to lower the temperature to 10-16 ºC.
Humidity... This figure must be maintained at 60% all year round. In the heat, the pentas will have to be sprayed every week, but in such a way that the water drops do not fall on the flowers. For this, a finely dispersed spray bottle is used. During wintering in a cool room, spraying is stopped, but if the pentas is in a room with working heating devices that dry out the air in winter, then the flower pot is placed on a pallet with a wet filler - pebbles, gravel or expanded clay.
In the photo: Growing a pentas in a pot
Caring for pentas lanceolate at home
Watering... In spring and summer, pentas are moistened abundantly, but between waterings, the substrate should dry out to a depth of 1-1.5 cm.In the rest of the year, watering is significantly reduced, but the basic principle remains the same: the substrate in the pot is moistened only after its top layer dries.
Top dressing... From early spring to mid-autumn, pentas are fertilized twice a month. As a top dressing, a complex mineral fertilizer with a predominance of nitrogen is used. Prepare the nutrient solution according to the instructions. In winter, when the dormant period begins, the flower is not fed, but if the pentas hibernates in a warm place, apply fertilizer once a month.
Transfer... Young plants need to be transplanted annually, and when the pentas reaches the age of three, it is enough to change the substrate and pot to the plant after a year. Pentas grows well in humus-rich soil. To prepare the substrate, you need to mix equal parts of sod and leafy land, adding half of the river sand to them for looseness. But it is easier to buy a ready-made soil mixture for decorative flowering plants. In acidic soil, the lanceolate pentas dies, so it is very important to put a thick layer of drainage material on the bottom of the pot.
In the photo: Preparing the drainage
Reproduction... Seeds of pentas lanceolate can be propagated all year round, but it is much easier to breed a plant cuttings... At the beginning of active growth, cuttings are cut from the stems of the pentas and planted in a mini-greenhouse filled with a loose substrate for growing seedlings. Rooting should take place at a temperature of 18-20 ºC. After 10-12 days, the cuttings will grow roots, and they are planted in pots with a diameter of no more than 7 cm.
Pictured: Container for sowing seeds
If you want to use the seed method of reproduction of the lanceolate pentasa, spread the seeds of the plant over the surface of the wet substrate, but do not deepen them. The seed box is kept on a light windowsill at a temperature of 22-25 ºC. Pentas seeds begin to germinate after 18-20 days, and after one and a half to two months, the seedlings are planted in separate pots with a diameter of 10 cm.
In the photo: Growing pentas from seeds
If you do not yet have experience in growing lanceolate pentas, you may encounter the following features of the plant and problems in its maintenance:
- from October to February, it is advisable for the pentasu to be at rest: the pot with the plant is placed on a lighted window in a cool room and watering is gradually reduced: if the moisture is left at the same level, the leaves of the plant will begin to turn yellow, and the roots will rot. Pentas normally tolerates drafts, so airing will not harm it;
- at the beginning of spring, when active growth begins at the pentas, it is necessary to cut off its shoots by a third of the length, because in a year they managed to grow strongly. Try not to allow the stems to grow longer than 45 cm;
- during the growing season, pinch the ends of the shoots so that the bush becomes lush;
- to extend the flowering of the pentas until the end of September, remove the first buds;
- from a lack of moisture, nitrogen or iron in the substrate, the leaves of the pentas begin to turn yellow;
- from a lack of light, the shoots of the pentas are strongly stretched;
- pentas lanceolate can be affected by spider mites, aphids and whiteflies, but if you create the necessary conditions for the plant and take good care of it, pests will not settle on it.
- Read the topic on Wikipedia
- Features and other plants of the family Madder
- List of all species on The Plant List
- More information on World Flora Online
- Indoor Plants Information
Sections: Houseplants Beautiful flowering Plants on P Madder
Flower pentas: growing and care
Pentas is a genus of evergreen herbaceous plants or shrubs from the Rubiaceae family, which includes about 50 species, distributed mainly in Madagascar and in regions of tropical Africa.
In indoor floriculture, only one species is grown - Pentas lanceolata, also known as Pentas carnea. This is a shrub or bushy perennial half a meter in height with erect, weakly branched shoots. Leaves are green, broadly lanceolate, 5 - 8 cm long, opposite. The surface of the leaf is not smooth, slightly wavy, as if gathered along the central vein, pubescent.
Long flowering, from early spring to mid-autumn. The flowers are tubular, with a stellate corolla, five-petal, collected in large, up to 10 cm in diameter, multi-flowered apical inflorescences of an umbrella-shaped or dome-shaped form. The color of the flowers is very diverse and depends on the variety.
Pentas - winter stars
Pentas (Pentas, family Madder) - evergreen shrub 50 - 80 cm high with creeping shoots and elongated lanceolate opposite leaves of light green color. The leaves are pubescent, their length is 5 - 7 cm. Grown as a houseplant lanceolate pentas (Pentas lanceolata). This species is represented in culture by many varieties with a variety of flower colors - white, pink, red, lilac and purple. The flowers of the pentas are small, tubular, resemble an asterisk in the shape of an asterisk, gathered in an inflorescence with an umbrella-shaped shield with a diameter of 8-10 cm. The pentas blooms almost constantly, but more abundantly in winter. It will be a wonderful decoration for a sunny windowsill.
For pentas, a bright location with shade from direct sunlight is preferable. The plant needs a moderate temperature, in winter not lower than 12 - 15 ° C, in summer it is good to take it out into the open air - in a garden or on a balcony. In summer, the leaves should be sprayed frequently.
Pentas is watered abundantly in hot weather, in winter - as the earthen coma dries up. They are fed once a week with a full mineral fertilizer for decorative flowering plants. In winter, feeding is also necessary, since the flowering of the plant falls on this time. To give a beautiful shape at a young age, pinch the pentas, it is better to maintain the height of the bush at 45 cm.The plant is transplanted annually in spring using a soil mixture of turf and leafy soil and sand in a 1: 1: 1 ratio. Reproduction is carried out using seeds or apical cuttings, which are rooted at 22 - 25 ° C, in spring, using phytohormones.
If the air in the room is too warm and dry, the pentas can be affected by red spider mites. If a pest is found, it is necessary to spray the plant twice with decis or actellik and increase the humidity in the room.
Planting and leaving
Pentas is able to tirelessly dissolve inflorescences all year round, but if you do not provide it with periodic rest, it can quickly become exhausted, get sick or lose its decorative effect. It is possible to regulate the formation of inflorescences using artificial immersion in the resting phase, excluding feeding and reducing watering. After resting, the "Egyptian star" will bloom even more magnificently.
The light intensity is directly dependent on the season. In summer, the plant requires partial shading from too bright sun. You should especially protect foliage from direct rays during the hottest midday hours. In winter, the flower can stand without any harm to itself even on the southern windowsill; it does not need shading at this time of the year. It feels very good outdoors in summer (balcony, garden, terrace), but care must be taken to avoid drafts and be protected from rain. Drafts and cold winds are detrimental to this flower.
For better decorativeness, it is necessary to ensure the difference between the summer and winter temperatures of the content. If the flowerpot is on the windowsill, the drop is provided in a natural way. In summer, a moderately warm content is recommended within the range of + 22 ... + 27C, a comfortable winter temperature of + 16 ... + 19C. The lower threshold of allowable reductions is + 10C.
Warm wintering is harmful, detrimental to flowering, causes an ugly stretching of shoots with their subsequent lodging and drying of leaves.
Irrigation requirements are standard, requiring the use of separated water at a temperature corresponding to room temperature. Prolonged drying out of the soil is extremely undesirable, as is waterlogging, leading to acidification of the soil and rotting of the roots. If in a given period of time there is a goal to rest the flower, watering is reduced and at the same time the volume of water is reduced. Watering rarely and abundantly is an extremely negative scenario for this stage of the life cycle.
If you are late with the next watering, the bush loses its fresh appearance, becomes lethargic. After moistening, the turgor of the stems is restored quickly, but the plant can shed its buds, and with a prolonged anhydrous period, the leaves.
The optimum humidity indicator is approximately 60-70%, and it is not typical for modern apartment conditions. As a rule, the air in the room, especially during the period when heating devices are turned on or during the long absence of summer rains, is much drier. During the period when the plant is not blooming, it will benefit from bathing under a warm shower or spraying with a spray bottle. Water should not get on the inflorescences, therefore, when they bloom, it is better to use other traditional methods of increasing air humidity - installing a pallet with water or moisture-absorbing material (expanded clay, sand, pebbles, moss, sphagnum), etc. Sufficient moisture indicators can be provided standing next to the aquarium.
At the beginning of the period of vegetative activity, when the perennial is preparing to form the first buds, mineral feeding with a predominant phosphorus content is very important and desirable. After the buds wither, it is better to give preference to compositions with the main nitrogen component for a lush crown formation. The sequence of fertilization is 1-2 times a month, with the exception of the dormant period, in which all fertilizing should be excluded.
Culture does not impose any special requirements for the soil that go beyond the classical ones. You can use any ready-made composition for planting, intended for growing decorative deciduous or flowering indoor crops. The requirements for soil fertility are moderate, but if an increased amount of salts is present in it, this will negatively affect external data.
How to grow: from planting to grooming
Before growing pentas from seeds, you should choose the right planting material. The seeds must be fresh, as they quickly lose their germination capacity. They should not be processed before sowing.
Prepare the soil for planting the pentasa - it should be light and well structured, with a lot of organic matter. Pour a layer of expanded clay at the bottom of the planting container. Then lay down the soil and compact the surface. Moisten with a spray bottle. Spread the seeds over the surface of the soil and moisten them carefully with spray guns. If the seeds are in a shell, then it is necessary to moisten until the shell dissolves.
Cover the container with crops with plastic wrap and place in a warm, sunny place. Seedlings appear in 5-7 days. They should be carefully watered with drops of warm water daily. In the morning and in the evening, the seedlings should be sprayed with warm water from a spray bottle. The higher the air humidity, the more actively the plant will grow and develop.
In the future, the cultivation of pentas from seeds is reduced to primary and repeated picking. For the first transplant, it is important to choose the right container. It should be no more than 100 ml. After 3 weeks, transplant the seedlings in a 200 ml container. And after 4 weeks after that, transfer to a pot in which the pentas will grow at home.
Pinching is required for this plant at the stage of development of the 6th leaf. Having pinched off the top, start the process of active formation of axillary flower buds. This will speed up the moment of onset of budding and flowering.
Top dressing starts 2 weeks after germination. They need to be done 1 time in 7 days, alternating mineral and organic complexes. It is better to buy ready-made mixtures for flowering plants. Only experienced flower growers can prepare solutions on their own.
Proper care of the pentas in adulthood is described later in the article.
Caring for a pentas at home
Pentas is a rather picky plant, not for beginners, but if you adhere to a number of requirements, then there should be no special difficulties with its maintenance at home.
Lighting. The plant needs bright sunlight, it even tolerates direct sunlight well. Therefore, southern windows will be optimal for growing it.
In the warm season, it is recommended to keep the pentas in the fresh air, taking it out on the balcony or in the garden for this period.
In winter, the pentasu also needs good lighting, for which phytolamps must be used.
Temperature. During the period of active growth, pentas prefers moderate temperatures, in the range of 20 - 25 ° C. Needs cool but not cold wintering. The air temperature at this time should not be higher than 16 ° C, but also not lower than 10 ° C. With a warmer winter, the plant will begin to stretch out the stems and dry the leaves.
In the absence of sudden changes in temperature, the plant calmly tolerates drafts or light wind (when kept outdoors). But in winter, when ventilating the premises, it should be protected from cold air currents that can freeze the leaves.
Watering. During active growth, pentas quickly absorbs water from the soil, so it needs regular abundant watering.Water it with soft, well-settled water that does not contain chlorine. It is not recommended to flood the plant, as the constant stagnation of water in the pot leads to waterlogging of the soil and rotting of the roots. It is best to stick to a watering regime in which the topsoil will dry out a little.
During the dormant period, watering is reduced, making sure that the earthy clod does not dry out completely and the leaves do not become wilted.
Air humidity. When grown at home, pentas becomes very demanding on air humidity. It must be at least 60%
If the room is much drier, then you can artificially increase the humidity around the plant using special humidifiers or "the old fashioned way", gently sprinkling the bush once or twice a day, making sure that water does not get on the flowers. Additionally, you can put a pot with a plant next to a container filled with water, or on a pallet with wet expanded clay
The soil. Pentasu requires nutritious loose soils, with an acidity of pH 5.5 - 6.5. Ready-made soil for flowering plants is suitable, but you can prepare a soil mixture yourself. To do this, you should take sod, leafy soil and sand in a ratio (2: 2: 1). Before planting in a pot, it is necessary to make a good drainage layer in order to avoid stagnant water and soil acidification.
Top dressing. During the growing season, once every two weeks, the plant is fed with a complex fertilizer for flowering plants. In winter, feeding can be stopped.
Transfer. Pentas is a fast growing plant. Therefore, young specimens are transplanted annually, in spring, into larger pots. Mature plants are transplanted every two years. In this case, the pot is also taken a little more than the previous one, or they use an old container for planting, but the roots of the plant are slightly cut.
Pruning. With age, the shoots are strongly stretched, and the stems are bare. In order for the pentas not to lose its attractive appearance, it must be regularly cut off and not allowed to outgrow the level of 40 cm.
In addition to pruning, to increase bushiness and form a beautiful crown, the tops of young shoots should be regularly pinched.
But even cardinal pruning and pinching does little to help preserve the attractive lush shape of the bush. Experienced growers are advised to periodically renew the plant by growing it again from the cuttings.
Reproduction. Pentas reproduces well with seeds that can be sown all year round. When sowing, follow the instructions on the seed bag or found in specialist literature. Seedlings germinate in 2 - 3 weeks.
It is not difficult to propagate pentas and green apical cuttings in cool (16 - 18 ° C) mini-plates, planting them in prepared potting mix. Rooting takes place within 8 to 10 days.
Diseases and pests. The most common pests are scale insects and spider mites. In case of infection, it is recommended to immediately spray the bush with a chemical of the appropriate action, and in case of severe damage, to grow a new specimen from the cuttings.
Chlorosis of the leaves can be distinguished from diseases. If a characteristic yellowing is found, it is recommended to feed the plant with iron chelates.
In addition, illnesses caused by improper care are also common.