If you want to bring a burst of color to your garden this growing season, then consider planting some Lantana. This plant produces bright and cherry blossoms during the summer months, and warmer climates in the United States allow for the year-round flowering of the Lantana.
The flowers come in a variety of hues, and also goes by the moniker of the “Spanish Flag.” This species may be somewhat invasive in some locations throughout the US. However, the plant is a favorite for pollinators, and it attracts plenty of birds and bees to the yard during the flowering season.
Known as an easy-growing plant, the Lantana thrives as an annual in northern climates, and as evergreen or groundcover in frost-free conditions. This plant is a member of the verbena family, and its native to South Africa, as well as South and Central America.
There are over 150-recognized varieties of Lantana, with the Lantana camara and hybrids being the most popular options for gardeners in the United States. This plant thrives in hot weather, making it a popular choice for gardens in the southern and south-western states.
However, its fast-growing characteristics are what make it a somewhat invasive species in the US.
Lantana Quick Facts
|Lantana is a flowering plant in the verbena family, native to South Africa, and South and Central America.
|Over 150 recognized varieties, with Lantana camara and hybrids being the most popular in the US.
|USDA Hardiness Zones
|Lantana grows well in Zones 1-8, with perennial varieties thriving in Zones 9-11.
|Lantana requires 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight per day, preferably morning and afternoon sun.
|Lantana prefers well-draining, slightly acidic soil, but can tolerate most soil types.
|Lantana flowers come in a wide range of colors, including coral, peach, yellow-red, purple, orange, and combinations.
|All parts of the Lantana plant, including flowers, are toxic to humans and pets.
|Lantana can be propagated through stem cuttings, seeds, or division.
|Water Lantana regularly until established, then reduce watering. Mature plants are drought-resistant.
|A dose of all-purpose liquid fertilizer in early spring can boost growth, but over-fertilization may prevent flowering.
|Pest and Disease
|Lantana is generally resistant to pests and diseases but may experience botrytis or powdery mildew in poor airflow conditions. Deer avoid eating Lantana.
|Salvia, marigolds, coreopsis, black-eyed Susan, zinnias, lavender, verbena, and ornamental grasses make excellent companion plants for Lantana.
Growing Conditions for Lantana
Lantana grows well in USDA Zones 1-8, with perennial varieties doing well in USDA Zones 9-11. Some Lantana varieties act as a somewhat tender perennial plant in USDA Zones 7-8. Perennial lantana can grow as tall as 6-feet, and as wide as 10-feet if they have the right growing conditions.
Plant your lantana is areas of the garden that revive between 6 to 8-hours of direct sunlight during the day. The plant prefers morning and afternoon sun, with shade in the midday heat.
Flowers come in multi-hued, bi-colored, or solid colors, and some of them change in color as they get older. The lantana blossoms come in a variety of colors, including coral, peach, yellow-red, purple, orange, and combinations.
The leaves can grow up to 4-inches in length, with an oval appearance and variegated or solid coloring in the green leaves. If you brush up against the lantana, it produces a pungent sage-like aroma, which some gardeners might find unpleasant.
The non-sterile varieties of lantana will start to produce small berries as the plant begins to finish its flowering cycle. The berries start as green in color and then turn black as they mature. Older plants also begin to develop woody stems.
Are Lantana Plants Toxic?
All parts of the lantana plant, including the flowers, are toxic to people and pets. If your dog or child eats the flowers, it could mean that you need to take a trip to the emergency room.
Educate your children about the toxicity of the plant, and keep pets away from lantana wherever possible.
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- Lantana Plant Pot: Lantana is a stunning plant with coarse, pungently scented, deep green leaves and red and orange blooms. The Lantana plant has a great contrast in its appearance, owing to its leaves and colorful flowers
- Indoor Plants: In many cases, the blooms of Lantana plants create a tie-dye effect on the flower heads. Attractive to butterflies, the flowers generally start as a light color and darken as they age. The USDA hardiness zone for outdoor planting is 9–11
- Easy Maintenance: Lantana plants are easy to care for; they prefer full sunlight, with the ideal temperature being above 30° F. A heat pack is included with each plant if your region experiences cold weather
- Home and Garden Decor: An ideal outdoor and indoor plant, our Dallas Red Lantana plant pot is perfect for windowsills, countertops, and tables in your home or garden. The plant can grow up to 18” tall and is a great gift option for friends and family
- Health Benefits: Live plants purify the air in their surroundings and thus enable you to inhale clean, fresh air while also helping to boost mood levels. The plant is toxic to humans and pets if ingested
- Lantana Live Plant for Planting Outdoors, Red Lantana Well Rooted Perennial Flower Well Rooted
Last update on 2024-01-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
How to Plant Lantana
The lantana loves the heat of the summer. It’s best to plant it during the early spring after the last frosts fall to the ground in your area. Check your local listings for frost dates. After the soil warms up, plant your lantana in an area of the garden that receives morning and afternoon sunlight. Planting lantana in shady areas may prevent the plant from flowering.
- Ensure that the soil drains well, and add amendments to improve the drainage where necessary.
- Lantana plants that have wet roots all of the time will end up experiencing the onset of diseases and pests.
- Plant the lantana in flowerbeds or as border plants around the garden. When planting, gently coax the roots out of the transplant pot, and place them in a prepared hole.
- Cover the roots with soil, but make sure you don’t cover the crown of the plant. If you cover the crown of the plant with mulch, it results in the onset of disease.
- After planting, press down on the soil around the base of the plant to remove any air pockets.
- Water the lantana thoroughly, and leave the soil to dry for 3-days before watering again.
- The spacing requirements vary depending on the variety, and you can mulch around the base of the plant during the summer to retain moisture in the soil and provide the plant with additional nutrients to support flowering.
If you’re growing lantana in containers, then make sure you choose a high-quality potting mix. Add some perlite to the soil to improve drainage and airflow to the roots of the plant. Make sure the container drains well to prevent the roots from developing rot.
How to Care for Lantana Plants
Lantanas require some maintenance and care during, and after the growing season, depending on the variety you choose. If you’re growing a perennial variety, the plants turn into shrubs or woody groundcover in the garden.
In the early spring, you’ll need to cut back the dead canes and prune the plant back by 30% to generate new growth.
Annual varieties of lantana require light pruning to shape the plants. Pinch the tips of the stems to encourage the plant to branch out and increase flower production in the summer.
How To Deadhead Lantana
By deadheading your lantana during the flowering season, you extend its blooming time. As a result, you might be able to squeeze in an extra flowering session before the winter sets in, and the cold weather arrives.
Deadheading also prevents the plant from forming berries. While this practice is not necessary to grow healthy lantana, deadheading allows you to enjoy your plant for longer during the growing season.
How To Overwinter Lantana
If you’re growing lantana in colder climates, then you’ll need to overwinter the plant indoors. Remove the plant from the garden, and plant it in a pot. Leave the pot in a cold, dark area of your home, and spread mulch over the top of the plant, leaving the crown exposed.
Lantana Soil Types
Lantana grows well in most soil types. However, the plant prefers soils that offer excellent drainage and plenty of nutrients to help it flower. For best results during the flowering season, plant your lantana in slightly acidic soils.
You can mulch around the base of the plant throughout the growing season, but make sure you never cover the crown.
You don’t have to fertilize established lantana plants. However, a dose of all-purpose liquid fertilizer in the early springtime boosts the rapid growth of the plant. Over-fertilizing your lantana may prevent it from flowering.
We recommend you eater your lantana regularly until the plant establishes a healthy root system. As the plant’s age, they require less water. The stems turn woody over the years, and the plant eventually develops very good drought-resistance.
Water once or twice a week if you live in dry climates like Nevada or Arizona. In areas that receive substantial rainfall, you can probably get away without having to water your mature plants for the entire season.
Diseases and Pests Affecting Lantana
If the plant doesn’t receive sufficient airflow, it might start to show signs of botrytis or powdery mildew. However, in most cases, lantana is a very hardy plant that is resistant to disease. Deer also avoid easting lantana.
Propagation of Lantana Plants
Lantana plants can be propagated through seeds or cuttings, allowing you to expand your garden or share these vibrant plants with friends and family. Here are the methods for both seed and cutting propagation:
- Begin by collecting seeds from mature Lantana plants or purchasing them from a reputable supplier. If collecting seeds, allow the berries to mature on the plant and turn black before harvesting. Remove the seeds from the berries and let them dry for a few days.
- Start the seeds indoors 8-10 weeks before the last frost date in your area. Use a seed-starting mix or well-draining potting soil in seed trays or small pots.
- Sow the seeds on the surface of the soil, pressing them lightly to ensure good contact. Lantana seeds need light to germinate, so do not cover them with soil.
- Moisten the soil with a spray bottle and cover the trays or pots with a clear plastic lid or plastic wrap to maintain humidity.
- Place the trays or pots in a warm, bright location with indirect light. The ideal germination temperature is between 70-75°F (21-24°C).
- Keep the soil moist but not waterlogged. Germination should occur within 2-3 weeks.
- Once the seedlings have developed their first set of true leaves, transplant them into individual pots. Gradually acclimate them to outdoor conditions before planting them in the garden after the danger of frost has passed.
- Choose a healthy, non-flowering stem from an established Lantana plant. Ensure that the stem is not too woody but has some firmness to it.
- Take a 4-6 inch (10-15 cm) cutting, preferably in the morning when the plant is well-hydrated. Make a clean cut using a sharp, sterilized pair of pruning shears or a knife.
- Remove the leaves from the lower half of the cutting, leaving only the top leaves intact.
- Dip the cut end of the stem in rooting hormone (optional but can improve success rates) and then plant the cutting in a well-draining soil mix or a mix of equal parts perlite and peat moss.
- Water the cutting thoroughly and cover it with a clear plastic bag or place it in a propagator to maintain humidity.
- Keep the cutting in a bright location with indirect light and a temperature of around 70°F (21°C).
- Check the cutting regularly for root development, which typically occurs within 3-4 weeks. Keep the soil moist but not soggy.
- Once the cutting has developed a healthy root system, gradually acclimate it to outdoor conditions and transplant it into the garden or a larger pot.
Lantana Companion Plants
Choosing the right companion plants for your Lantana can not only enhance the visual appeal of your garden but also help in attracting pollinators, improving soil health, and repelling pests. Here are some excellent companion plants to consider when planting Lantana:
- Salvia: Salvia plants are excellent companions for Lantana, as they share similar growing conditions and attract beneficial pollinators such as bees and butterflies. Their colorful blooms complement the Lantana flowers and create a visually stunning garden display.
- Marigolds: Marigolds are known for their pest-repelling properties, making them a great companion for Lantana. Their strong scent can deter various insects, while their vibrant blooms add an extra layer of color to the garden.
- Coreopsis: Coreopsis plants are low-maintenance, drought-tolerant, and produce bright, cheerful blooms that complement Lantana flowers. They also attract a wide range of pollinators, helping to create a thriving garden ecosystem.
- Black-eyed Susan: This native wildflower pairs well with Lantana, sharing similar sun and soil preferences. Its bright yellow flowers create a stunning contrast with the vibrant Lantana blooms, and they also attract pollinators.
- Zinnias: Zinnias are another flowering plant that shares similar growing requirements as Lantana, making them an ideal companion. Their bright, bold blooms pair well with the Lantana’s colorful flowers, and they also attract pollinators.
- Lavender: Lavender plants can be a good companion for Lantana due to their drought tolerance, similar sun preferences, and ability to attract pollinators. Their contrasting colors and foliage can create an interesting visual texture in the garden.
- Verbena: Since Lantana is a member of the verbena family, other verbena varieties can make excellent companions. They share similar growing conditions and can create a harmonious display of colors and textures in the garden.
- Ornamental grasses: Ornamental grasses like fountain grass, switchgrass, or blue oat grass can provide an interesting backdrop for the colorful Lantana flowers. They add texture, movement, and contrast to the garden while requiring minimal maintenance.
Lantana plants are a vibrant and versatile addition to any garden, offering a profusion of colorful flowers throughout the growing season. With over 150 recognized varieties, there is a Lantana to suit every garden’s aesthetic.
These plants are generally easy to grow, requiring minimal care and maintenance. While they are toxic to humans and pets, proper education and caution can mitigate the risks.
As a bonus, Lantanas are excellent for attracting pollinators and are relatively resistant to pests and diseases. By selecting suitable companion plants and providing the right growing conditions, you can enjoy the beauty of Lantana plants in your garden, creating a lively and inviting atmosphere for all to enjoy.
Is lantana easy to grow?
Yes, lantana is generally easy to grow. These plants are drought-tolerant and do well in a variety of soil types, although they prefer well-draining soil. They’re also quite resistant to pests and diseases, making them a low-maintenance choice for many gardeners.
Do lantanas come back every year?
Yes, lantanas are typically perennial plants, which means they come back every year. However, in cooler climates, they may behave as annuals, dying off in the winter and needing to be replanted in the spring.
Where is the best place to plant lantana?
The best place to plant lantana is in a location with full sun. Lantanas thrive in heat and need at least six hours of direct sunlight each day. They can tolerate partial shade, but too much shade can inhibit blooming. They do well in various soil types but prefer well-draining soil.
Does lantana grow well in pots?
Yes, lantana can grow well in pots. Growing lantana in pots allows for better control over soil quality and drainage, and it also makes it easier to bring the plants indoors if you live in a cooler climate. Just ensure the pot has ample drainage holes and that the plant gets plenty of sunlight.
Why is lantana a problem?
Lantana can become a problem because it is a vigorous grower and can become invasive in certain conditions, particularly in warm climates. It can crowd out other plants and significantly alter native plant communities. Also, it’s important to note that lantana is toxic to pets if ingested.
Can lantana be kept as a houseplant?
While lantana is typically grown outdoors, it can be grown as a houseplant if it receives plenty of sunlight. It’s best to place it in a location that receives at least six hours of direct sunlight each day, such as a south-facing window. Regular pruning can help keep the plant compact and encourage bushier growth.