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Pentas is one of the best butterfly-attracting plants around. It blooms all summer long, even during the hottest weather, with large clusters of starry blooms that attract butterflies by the dozens as well as hummingbirds. The plant grows well in containers and in the ground -- and it can even make a good houseplant if you have enough light. It does best in full sun and moist, well-drained soil. Pentas is grown as an annual in most parts of the country, but it's hardy in Zones 10-11. Plant it outdoors after all danger of frost has passed.
Under 6 inches to 8 feet
To 3 feet wide
how to grow Pentas
more varieties for Pentas
'Butterfly Light Lavender' pentas
Pentas 'Butterfly Light Lavender' bears lavender-pink flower heads on compact 14-inch-tall plants.
'Graffiti Bright Red' pentas
Pentas 'Graffiti Bright Red' bears large clusters of rich-red flowers on dwarf 12-inch-tall plants.
'Graffiti Lipstick' pentas
Pentas 'Graffiti Lipstick' is adorned by clusters of bright rosy-pink flowers on compact 12-inch-tall plants.
'Graffiti Pink' pentas
Pentas 'Graffiti Pink' bears big heads of pink flowers on 12-inch-tall plants.
'Graffiti Red Lace' pentas
Pentas 'Graffiti Red Lace' bears large heads of red flowers with white centers on 1-foot-tall plants.
'Graffiti White' pentas
Pentas 'Graffiti White' bears large flower heads of pure-white blooms on 12-inch-tall plants.
'Kaleidoscope Appleblossom' pentas
Pentas 'Kaleidoscope Appleblossom' shows off clusters of soft-pink flowers through the summer. It grows 18 inches tall.
'Kaleidoscope Deep Red' pentas
Pentas 'Kaleidoscope Deep Red' is an especially showy selection with clusters of rich-red flowers all summer long. It grows 18 inches tall.
'Kaleidoscope Pink' pentas
Pentas 'Kaleidoscope Pink' bears large clusters of soft-pink blooms on 18-inch-tall plants.
'New Look Pink' pentas
Pentas 'New Look Pink' bears light pink flowers on 12-inch-tall plants.
'Northern Lights Lavender' pentas
Pentas 'Northern Lights Lavender' is a large selection that's been bred to tolerate cooler temperatures. It offers lavender-pink flowers on a 4-foot-tall plant.
plant Pentas with
If you have a hot, baked spot, lantana is your answer. This hardworking plant not only thrives with little moisture and in full, unyielding sun, it does so with ease. In fact, lantana is a flower that seems to have it all: It produces an abundance of brightly colored flowers all summer and fall, and it's a magnet for butterflies (hummingbirds like it, too). It's easy to grow and a great choice for containers. Plus, if you have a sunny spot indoors, you can grow it as a charming indoor plant. In frost-free climates (Zones 9-11), it's a great perennial groundcover, as well.
There are few gardens that don't have at least one salvia growing in them. Whether you have sun or shade, a dry garden or lots of rainfall, there's an annual salvia that you'll find indispensable. All attract hummingbirds, especially the red ones, and are great picks for hot, dry sites where you want tons of color all season. Most salvias don't like cool weather, so plant them outdoors after all danger of frost has passed.
There's nothing subtle about an African marigold, and thank goodness for that! It's a big, flamboyant, colorful punch of color for the sunny bed, border, or large container. Most are yellow, orange, or cream. Plants get up to 3 feet tall and produce huge 3-inch puffball blooms while dwarf varieties get just 1 foot tall. The mounded dark green foliage is always clean, fresh, and tidy. Grow them in a warm, sunny spot with moist, well-drained soil all summer long.