Talk to me about Lantana

mxk3(Zone 6 SE MI)January 14, 2011

Thinking about trying Lantana this year. I'd like to grow in containers - are they suited to this? Are they high-maintenance in terms of deadheading. Do they bloom all season in my zone? Do they get leggy/ratty? Thanks for any experience you will share. :0)

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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Lantana is one of the most popular herbaceous perennials for good reason! They will certainly bloom all season long in your location! In milder locations, they die back to the ground after a heavy frost but return bigger and better for years. Though inexpensive enough to be treated as an annual, they are a true perennial.

They thrive in the full sun, and once established, do well in a drier location. The LOVE being grown in containers, as long as your potting medium drains rapidly so that you can drench thoroughly upon watering. They require a lot of energy to bloom so heavily, so don't forget the fertilizer. Over feeding, however, may result in lots of vegetative growth at the expense of all of those flowers.

They do require some pinching back to keep full, though I've never spent a great deal of time dead heading until the fall. I would never consider lantana a high maintenance plant. Spider mites and lantana lace bugs are the primary pests. Keep your eyes open for either or both of them.

Select your variety with some thought. Some are low growing and wide spreading, others are mounding, while others become tall, gangly shrubs. In my experience, the blue/purple ones are the leggiest with the fewest flowers. So do some reading on growth habits before you purchase.

The other great thing about Lantana is that it's one of the best nectar plants for attracting butterflies of all kinds, as well as every nectar feeder you can think of.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2011 at 1:52PM
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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

Here in northern California, Lantana is a popular ground cover, mainly for its long bloom cycle and tolerance for a very hot full sun location. It dies back at the first frost, and is slow to start spring growth until warm weather arrives. I have been able to dig it, cut it back, and pot it up for the winter, if I catch it before the frost. I also take cuttings which I start during the winter in the greenhouse for next year in the garden. Al

    Bookmark   January 15, 2011 at 9:41AM
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I agree with rhizo. Except that I never dead head mine and they bloom all summer. They are some of my favorite flowers. I have included a link where i got my starts. They were wonderful!

Here is a link that might be useful: Lantana Plants

    Bookmark   January 17, 2011 at 1:10PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

mom and dad in livonia buy one at randazo's every summer to hang on the garage ... and then throw it out at the end of the season ...

i am not sure they are all that anal about deadheading ...


    Bookmark   January 17, 2011 at 2:00PM
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mxk3(Zone 6 SE MI)

Thanks for the replies - think I'll give it a try this season :0)

    Bookmark   January 17, 2011 at 4:26PM
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pink_petals(z6 PA)

I tried the 'desert sunset' variety of lantana for the first time this past summer, and I just LOVED it!!! Because the colors change as the flower ages, there is such a beautiful mixture of purplish- pink, reddish, gold and orangy colors--just like a lovely sunset!! Some of mine were in an area that got morning sun and afternoon shade, and they did very nicely--got about 30" tall and formed nice, almost shrub-like, clumps. I did deadhead them occasionally just because I wanted to be sure they'd keep giving me that beautiful show! The ' bandana pink' variety that I planted on the side of the house in full sun did very nicely too. that is a much shorter variety--maybe 12" for me. They are a pretty pink and yellow color--also very pretty, but not nearly as vibrant as the sunset variety. I'm sure you won't be sorry if you plant them!!

    Bookmark   January 19, 2011 at 9:21PM
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donnabaskets(Zone 8a, Central MS)

A few other fine points you might like to know. The lantanas that are trailing have very small, narrow leaves. The upright ones with shrubbier forms have larger, wider leaves. Their foliage is fragrant; akin, I think, to marigolds. I have never grown them in pots, but would think they would do well. They are highly drought tolerant. I have had a trailing lavender one out by my mailbox for years. It is a blooming machine. I never fertilize it and it gets only rainfall. I do give it a heavy mulch each fall.

In recent years there have been alot of new colors hitting the market. There is one that is almost pure white with just a scattering of yellow florets in the clusters. There is also a beautiful primrose yellow one that I had, lost, and have never been able to find again. You will love lantana.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2011 at 4:44PM
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All I know about it is that it is very pretty....but also very stinky! I has a really strange least in my opinion. But its a lovely plant any way:)

    Bookmark   February 1, 2011 at 11:26AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Donna put the 'fragrance' in a way that I can relate to...akin to marigolds. It's quite pungent, but not in an entirely bad way. But, I (personally) wouldn't bring them into the house to put on the dining room table. I've seen some people wrinkle their noses when they rub a lantana leaf in between their fingers, but the smell of the flower isn't quite so....loud.

Our human sense of smell is interesting to me...and oh so subjective!

    Bookmark   February 2, 2011 at 3:10AM
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docmom_gw Zone 5 MI(5)

I've not grown them myself, but I'm thinking about it for my butterfly garden. I'm guessing that the odor is part of what makes it so attractive to nectaring bugs. So, we take the good with the "bad".


    Bookmark   February 20, 2011 at 12:24PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

I just thought of something else about lantana! Because of that very odoriferous foliage, the deer don't (typically) munch it!

    Bookmark   February 20, 2011 at 2:51PM
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Lantana is a wonderful summer blooming into fall blooming annual(it doesnt winter over for me).It does great in our kansas heat!It comes in a variety of colors that will fit with most garden schemes.I trim it back occasionally and it branches out.I dont care for the smell of the plant,but dont worry about it,since i dont cut it and bring indoors.
The butterflies and hummingbirds love it!

    Bookmark   February 21, 2011 at 2:53AM
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mytime(3/4 Alaska)

I love seeing flowers in their native habitats, so I was thrilled to see native lantana growing in Peru while visiting there in November.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2011 at 2:41AM
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