Anyone tried Pentas for Hummers?

hummersteveJuly 27, 2012

Because this was mentioned online as a butterfly plant I saw this plant at a local shop cheap and picked it up. It is Pentas Lanceolata egyptian star or star cluster. I have to admit I was quite surprised at the hummer interest daily several times a day and it handles this intense drought no problem and keep putting new clusters. Ok enough talk I made a video if you would care to see it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Pentas star cluster

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mbrowne(9b Central CA)

Nice one. First I've heard of those. One site notes that it will flower year-round in warm climates. I'm thinking I should see that here in central California.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 12:13AM
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hummersteve

There are a lot of different colored ones and tall ones and short ones or dwarf types which is what I have. Most people talk about having the tall ones but I just happened to see this one at a nursery and I hadnt thought about this one before either but Im now a believer. The price wasnt bad either less than $5. When I bought this it had maybe 4 or 5 clusters now it has 10 or 12 and many more forming. Right now Im trying cuttings from it to see if they will root.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 12:26AM
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mboston_gw

Yes, the do love the Pentas BUT the best ones are the taller older varities. Here in Florida, we look for those that have the name Ruby Red or Ruby Glo. I think the shorter ones are more of a hybrid and therefore less nectar producing. They do bloom here year round and are a mojor source of nectar for our winter hummers. They do get bit back in frost or killed (as some did in the winter of '10) but if somewhat protected, they do fine. Up there, you would probably loose them entirely. Getting cutting to root is tricky, with a low % of success, at least for me.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2012 at 12:08PM
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hummersteve

mboston

Thanks for that info , I noticed the label on the one I bought only said Pentas Hybrid. But mine looks exactly like the star cluster I have seen online. I have never looked for this plant before this year . But lack of nectar, you couldnt prove it to my hummers that hit it daily several times a day as evidenced by the vid above.

Yes I have taken cuttings as mentioned above and time will tell if they root or not. If not I will work on finding some next spring.

Steve

    Bookmark   July 30, 2012 at 1:14PM
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christy2828(8a)

I had many of them in So. Fla when I lived there. They do very well, bloom constantly, don't get leggy, all around a great plant. We also got a lot of Zebra butterflies at them. The only plant that got more attention than those was my dwarf (yeah right, it was 12 feet tall!) pink powder puff. Christy :)

    Bookmark   August 1, 2012 at 8:09PM
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hummersteve

Christy

Are you kidding 12' tall Id hate to think how big the others are. Maybe next year I will put them in the ground dont know what I will do when winter comes.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2012 at 7:42PM
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jomuir(z5 detroit)

wow he is really working that plant over! Until he gets run off by another hummer lol.

I've never heard of Pentas, better homes & gardens blurb says its an annual except in zones 10-11 where its perennial, also that it attracts hummers & butterflies. I hope it roots for you.

Where are you taping this from? Outside? Your hummers must be so tame or numerous they ignore you. When I see one if I even move around in the room they're near, they see me & fly off. I'm a hummer stalker now.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 9:56AM
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mboston_gw

My Pentas will get to 5' tall if I let them and as Christy said, the butterflies love them. I'm in zone9b and they do fine here year round and bloom all the time, UNLESS we hve a winter like we did two years ago with 11 days of freezing temps. Some of my died back but most survived even without covering, although they are somewhat sheltered. The hummers here in the winter love them and use them all the time.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 4:09PM
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christy2828(8a)

No joke, I have two in my yard (we still own that house), one in the front and one in the back. My landscaper trims the one in the front yard constantly, but the one in the back was allowed to take over. They are very pretty, but huge and grow really fast. The hummers LOVE that plant. My pentas are in an area where I didn't see them often except when pulling my car in. I don't really recall seeing hummers at it but it was always smothered in zebra longwings. Pentas are prolific bloomers though, you'll have to keep me updated on how they do in your climate!!

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 4:48PM
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hummersteve

jomuir

I was inside when I took this but I could have been outside, they are fairly accepting of my presence. I have 3 feeders hanging right on my window where I sit at my pc with the window blinds wide open and they are just used to me more or less.

Here are a couple of shots I took the other day standing not 3' from this young guy.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 11:40PM
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jomuir(z5 detroit)

I hate you Steve.

ok I don't really but I do feel some envy at your pics, they're very nice! All I ever get is blurry shots & later if I don't see anything, I must've been taking pics of a hummer. The hummer above is like,
"eyes right"
"eyes left"

    Bookmark   August 7, 2012 at 2:18PM
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hummersteve

jomuir

I know how feel so I got a nice lens [used] off ebay that is a dedicated macro lens that works pretty well. I have done my homework and seen pics from other people using this lens. So for me Im still learning the best way to use it. In photography the old saying certainly holds true " you get what you pay for". It is more in the lens than the camera.

canon-t2i/550d
sigma 180mm f3.5 macro

    Bookmark   August 7, 2012 at 6:53PM
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