Lantana Care

Lantana is a genus of about 150 species of perennial flowering plants in the verbena family, Verbenaceae. They are native to tropical regions of the Americas and Africa but exist as an introduced species in numerous areas, especially in the Australian-Pacific region, South and Northeastern part of India. Hardy in USDA zones 8-11, most gardeners enjoy the stunning lantana in the summer only, used as pretty flowering borders and container plants. Lantana plants are famous for their round clusters of flowers. Flowers colors can be yellow, red, white, orange, purple, or or bicolored. Growing 3 to 4 feet tall and 1-3 feet wide, plant lantanas in full sun where all pollinators can enjoy them. This plant can be toxic to dogs and cats.


Planting Lantana

Lantana can be planted in the spring once the threat of frost and freezing temperatures cease. This plant likes warm temperatures, so you may not see abundant growth until steady warm weather is present. Lantana thrives in well-draining soil that is slightly acidic. Choose a spot that will get at least 6 hours of sun each day. This plant will tolerate some afternoon shade, but will bloom less in a shady area. Newly planted Lantana will need regular watering to promote root development.

Watering Lantana

Newly planted Lantana will require regular watering to promote healthy root development. Once established, this plant requires little maintenance and is considered drought tolerant. Typically, one inch of water each week will keep the plant happy. It is best to water the plant slowly and thoroughly so that moisture seeps down to the roots. Regular watering promotes bountiful full sized flowers. If blooming seems to slow, try giving the plant more water.


Fertilizing Lantana

Lantana is a very low-maintenance plant that does not require fertilizer. In fact, too much fertilizer can actually decrease the production of flowers. During the spring, before new growth appears, a light dose of all purpose fertilizer can be applied. A balanced 20-20-20 granular fertilizer will work fine. Lantana grown in a container may need an additional liquid fertilizer once a month. It is best to water well after each application of fertilizer.

Pruning Lantana

Pruning Lantana is a good idea, as it will prevent the plant from taking over the garden area and crowding out other plants. If you are growing Lantana as an annual, you can prune lightly to encourage new growth. Pinch the tips of the stems by 1-3 inches to encourage more flower production. Overgrown plants can be cut back by a third of the new growth. If you are growing Lantana as a perennial, in the early spring, cut off the dead wood by one third to stimulate new growth.


Caring For Lantana in Pots

Plant Lantana in a container that has good drainage holes. Place the container in a location that will get at least 6 hours of sunlight each day. During the first few weeks of planting, keep the plant evenly moist, but not soggy. Lanta is a drought tolerant plant. Once established, an inch of water per week is enough. Do not water unless the top inch of soil is dry to the touch. Do not fertilize unless the soil is poor. Deadhead when necessary to promote more blooms.


Winter Care for Lantana

Gardeners in colder zones prefer to grow Lantana as an annual that will bloom until frost. This plant self seeds, so don’t be surprised if it shows up in your garden again in the spring. Container grown Lantanas can be brought indoors for the winter. The plant will go dormant in the fall. Place the container in an unheated garage near a window during the cold season. Turn the plant occasionally so all sides of the plant get a bit of sun from the window. Once the threat of frost is over. Take the pot outdoors and water the plant well.

Common Lantana Care Questions

How Do You Keep Lantana Blooming?

Continually deadheading Lantana will help to keep them blooming all season. In addition, you can trim off the growing tips to help encourage new growth and additional blooms as well. In areas where Lantana is hardy, this can keep them blooming all year long. 

Does Lantana Like Sun Or Shade?

Lantana loves the sun. Plant them in full sun conditions, though they can tolerate some shade, their flowering will be less profuse.

Does Lantana Come Back Every Year?

In frost-free climates, lantana can be grown as a perennial and it will grow all year long. In northern areas, lantana is grown as annuals but if they're in containers can be overwintered inside in a cool room or basement.

Why Is Lantana A Problem?

Lantana can be considered a bit invasive because of its ability to grow in hot, dry conditions, sandy soils, and is tolerant of salt. Also, lantana is toxic to most livestock and rabbits and their relatives as well. 

What Are Lantana Colors?

Lantana is most commonly found in yellows, pinks, oranges, reds, and purples.

Why Do Lantana Leaves Turn Yellow?

If your temperatures have been cool, lantana is fairly sensitive to that and may think winter is setting in and it prepares to go into dormancy. Once the weather warms back up, they'll warm back up, too. In climates with high humidity, yellowed leaves may be a sign of Botrytis Blight. If that is the case, trim out all the yellow leaves. If the remaining leaves then turn yellow, you may have to dig the lantana up and dispose of it so the blight doesn't spread to other plants. 

Why Do Lantana Leaves Turn Brown?

Browned leaves on lantana may be from lack of water, a calcium deficiency in the soil, or the Lantana Lace Bug which can be treated by pinching off all the affected areas of the plant and treating it with a mild pesticide.  

What Is The Growth Rate Of Lantana?

Lantana can grow, in a single season, 2 to 6 feet tall with a spread from 3 to 10 feet, in areas where it is grown as a perennial. In areas where it is treated as an annual, it can get 3 or 4 feet high and 1 to 3 feet wide, during the growing season.

Is Lantana Drought Tolerant?

Lantana is extremely drought-tolerant once they're established. 

Do Lantanas Spread?

Lantanas are self-seeding, so they may surprise you with new plants in the spring.

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Author Chris Link - Published 09-08-2021