ArtisTree Plantopinions: Panama Rose Gets a Rosy Review

Panama Rose shrubs don’t mean to confuse. Yes, “rose” is in their name, but they look like a big bushy pentas plant that’s gotten a little out of control (in fact, they’re also known as bush pentas). So, when we received a request to review this specimen, we said sure. It’s just too interesting not to weigh in on!

The Panama Rose

“I enjoy your newsletter and thought I’d submit the Panama Rose as a suggestion to be used for more Florida landscapes. Mine has been in the ground for two years in a southeast location and has been trimmed probably twice a year. It seems to flower profusely from late fall through spring.”

– Regards, M.C.

Thanks, M.C. Actually, two of ArtisTree’s landscape designers have never used Panama Rose before, although they’re familiar with this willowy shrub’s many attributes. This evergreen grows up to 8 to 10 feet tall with tight clusters of beautiful pink flowers. Plant as a single specimen plant or colorful informal screen in full sun to part shade. Just make sure your soil is well-drained. You can prune in early summer as low as three to five feet if you like.

Joe Mantkowski, VP Landscape Design, thumbs up:

“I actually just used Panama Rose on a big project in Lakewood Ranch. Pink is often a favorite choice in a Florida landscape palette, and this specimen shows off that color all year long. Its tubular blooms and lance-shaped leaves are really unique and grab attention. Try using it as an ornamental/accent or in a massing, which is how I used it in my recent project.”

Panama rose shrubs bloom nearly year round in Southwest Florida.

Clinton Lak, Landscape Designer, thumbs up:

“I don’t use Panama Rose often primarily because my clients prefer a more formal structured look for their landscapes. However, it’s a nice alternative to ixora in our warmer micro climates. Beautiful color with extended blooming and great for informal cottage gardens and butterfly gardens. Downsides are its susceptibility to cold and somewhat aggressive growth rate. But that can be kept in check.”

Chris Culp, Landscape Designer, thumbs up:

“I’ve seen Panama Rose several times but have not used it in my landscapes. It looks like a large version of a pentas and adapts really well to our local limestone-based soils. I do know it’s easily propagated and can also do well in a large container or planting box. The prettiest ones I’ve seen were a whole line of them installed close to a road in Sarasota. Definitely made an impact.”

An informal “hedge” of Panama Rose will attract butterflies as well as compliments.

Brian Clouser, Landscape Designer, thumbs up:

“Have not used it. It seems like a potential alternative for dwarf oleander in a group planting or as a good choice for a butterfly garden. In fact, one of the homeowners who lives near me has a half dozen Panama Rose shrubs in her front bed and I can smell their fragrance as soon as I walk up. It’s really pleasant.”

Conan Michel, Purchasing Manager, thumbs up:

“I love the Panama Rose. It has really unique flowers and attracts butterflies. Best of all, it flowers almost all year (heaviest from late fall to late spring) and is very low maintenance. I’ve seen Panana Rose grown as far north as Zone 9b, too. The trunk is woody and solid, and once established, is a very hardy plant that can be enjoyed for years.”

ArtisTree “Plantopinions” is a roundtable debate between multiple ArtisTree experts on the virtues of various plant specimens. Sometimes there’s consensus and sometimes not. In the end, you are the judge!

ArtisTree Landscape

Contact ArtisTree

Spring is here and it’s time to get your landscape renovation project off the ground! Check out ArtisTree’s portfolio and then call Jenni Lassen at 941.488.8897 to meet with one of our award-winning designers. We proudly serve Sarasota, Manatee, and Charlotte counties.

ArtisTree also provides complete landscape maintenance services for HOA communities throughout Southwest Florida. Contact Michael Casper at 941.488.8897 for your custom proposal.  

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