- Learn how to grow lantana. Growing lantana requires no special attention, it is a small shrub that is grown for its fragrant colorful flowers that attract bees, butterflies and nectar feeding birds.
- Most common species
- Propagation and Planting Lantana
- Requirments for Growing Lantana
- Lantana Plant Care
- Growing Lantana in Pots
- Pests and Diseases
- Lantana Watering Needs – Tips On Watering Lantana Plants
- How Much Water Do Lantana Plants Need?
- Lantana Plants Verbena Relatives
- Lantana Bush Size and Growth Rate
- The Lantana Tree Looks Great In Large Pots Or Tubs
- Grow Lantana Plants To Attract Hummingbirds
- Lantana Bush Flowering and Fragrance
- Lantana Care – Light and Temperature
- Growing Lantana – Watering and Fertilizing
- Lantana Plant Care – Soil and Transplanting
- Pruning Lantana and Grooming The Trees
- Propagating Lantana Plants
- Pests On Lantana Plants
- Lantana Plant Buying Tips
- Uses For Lantana Bushes and Trees In The Landscape
- Overwintering Lantana Plants
- Lantana Varieties
Learn how to grow lantana. Growing lantana requires no special attention, it is a small shrub that is grown for its fragrant colorful flowers that attract bees, butterflies and nectar feeding birds.
Lantana is a beautiful wild plant that evoke the memories of wild tropical field, it grows in almost all tropical and subtropical parts of South America, Africa, Australia, North America and South East Asia. In most of the tropical countries it is an invasive plant and considered as weed. Still, it is grown for its colorful flowers that release seductive fragrance, more intense in the evening. Fragrance of lantana depends on the variety you are growing, hybrid varieties are more fruity and mildly scented. Lantana flowers also attract bees, butterflies and nectar feeding birds.
USDA Zones— 8 – 11
Other names — Shrub verbenas, Viburnum lantana, Raimuniya, Unnichedi, Red sage, Wild sage, Yellow Sage and Ghaneri.
Most common species
Lantana Montevidensis is native to South America, and is characterized by white, purple or lavender colored scented flowers. If given support it can grow as a climbing vine and without support as groundcover.
It can be grown in pots with other upright growing plants on which it can climb or in hanging basket for dangling effect.
Lantana camara is a semi-shrub that can grow around 2 m tall. It produces scented inflorescence in many different colors including red, yellow, white, pink and orange on a dense and compact shrub with many branches.
Propagation and Planting Lantana
Seed propagation of lantana is easy, although it will not grow true if seeds are from hybrid variety. Lantana can also be propagated from cuttings taken from new growth.
Plant lantana when last forecast date of frost has passed and slight warmness of spring arrives. Whereas, in tropics you can plant lantana in any season.
Requirments for Growing Lantana
To have a healthy and profusely blooming lantana you must carefully choose the area to cultivate it. Lantana needs full sun and dry location.
In tropics you can grow lantana in partial shade too.
Lantana is a drought tolerant plant once established and grows in dry soil. Water it only once a week by taking care not to wet the leaves or flowers. Let the soil dry out between the watering spells to prevent mold and mildew caused by overwatering.
In peak summer or when plant is young do regular watering.
Lantana is very undemanding plant and thrives in most soil types. It prefers rich, well drained soil with slightly acidic to neutral pH level.
The key to grow lantana is neglecting it. Do not overfertilize and do economical watering. It is a low maintenance plant.
Lantana should be fertilized twice a month with liquid fertilizer for flowering plants.
Remove inflorescence with faded flowers time to time and not allowing the plant to set fruits that contain seeds, which weaken the plant and shorten the flowering period.
Prune the plant to promote dense growth flowers. Pinch new shoots off with your fingers to encourage more branches and lush growth.
Also cut off dead and long branches time to time with a small pair of scissors.
Lantana is a tropical plant, in colder climates it does not overwinter on the ground but in pots. Before the onset of winter trim the plant 1/3 or even 1/2 and move it inside to a warm place in temperature around 50 F (10 C).
Growing Lantana in Pots
Growing lantana in pots is easy, here are a few tips that might help you. It requires a little more care than growing on ground like frequent pruning and watering.
Before watering always check out the moisture with your finger tips, water only when top 1 inch of soil is dry, never keep the lantana in moist soil. To prevent the lantana from becoming leggy, prune it about once a month.
Pests and Diseases
Lantana is resistant to most of the diseases but it might be attacked by some common pests like spider mites, mealybugs, and aphids when grown in poor conditions.
Warning: Some of the lantana varieties like “Lantana Camara” are mildly poisonous, especially for cattle. Lantana berries both unripe and ripe are poisonous, although its ingestion doesn’t cause severe toxicity. Symptoms like constipation, diarrhea, mouth irritation and abdominal pain occurs.
Also Read: Common Flowers that are Poisonous
Lantana has beautiful, multicolored blooms
Lantana is a beautiful, easy to grow garden plant. It’s tough, drought tolerant, long blooming, and attracts butterflies. Its lovely clusters of flowers come in a variety of colors, sometimes with multiple colors mixed together.
There are over 150 species of lantana, from trailing groundcovers to 6-foot tall shrubs. A cousin to verbena, lantana is native to the tropics, where it grows as a perennial or shrub.
Lantana foliage feels coarse and rough, with a pungent scent. Some varieties of lantana produce pretty (but poisonous!) purple berries while other sterile varieties skip the berries in favor of more blooms.
A sunny lantana border near the coast
Lantana can be grown in borders, mixed beds, and containers. Plant trailing varieties can also be grown in hanging baskets. In the Deep South, large varieties of lantana can be used as shrubs. And don’t forget to add lantana to your hummingbird and butterfly gardens!
Lantana Growing Conditions
Lantana is easy to grow, here are some tips to get you started:
- Climate: Lantana is winter hardy to about zone 8, with some varieties (such as ‘Miss Huff’) being more cold-tolerant than others. Some types of lantana die completely back in winter, while others keep a few stems aboveground. In colder zones, lantana is grown as an annual, or brought indoors for the winter.
- Soil: Lantana does best in well draining, slightly acidic soil. Lantana is pretty tolerant of soil type, but you should amend very heavy clay or sand with organic compost.
- Light: Lantana prefers full sun.
- Water: Once established, lantana is fairly drought-tolerant. An inch of water per week is ideal, but they are generally pretty adaptable.
Lantana Planting and Growing Tips
Here’s what you need to know to care for lantana in your yard:
- Fertilizer: Lantana doesn’t need much fertilizer; in fact, too much fertilizer can inhibit blooming. Use compost to enrich the soil, and feed in spring with a balanced organic fertilizer.
- Pruning: Lantana benefits from deadheading spent blooms and also from light shearing to keep the plant bushy and blooming. Give a heavy “rejuvenation” pruning in spring, down to 6”-8” tall. If your plant becomes leggy and overgrown during the growing season, you can cut it back by a third.
- Powdery mildew: Watch for powdery mildew on the leaves, especially if your lantana receives some shade.
- Pests: Lace bugs and whiteflies are common pests of lantana. Whitefly infestation can lead to development of sooty mold.
- Salt: Lantana tolerates salt and makes an excellent coastal planting.
Plant sterile (non berry producing) varieties if you have children or outdoor pets
- Lantana (Clemson University)
- Hummingbirds in the Garden (article)
- Flowers for a Butterfly Garden (article)
- Landscaping with Drought-Tolerant Plants (article)
Lantana Watering Needs – Tips On Watering Lantana Plants
Lantana is a plant in the Verbena family and a native of tropical America. It is primarily grown as a summer annual but can thrive as a shrubby perennial in tropical regions. These flowering plants can tolerate drought once established but the best development and flowering results from consistent watering. How much water do lantana plants need? We will discuss when to water lantanas for best growth and flower production in this article.
How Much Water Do Lantana Plants Need?
Plant watering needs vary by species and region. Lantana watering needs will differ in humid regions versus arid zones. Too much water may cause root rot and other problems while too little can affect foliage and flower development. Water application is always a fine line between too much and too little in any species. Watering lantana plants is necessary but how to tell how much and how frequently?
Lantana plant watering is an important part of the species care. As natives of the tropical Americas, lantana are adapted to humid conditions and fairly moist soil. Their drought tolerance is brief and the plants will suffer if they are not given supplemental irrigation.
The actual amount of moisture necessary will fluctuate in different conditions. For instance, plants in hanging baskets are exposed to air and evaporation more than in-ground plants. Plants that are mulched to conserve moisture will do better with less water. Each situation needs to be vetted dependent upon the location of the plant.
Watering Lantana Plants in Containers
Determining lantana watering needs is often as simple as inserting your finger into the soil. It sounds simple and it is. Hanging baskets and plants in containers do not have the blanket of soil that in ground plants experience. The roots are more exposed to air and consequential evaporation, meaning container plants require more frequent irrigation than their in-ground counterparts.
The smaller soil area to retain moisture and the confinement of the roots also means they cannot seek more moisture in nearby soil. If you use the finger test to check moisture levels, you can be sure when to water lantanas. If soil is dry to your touch, it is time to add moisture. This may be every two days or even every day in hot, arid regions. Where humidity is high, plants can do well with just watering twice per week.
In-Ground Lantana Plant Watering
Plants in the ground have more space to develop a broader root system, which can seek out moisture. They should be watered once per week during their blooming season. Ensure that the soil drains freely, as even weekly watering can create boggy conditions if soil is not loose. This may lead to root rot and other problems.
Covering the root zone with a good organic mulch will help hold moisture in while gradually releasing nutrients for plant uptake. Mulch is useful even in hot, dry conditions and it also can help extend the growing season in cooler climates by holding heat in the soil.
Avoid overhead watering in both container and in-ground plants, as it can cause foliar diseases due to fungal growth.
The lantana plant, a bright, full sun loving plant, producing flowers in abundance and rewarding you with lots of color.
Mastering lantana care is not difficult. Made to order for any bright patio with lots of direct full sun. Lantana plants are basically tropical plants requiring lots of warmth.
Plant the Lantana bush in your outdoor garden as soon as all danger of frost is past.
In warm areas where frost seldom if ever occurs, grow lantana plant all year in the garden.
Where they will flower constantly, attract hummingbirds, perfect for the butterfly garden and need only occasional trimming.
Lantana Plants Verbena Relatives
Lantanas belong to the verbena flower family. They grow much taller than the well-known annual verbena, but the small clusters of tubular blooms on this flowering plant look similar, and they bloom as freely. Lantana flowers come in red, orange, yellow, white, pink or lavender.
One variety with yellow flowers turns orange as they age and creates a striking bicolor effect.
Lantana Bush Size and Growth Rate
The woody, deciduous, perennial Lantana produces rather bushy growth which feels rough to the touch. As a whole, ornamental Lantana plants will produce a bank of pleasing deep green.
Garden centers begin stocking plants around May, planting outdoors depends on the weather since lantana plants cannot handle frost.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the common Lantana plant variety grows well in USDA hardiness zones 10 and 11.
Most Lantana dies back when temperatures fall below 28° degrees (Fahrenheit). Most grow back from their root system when warm weather returns.
Some of the new hardy lantana cultivars grow well in USDA zone 8.
When growing lantana, know the primary use for the plant, since you’ll basically find two types or varieties of Lantana.
Upright varieties are varieties better suited for use primarily as a ground cover, as bedding plants or even hanging baskets, reaching a height of 16″ to 30″ inches tall.
The Lantana Tree Looks Great In Large Pots Or Tubs
The upright growing varieties, if allowed to grow can reach heights of 5′ to 7′ feet and look great growing in large tubs or pots.
When grown as a “tree form standard” the lantana tree makes for very attractive container subjects on a patio, terrace or a front entry.
If you have room in a greenhouse or sun room to over winter them, grow lantana in pots placed inside a decorative tub or large pot.
How To Grow A Lantana Tree
To start a lantana tree, plant a small lantana in spring, into a larger container. Begin shaping the tree as soon as new growth begins.
Attach the stem (sometimes multiple stems) to a support like a bamboo stake, then begin trimming away any new side shoots.
Once the “tree” reaches approximately 30″-36″ inches tall, cut out the growing tip to encourage branching.
Continue to remove all growth below the branching top and begin to shape the top of the topiary.
I’ve grown several Lantana trees started from cuttings to a height of 4′-5′ foot tall and almost 4 foot wide.
This post shares some images on how it’s done pruning lantana, along with some other plants uncommonly grown as a topiary tree form style. This shows 6 steps for growing a lantana tree.
Cottage Farms Sun Kissed Rose Lantana Patio Tree
The previously recorded video below not represent current pricing and availability. But it gives you some ideas of what a Lantana tree can look like!
- Another bush or shrub that looks great when grown into a tree is the Hibiscus syriacus – Rose of Sharon.
- Discover How To Care For A Hibiscus for more color on your patio
- Duranta erecta ‘Sapphire Shower’ is another attractive option.
Grow Lantana Plants To Attract Hummingbirds
Hummingbirds show their approval of lantana plantings at certain seasons by coming regularly during the early morning and late afternoon for nectar. For a thrill, note the hours they come and sit quietly to enjoy near the lantanas.
Lantana Bush Flowering and Fragrance
Who doesn’t want non stop flowers? Flowers that handle heat, drought and do not take a lot of work.
On top of it all, the flowers attract butterflies like a magnet.
However, they may not be deer resistant but deer has a tendency to stay away for Lantana. What plant can deliver all that color? Lantana!
From the stem tips sitting above the plant’s squarish stems, and rough leaves with a tooth-edge, emerge small clusters of tubular individual flowers with a small collar.
Flowers begin showing up, with an overall spicy fragrance when warm weather arrives, with non-stop blooms until the first frost burns it back. To keep the flowers coming, pick off seed balls – or dead flowers before they form seed.
Older mature plants bloom best, with colors ranging from orange-red, pink, yellow, purple, violet and bicolors.
Lantana Care – Light and Temperature
Grow lantana in a warm, sunny position, they do very well in full sun. A west or south facing patio will produce the best-looking plants, with lots of flowers.
They will withstand the first light frosts of fall, but if you want to keep your old plants over for another season, dig them. More in the over-wintering section below.
Growing Lantana – Watering and Fertilizing
Even though the lantana plant is fairly drought tolerant, throughout the entire growing season water regularly. Lantana should never dry out.
In the spring when new growth begins, fertilize lightly using a balanced fertilizer such as 10-10-10.
A second application may be required during mid-summer. Lantanas respond well to a regular liquid fertilizing program and slow release fertilizers.
Be careful NOT TO OVER FERTILIZE as they may then produce excessive growth, weak stems and few blooms.
Lantana Plant Care – Soil and Transplanting
Lantana’s adapt to most soil conditions, use the same as bedding plants would grow in but they like a slightly acid (6.5 or lower), well-drained soil.
If planting in the ground in a heavy clay soil, thoroughly incorporate some sand or a coarse bark. If potted or planted in hanging baskets use a bagged commercial potting mix for best results.
Pruning Lantana and Grooming The Trees
Keep your lantana in shape with selective pruning, removing old spent flowers, long or withered stems and unattractive branches.
Growing Lantanas trained and shaped into a tree form makes for an attractive patio specimen.
Pinching encourages branching and production of flowering stems. Unpinched, the stems will trail and droop to greater lengths, with plentiful flowers. Whether or not to pinch growing tips is completely your choice.
Propagating Lantana Plants
Propagation from rooting a cutting will produce new plants the fastest, they can also grow from seed.
During the outdoor season, lantana plants may grow into small shrubs reaching 4 feet tall and sometimes more. In the case of overwintering, it’s easier to take cuttings in August than to dig and repot oversized plants.
Select cuttings with leaf joints close together. Make each cutting three or four inches in length, and when you cut, take a heel of wood from the main stem.
To root cuttings, first fill a small pot with moist, clean, gritty sand or perlite. I like a 50/50 mix of peat moss and perlite. I find less danger of fungus trouble using peat moss and perlite.
Remove the leaves from the lowest node, and set each cutting deep enough to cover the heel and the lowest node.
While Roots Are Forming
After planting, cover cuttings with a glass jar, or slip the entire container into a plastic bag. Set the container in a shaded, protected place, perhaps under shrubbery or indoors under grow lights.
Keep the rooting medium slightly moist. Unless the weather is unusually warm and dry, remove the jars for a while each day, or leave the plastic bag opened; this fresh air encourages healthy growth. When cuttings root, pot in moist soil as outlined earlier.
Pests On Lantana Plants
Few pests and diseases attack lantana’s, you’ll find them quite bug resistant. However, a handful of pests can impact the plant. Proper cultural practices limit most attacks, early detection and pests identification will speed up treatment and the recovery process.
Aphids – Generally found around the growing tip, buds and undersides of leaves where aphids suck sap from the plant and excrete a sticky substance called honeydew.
Plants heavily infested plants experience leaf drop, leaf yellowing, leaf curling and wilting. Check out this post for getting rid of aphids naturally.
Whiteflies – Small, white insects located on leaf undersides. Both adult and young feed on the plant.
Severe infestation causes leaf drop beginning with yellow leaf spots. Control with horticultural oil, insecticidal soap or other another natural organic insecticide neem spray oil.
Spider Mites – severe infestation during hot, dry periods are found on the undersides of leaves.
Look for plants lacking vigor, leaves showing a yellow to gray cast, and leaf drop.
Control with horticultural oil, insecticidal soap and other insecticides.
Read more on –>> How to kill spider mites
Lace Bugs – very common pest, feeds on the undersides of leaves, populations grow rapidly with high temperatures (90 degrees Fahrenheit).
On heavily infested plants leaves turn yellow and fall off early. Prune out severely damaged areas, treat with a systemic insecticide like acephate or imidacloprid. Provide sufficient nutrients and water to ensure recovery.
Leaf Miner – Feeds on interior leaves, leaving a whitish trail. Plants can handle a fair amount of injury before plant health comes into question.
Prune and destroy infested branches and foliage. In some areas parasitic wasps help control pests populations. Control with horticultural oil, insecticidal soap and other insecticides.
Mealybugs – Mealybugs “hide” on the undersides of leaves and on stems, with damage similar to aphids.
Treat small outbreaks with a 50-50 spray of water and isopropyl alcohol. For larger infestations control with horticultural oil, insecticidal soap and other insecticides.
Powdery Mildew – A common fungus plant disease, causing leaf yellowing and feeds on plant nutrients. Spreads rapidly. Most common on upper leaf surfaces.
Prune or thin plants to encourage good air circulation, water plants from below to keep foliage dry.
Lantana Plant Buying Tips
Start your lantana collection by picking up plants at the garden center or ordering new varieties online in the spring. At the garden center look of bushy plants, stiff stems and lots of buds.
Lots of color provided by the Lantana flower – Monrovia – via Pinterest
Uses For Lantana Bushes and Trees In The Landscape
Lantana makes a very colorful decorative plant for outdoor use on the patio or balcony.
Grow as a potted tree (my favorite), or planted as a bush and allow the stems to spill over.
The small ground cover varieties work well when planted in mass.
In my garden, lantana’s solved a seemingly hopeless problem spot – the space between a sidewalk and foundation, facing south.
The location stays not only hot but often dry. After planting the young plants and taking a few weeks to become established, they now thrive in this difficult situation.
NOTE: In some areas of the country you’ll find Lantana listed as an invasive species plant.
We answered this question –> Is the Lantana Plant Poisonous or Toxic?
Overwintering Lantana Plants
After a summer of outdoor flowering, trim back the most woody stems when the pot or basket moves indoors to winter quarters, for fresh new growth.
If digging up plants, prune back roots and tops severely and pot in a moist well-drain soil or potting mix like Miracle Gro. Winter Lantana’s in a cool, sunny window, keeping soil on the dry side (but never completely dry).
Or store the pot in a cool (40 degrees) spot and keep it just barely moist. Keep the plant half-dormant and leafless, until late March or April – then start it growing again.
The all important annual pruning happens when moving plants back outdoors for the growing season.
Ruthlessly cutting back the entire top growth to six or seven inches will reward you with a brand-new, well-shaped plant for summer, with an abundance of the new wood on which the lantana produces flowers.
Below are a few of the dozens of varieties and Lantana species available today. Most can trace their parent back to Lantana camara.
Lantana Confetti pruned into a tree via pinterest
Lantana ‘Confetti Tricolor’ – An excellent tricolor. The individual flowers in each cluster are yellow, pink, and a blending of purple. The effect is that of confetti on a green carpet.
gold yellow lantana flower
Lantana ‘Cream Carpet’ – The masses of flowers are a heavy cream color centered yellow at the throat. The leaves are a particularly lush green and are very heavily produced.
Lantana ‘Gold Rush’ – Masses of solid gold Lantana flowers.
Lantana ‘Pink Frolic’ – Some of the flowers in the large clusters are creamy with a yellow throat, but most are two-tone pink.
Lantana ‘Spreading Sunset’ – Vividly colored yellow-and-red flowers; leaves are a very dark green.
Planted landscape of yellow lantana varieties in full bloom – southern living – via Pinterest
Lantana ‘Sunburst’ – About the brightest solid yellow clusters – and large ones, too.
Common Name: Weeping, Trailing Lantana