Louisiana Super Plants: Lucky Star Pentas

Jeb Fields, Edwards, Ashley, Kirk-Ballard, Heather

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Pentas lanceolata

  • Recommended Use: Warm-season bedding plant
  • Exposure: Full sun
  • Size: Height: 10 to 16 inches; width: 12 to
  • 14 inches
  • Habit: Upright
  • Bloom Time: Continuous blooms all summer until first frost
  • Maintenance Category: Easy
  • Water Use: Light
  • Highlights: Excellent for attracting butterflies, bees and other pollinators to gardens and landscapes; continuous blooms; bold colors; resistant to drought.


Pentas, also known as Egyptian starcluster, are some of the best landscape plants for attracting pollinators to a garden, and with their bright, vivid colors, pentas attract people as well. The Louisiana Super Plants program already includes Butterfly pentas. However, Lucky Star pentas is so good that it was time to add another group. Across our trial sites and through the years, these continue to be top performers. In fact, Lucky Star Dark Red was one of the top winners in the 2018 Hammond Research Station Ornamental Trials, and Lucky Star Lavender was one of the top performers in the 2019 Hammond Research Station Ornamental Trials and Container Trials. Lucky Star pentas are grown by seed and are more compact than most other pentas, typically growing to only 10 to 16 inches tall, yet they still provide nonstop color throughout the season. High bloom density and large bloom openings keep butterflies and pollinators coming back for more throughout the season. Pentas do not need deadheading to have long-lasting color and they are very tolerant of Louisiana’s extreme climate. They perform well through the lengthy droughts in late summer.


  • Plant in full sun to ensure continuous high-quality color. However, they can take part sun.
  • Well-drained soil with pH of 5.5 to 6.5.
  • Thrives in raised beds but must have adequate water.

Growth Habit

  • Will grow to 10 to 16 inches tall and 12 to 14 inches wide.
  • Upright growing habit. Can be planted as a border or used in containers.
  • Space plants about 8 to 10 inches apart.

Care and Maintenance

  • A slow-release fertilizer incorporated into the soil at planting time will ensure uniform growth. Supplement the granular fertilizer with liquid feed, as needed, to keep plants looking their best.
  • Lucky Star pentas are grown by seed and can be purchased in the spring from local nurseries and garden centers.
  • Mulch 1 inch around bedding plants for best performance to help prevent weeds and conserve moisture.

Varieties for Louisiana Landscapes

Currently, seven colors are available in the Lucky Star series, including Lipstick, White Improved, Deep Pink, Lavender, Pink, Violet and Dark Red.

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Lucky Star lavender makes a fantastic container plant.

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Lucky Star Dark Red provides excellent contrast against deep green foliage.

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Lucky Star pentas are compact and full of bloom power.

6/22/2020 3:28:26 PM
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