How to Properly Care for Lantana Plants (2022)

Lantana plants have a unique vine-like sprawling appearance from woody branches, making them popular to grow in outdoor hanging baskets or as ground covers. Lantana is known for its rounded clusters of small, brightly colored flowers that may be yellow, orange, white, red, pink, blue, or purple. Often the almost fluorescent colors are mixed within the same cluster, creating a bicolored effect.

The leaves have a sandpaper-like texture. Although many dislike the sharp, citrusy smell of this plant, the aroma of their foliage qualifies them as fragrant plants. The flower's nectar attracts several species of butterflies including the spicebush swallowtail. This fast-growing plant can be planted any time as a perennial or in the spring as an annual. Lantana is toxic to animals.

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Click Play to Learn How to Grow and Care for Lantana Plants

Common NamesLantana, shrub verbena
Botanical NameLantana camara
FamilyVerbenaceae
Plant TypePerennial in zones 9-11; otherwise annual
Mature Size6 ft. high and wide (as a perennial)
Sun ExposureFull sun
Soil TypeWell-drained
Soil pHNeutral (6.0-8.0)
Bloom TimeYear-round in frost-free climates
Flower ColorMix of red, orange, yellow, blue, white, pink
Hardiness Zones7a-11a (USDA)
Native AreasTropical Americas, West Indies, Mexico
ToxicityToxic to pets

Lantana Care

Lantana plants are evergreens of the broadleaf variety. Although they may act like a vine, they are classified by botanists as shrubs. Lantana's colorful blooms make good specimen plants. They are also used as border shrubs and as ground coverin areas with full sunshine in warm climates. The plants tolerate salt spray very well, making them popular in yards located near the ocean. In colder climates, where lantana plants are treated as annuals, they are commonly found growingin hanging baskets.The variety L. montevidensis is more vine-like than other varietiesand makes a better hanging plant.

Warning

Lantana plants are considered invasive in many areas, including in Florida, Arizona, and Hawaii. If you live in a frost-free climate and would like to grow lantana outdoors as a perennial, check with your municipality or a local extension office to see if there are any restrictions on planting this species in your area.

How to Properly Care for Lantana Plants (1)

(Video) Lantana plant CARE and Lantana plant PRUNING

How to Properly Care for Lantana Plants (3)

How to Properly Care for Lantana Plants (4)

Light

Lantana plants like full sun. The plant should receive at least six hours (or more) of direct sunlight every day. It can tolerate some afternoon shade but will flower less if planted in a shady spot.

Soil

These plants thrive in well-draining soil. They will grow in most soil conditions but prefer a neutral pH.

Water

Water lantana thoroughly, about one inch per week, and do not let it dry out. With sandy soil, you will likely need to water every day. If blooming has slowed or stopped altogether, try more water.

Temperature and Humidity

Lantana plants may survive in a light frost, but if the temperature dips below 28 degrees Fahrenheit or stays cold for a long time, the plant will die. Lantana thrives in temperatures 55 degrees Fahrenheit or more. It enjoys humid weather and can even survive with salt spray.

(Video) Lantana Plant Care Tutorial

Fertilizer

Lantana plants do not require much fertilizer when the plant is in the ground—once in the early spring should suffice. They are very low-maintenance, and too much fertilizer can decrease the abundance of flowers. Feed lantana plants in containers more frequently with a balanced, gentle 20-20-20 fertilizerevery month.

Types of Lantana

  • Trailing lantana (Lantana montevidensis): These have branches up to 12 inches long and are popular for baskets or hanging displays.
  • Popcorn lantana (Lantana trifolia): This type is known for its relatively small and bright clusters of flowers.
  • Wild lantana (Lantana urticoides): Found in Texas, these have especially pungent leaves.
  • 'Spreading Sunset' (Lantana x 'Monet'): This cultivar has a flower head with gold centers surrounded by orange. This orange color later fades to pink.
  • Lantana camara 'Miss Huff': Cold hardy to Zone 7b with orange and yellow flowers.
  • Lantana camara 'Bandito': Compact mounding habit with orange, red, or pink flowers.

Pruning

If you are growing lantana as a perennial, then pruning is important to promote branching and flowering, as well as to remove the plant's fruit to keep its aggressive growth in check. Lightly shear lantana after flowering to encourage future blooms on bushier branches. Cut stems in the spring to within six to 12 inches from the ground to encourage branching and blooming.

If a perennial lantana plant produces berries and you do not want the seeds to drop and spread, prune lantana after flowering.

How to Grow Lantana From Seed

Seeds for planting lantanas as annuals in cooler zones are readily available commercially. Harvesting seeds from perennial plants in warmer zones is simple. When the plant's black berries are ripe, you will find seed pods inside. Plant seeds six to eight weeks indoors before you want to transplant outdoors.

  1. Pop seeds out of the pods, rinse them with water, and dry them on paper towels for a couple of days.
  2. Store dried seeds in a sealed container placed in a refrigerator until you are ready to put them in a small pot for germination.
  3. Soak seeds in warm water for 24 hours.
  4. Fill small pots with soilless potting mix, place one or two seeds in the center of each pot, and cover with the medium.
  5. Place the pot with the seeds in individual and sealable plastic bags. Keep the pots of seeds moist and in an environment where the temperature is consistently between 70 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
  6. Remove the bag as soon as you see seedlings. This should take about a month. Plant outdoors or in an outdoor container.

Overwintering

Gardeners in cold climates sometimes wonder if lantana plants can be taken indoors in the fall and overwintered as houseplants. The answer is yes and no. Yes, they can be overwintered inside, but they do not thrive as houseplants. It is better to place them in an unheated room for the winter to keep them in a dormant state, providing just minimal light and water (about a 1/2 inch of water per week) until you replant.The temperature of the room should not dip much below 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

Common Pests

Lantana can survive most pests but watch for the following insects that can cause problems if the infestation becomes severe. The four most common pests to lantana will be aphids, lace bugs, mealybugs, whiteflies, and spider mites. Use insecticidal soap to eliminate pests or use a method more specific to the insect to save lantana plants.

FAQ

  • Is lantana easy to grow?

    It's one of the easiest plants to grow as an annual or perennial. It's tough and drought-tolerant, which makes it nearly maintenance-free.

    (Video) Potting Lantana : Plant & Flower Care
  • Does lantana grow fast?

    Lantana is a fast-growing and profuse bloomer, especially as a perennial. Even as an annual, lantana can potentially grow into a bushy bloomer that's several feet tall in one season.

  • Can lantana grow indoors?

    Lantana does not make a good houseplant. This plant is better grown outdoors as an annual or perennial, depending on where you live.

  • What is the difference between lantana and verbena?

    Lantana plants are sometimes called "verbena bushes". Both are part of the Vebenaceae family and they both attract butterflies. Lantana's blooms are smaller, in tighter clusters than verbena. Verbena is not as drought or heat-tolerant as lantana.

    (Video) The PROBLEM with LANTANA - I won't plant this variety of LANTANA in my garden #lantana

Article Sources

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FAQs

Does lantana need to be cut back? ›

Prune perennial lantanas back hard in spring (March) to remove old growth and prevent woodiness. Cut back to about 6 to 12 inches from ground level. Avoid hard pruning in fall as this can cause reduced cold hardiness. Fertilizer: Lantana requires little fertilizer.

How do you bring lantana back to life? ›

If the plant's leaves are sticky or have blackish gray fungal growth on them, this could be the cause of wilting. The leaves should be washed clean and sprayed with horticultural soap to deter these flying pests. With consistent application and clean bursts of water, the plant should return to its robust self quickly.

Do lantanas come back every year? ›

Lantana plants are moderately winter hardy. Some people have lantana that are perennial in nature and come back every year, while others replant every season.

Should you deadhead lantana plants? ›

The plants should be deadheaded to encourage continuous bloom. You can clip the individual faded flowers, or trim the whole plant with hedge clippers. Lantana is a good choice for hot, dry areas. Lantana can be grown from seed or cuttings.

How do you take care of lantana in the winter? ›

Position the lantana containers indoors in an unheated room or garage. Place them near a window that gets diffuse light. Part of winter care for lantanas is to turn the pot every week or so to let every side of the plant have some sunlight.

What does over watered lantana look like? ›

Lantana Overwatering Symptoms

Signs of wilting: You will find limp stalks and droopy leaves. Yellow leaves: You will find lantana leaves curling up and turning yellow. They can also develop light brown or white spots at the tips. Stunted or slow growth: The blooms are slow and the buds fail to mature fully.

Can you use Miracle Grow on lantana? ›

If you go to any farm or farmer's market the only type of fertilizer they will recommend using is this water-soluble solution by miracle-gro.

How often should I water my lantana? ›

Lantana care is pretty simple. Water newly planted lantana regularly to ensure healthy root development. While established plants are drought tolerant, they stage the best show when they receive roughly one inch of water per week, either through rainfall or irrigation.

Should I cut back my lantana in the winter? ›

In late winter or early spring, you should prune lantanas back to about six inches to a foot (15 to 30.5 cm.) from the ground, especially if there's a lot of old or dead growth. Overgrown plants can be pruned back to about a third of their height (and spread if necessary).

Why is lantana a problem? ›

Citrus growers despise it as it is a serious economic pest to their industry. In many frost-free regions it has become an invasive nuisance, crowding out grazing lands and agricultural areas. Lantana is toxic for most livestock to graze and it is also poison for rabbits and their kin too.

How long will lantana last? ›

Timing: Lantanas come into home and garden stores usually in the early spring before the bloom. Once they have flowered, the bloom should last at least into the early fall. In zones 7 and above, plant lantana in the fall and enjoy the colorful blooms late into the winter months.

Can you touch lantana? ›

Is Lantana poisonous to touch? Yes, the leaves of the lantana plant can cause skin irritation.

Should I remove lantana seed pods? ›

Prevent overabundant seeding by removing seed pods before they open and disperse their seeds all over the garden. If you want to allow a controlled number of seedlings to grow, tie a bag over the seedpods to collect the seeds and plant the desired number of seeds where you want them to grow in fall.

Does lantana need fertilizer? ›

After planting, lantana do not require any fertilizer. In fact, too much fertilizer will inhibit blooms. If desired, plants can be fertilized monthly at half the recommended rate using a balanced N-P-K fertilizer. Lantana require regular watering but are sensitive to overwatering.

Why are my lantanas not blooming? ›

The reasons for a lantana not flowering is because of a lack of sun, over watering, too much fertilizer or because of lantana lace bug which can stop flowering. Lantana require full sun, well draing soils and warm weather to flower. Lantana flower more in hotter and dryer years.

Why is my Lantana dropping leaves? ›

A: Lantanas can drop their flowers for several reasons: too much nitrogen fertilizer, no fertilizer at all, too much water, and insect problems. If you cannot determine which it is or can't remedy it, go ahead and cut it back hard. Fertilize once, and expect new leaves and flowers within the month.

Will Lantana survive a freeze? ›

Lantana plants may survive in a light frost, but if the temperature dips below 28 degrees Fahrenheit or stays cold for a long time, the plant will die. Lantana thrives in temperatures 55 degrees Fahrenheit or more. It enjoys humid weather and can even survive with salt spray.

How do you make Lantana bloom? ›

To improve bloom, you can prune off old seed pods or berries left from prior flowers. Then, fertilize again lightly and water deeply once a week to encourage new blooms. Take care not to over fertilize since this may reduce flowering and increase disease susceptibility.

How do you tell if a plant is overwatered or Underwatered? ›

When plants have too little water, leaves turn brown and wilt. This also occurs when plants have too much water. The biggest difference between the two is that too little water will result in your plant's leaves feeling dry and crispy to the touch while too much water results in soft and limp leaves.

Can you overwater lantana? ›

Lantana are exceptionally drought tolerant shrubs. That said, will require some water to become established. As with so many other perennial plants, they do not like constantly soggy soil, which can lead to root rot and other plant diseases. So be careful not to overwater them!

Why is my lantana leaves curling and turning brown? ›

A calcium deficiency can cause the tips of this plant's leaves to turn brown, then black, as well as lantana leaves curling or distortion. Phosphorus-deficient plants may develop dead patches along leaf margins and older leaves on phosphorus-deficient plants develop a purple tinge.

What kind of fertilizer do I use on lantana? ›

Fertilizing Lantana Plants in Garden

Feed in-ground lantana plants in early spring, using a dry fertilizer. Lantana isn't picky but, in general, the best fertilizer for lantanas is a good quality, balanced fertilizer with a NPK ratio such as 10-10-10 or 20-20-20.

Is lantana toxic to dogs? ›

Lantana (Lantana camara) All parts of this invasive shrub are poisonous, especially the leaves and green berries. This plant can be fatal to children, dogs and horses. Oleander (Nerium oleander) This entire shrub is poisonous, including the smoke.

Why are my lantana leaves curling? ›

Heat and Sunlight. Too much of a good thing isn't good. For example, direct sunlight or too much heat can cause leaves to curl upwards on Lantanas growing indoors. In the case of bright sun, you might see signs of scorching on older leaves and stunted growth on younger ones.

How do you know if lantana needs water? ›

Generally speaking, the best way to determine how often to water your lantana plant is to check the top half-inch of soil for dampness. As a rule of thumb, if it's dried out, give the lantana plant some water. If it's still damp or moist in the top half-inch, then no need to water the lantana plant.

Can lantana take full hot sun? ›

Lantana loves the heat, so plant them in well-draining soil and keep them watered regularly during the hottest days.

Why do lantana leaves turn yellow? ›

Excess Shade

As with most tropical plants, lantanas need bright, indirect sunlight. Too much sun can lead to scorching, and too little may cause the leaves to turn yellow. To diagnose, keep an eye on the plant for a day or two and keep track of how long it's in the shade.

Do hummingbirds like lantana? ›

Lantana. A favorite of butterflies and hummingbirds alike, lantana offers colorful red, yellow, orange, pink, lavender, or white flowers. These heat-loving, drought-resistant plants will fit well in sunny spots in your garden.

Will lantana cuttings root in water? ›

Place the lantana cuttings in water and be sure to replenish the water as needed. Rooting should occur in about three to four weeks, advises Missouri Botanical Garden.

Is lantana an annual or a perennial? ›

The Lantana is an annual flower that is abundantly covered through the summer with brightly colored blossoms. The shrubby plant comes in garden varieties bearing white, yellow, gold, orange, and red flowers; usually the older flowers in each cluster are a different color than the younger ones.

Can lantana survive winter? ›

Growing indoors

Since lantanas are perennials, they can be brought inside and used as house plants in the winter. But this is not the best way to overwinter plants due to the limited daylight in the winter. It is better to allow the plant to go dormant for several months.

How do you care for lantana outdoors? ›

Plant Lantana in a well draining, slightly acidic potting medium. Choose mounding varieties for large pots and trailing varieties for hanging baskets. Provide plenty of water until the plant is established. After this initial period, Lantana is drought tolerant and needs to be watered only once a week.

Why is lantana a problem? ›

Citrus growers despise it as it is a serious economic pest to their industry. In many frost-free regions it has become an invasive nuisance, crowding out grazing lands and agricultural areas. Lantana is toxic for most livestock to graze and it is also poison for rabbits and their kin too.

Is lantana an annual or a perennial? ›

The Lantana is an annual flower that is abundantly covered through the summer with brightly colored blossoms. The shrubby plant comes in garden varieties bearing white, yellow, gold, orange, and red flowers; usually the older flowers in each cluster are a different color than the younger ones.

Do you cut back Lantana in the winter? ›

In late winter or early spring, you should prune lantanas back to about six inches to a foot (15 to 30.5 cm.) from the ground, especially if there's a lot of old or dead growth. Overgrown plants can be pruned back to about a third of their height (and spread if necessary).

How often do you water Lantana? ›

Lantana care is pretty simple. Water newly planted lantana regularly to ensure healthy root development. While established plants are drought tolerant, they stage the best show when they receive roughly one inch of water per week, either through rainfall or irrigation.

Can Lantana be a houseplant? ›

Lantana thrive in pots but need some sort of moisture source. If you will using lantanas as houseplants, place the pot over a plate with water and rocks for moisture. They are quite easy to grow indoors as long as they have enough sunlight each day.

Can you touch lantana? ›

Is Lantana poisonous to touch? Yes, the leaves of the lantana plant can cause skin irritation.

Does lantana keep mosquitoes away? ›

It's a common bedding plant, often added to gardens for its beauty and ability to attract hummingbirds and bees. However, lantana's ability to attract pollinators is not its only superpower. This stunning perennial shrub deters mosquitos better than most plants.

Where is the best place to plant lantanas? ›

Simply choose a sunny location and plant them in well-draining soil. Although these plants are tolerant of many soil conditions, lantana flowers prefer slightly acidic soil. Mulching with pine needles is an easy way to increase acidity levels in the soil.

Can you use Miracle Grow on lantana? ›

If you go to any farm or farmer's market the only type of fertilizer they will recommend using is this water-soluble solution by miracle-gro.

Why are the leaves on my lantana turning brown? ›

Lantana lace bugs can cause leaves to appear stippled or to brown and drop. Sooty mold, causing a blackish discoloration on the leaves, is usually caused by an infestation of whiteflies. If it turns out the location, shade, drainage, etc. are the causes of your plant's woes, it probably should be removed.

Is lantana a good plant? ›

Lantana's colorful blooms make good specimen plants. They are also used as border shrubs and as ground cover in areas with full sunshine in warm climates. The plants tolerate salt spray very well, making them popular in yards located near the ocean.

Should I remove lantana seed pods? ›

Prevent overabundant seeding by removing seed pods before they open and disperse their seeds all over the garden. If you want to allow a controlled number of seedlings to grow, tie a bag over the seedpods to collect the seeds and plant the desired number of seeds where you want them to grow in fall.

Why did my lantana stopped blooming? ›

The reasons for a lantana not flowering is because of a lack of sun, over watering, too much fertilizer or because of lantana lace bug which can stop flowering. Lantana require full sun, well draing soils and warm weather to flower. Lantana flower more in hotter and dryer years.

Do hummingbirds like lantana? ›

Lantana. A favorite of butterflies and hummingbirds alike, lantana offers colorful red, yellow, orange, pink, lavender, or white flowers. These heat-loving, drought-resistant plants will fit well in sunny spots in your garden.

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