starflower pentas lanceolata
Once starflower starts to bloom, nothing stops it until frost. Like many butterfly plants, this one prefers, in fact needs, heat to bloom its best. So there’s no point setting it out into your garden until all danger of frost is past.
If you have limited space for your butterfly garden, maybe only room for a container or two, plant starflower in those containers. Prune it back if it starts to get too big — it’ll bloom again in just a few weeks. You won’t need to worry about keeping this plant tidy. The spent flowers turn green rather than brown so you may not even notice them against the foliage. And later the heads drop off all by themselves.
TYPE Annual SIZE 15 to 18 in. tall by 18 in. wide BLOOM Pink, red or white in summer LIGHT Full sun SOIL Well drained PESTS Occasional aphids and spider mites HARDINESS Cold: USDA zone 12 (treat as an annual elsewhere) Heat: AHS zones 12 to 1