Are lantana perennial in our area?

jade_dragon71(6)May 26, 2010

I keep finding conflicting information on lantana. I think it was with the annuals where I bought it, but I found it as a perennial on a website. Is this just an aggressive self-seeder maybe?


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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

If you're in zone 6, I seriously doubt it. Even the cold-hardy ones like 'Mozelle' and 'Miss Huff' often die out in zone 7 when the temperatures drop below zone 7's average temps. Since it was really cold this past winter, a lot of us had winter low temps that were a zone colder than what we really are. I am in zone 7 but we had several cold nights that were, technically zone 6 low temps.

Almost everyone I know here in southern OK said their lantanas did not come back this spring, even if they had come back well for several years.

Soil can influence it to a certain degree. Lantanas in slow-draining soils with a heavy clay content are less likely to survive a very cold winter than those in better-draining soil with a high sand or sandy loam content.

The only lantana I've ever grown that was an aggressive reseeder was lantana horrida.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2010 at 3:04PM
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Thanks! I guess I have another one to overwinter inside. It will have lots of company! lol....

    Bookmark   May 26, 2010 at 3:40PM
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I have a good friend in DeQueen AR that gets hers to overwinter without a problem and she's on an exposed hilltop. She marveled that mine die out each year, until we started thinking about it. Her's is planted on a mound of nothing but gravel/sand/clay that was left over from some project they were doing around the house, so the drainage is wonderful. I'm considering doing something similar with mine in a rock garden kinda setting.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2010 at 4:16PM
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Mine came back in Zone 6 (Stillwater). I have been told that there are two different kinds - one annual and one perennial. The one I have that comes back every year is the one with pink and yellow flowers. Last year it grew to a huge size, but then it dies back completely and sprouts again. Maybe it is reseeding instead of actually coming back from the roots. I have it in my curb bed on the west side of the house. My soil is clay but drains well. That bed is also heavily mulched.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2010 at 4:55PM
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sammy zone 7 Tulsa

I love Lantanas, but if they do come back, it has been in July. I seldom ever see it return. However, I don't try to keep it. I have heard of building a cage with roofing material, and surrounding it with bags of leaves. I would never do that, but it could work, I suppose.


    Bookmark   May 26, 2010 at 10:38PM
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Okprairie, it sounds like you have one of the hardier Lantanas, which is the old "Ham and Eggs" variety. I have or had, 'Miss Huff', which is one of the hardiest, too. However, it has yet to poke up her head. She may show up yet because sometimes it is June before I see any signs of life. That has happened on a couple of occasions.

She is in a very protected site, with the "boardwalk" and sidewalk on one side. There is a slope to the location, so gets very good drainage. I went ahead and purchased some "annual" Lantanas, Pink Caprice, Sunset Rose, and Bandana Red just in case. In a butterfly garden, like mine, you can never have too many Lantanas.

I never prune mine back until spring, either, because leaving those woody stems up along with the other plants around it, will give it some added protection as well.

This was a bad winter for our borderline plants. My passion vine had not come up yet either, but I acquired another one to add to the garden that I had wanted for a few years. So, I have yet to see any signs of either.


    Bookmark   May 27, 2010 at 1:54PM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

It sure was a bad year for marginal plants. I had freeze damage/dieback on some zone 7 shrubs and even the native possumhaw hollies lost some limbs to the abnormally cold weather. I'm actually surprised I didn't lose more plants, but that's because a couple of winters ago we went down to the low single digits and my marginal plants died then. I replaced them with plants that had better cold hardiness.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2010 at 2:42PM
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I found a white lantana at Atwoods last weekend. I had never seen one of those. I'm sure it's annual, but I like having flowers that attract butterflies in the window boxes that I can see from the living room. Those get replaced every year.

I nearly lost my huge rosemary bush this year, and I thought those were indestructible. I had to cut it way back, but I think it's going to make it after all.

I should say my perennial lantana isn't blooming yet. It doesn't usually bloom until mid to late summer, just as some of the earlier flowers are fizzling out.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2010 at 4:04PM
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sammy zone 7 Tulsa

I don't have many answers, and should not open a Pandora's box, but isn't it true that plants are either annual or perennial? Just because a plant can live all year in Palm Desert doesn't mean it is a perennial in Palm Desert, and an annual here.

The classification has a more botannical source, and is not determined by winter hardiness.

The reason I say this is because I went to the perennial and the annual forums here many years ago. I became discouraged when I was constantly being referred to the other forum because I had chosen the wrong one.


    Bookmark   May 27, 2010 at 10:43PM
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Sammy, the whole annual or perrenial question is complicated by the practice of growing so many plants that are truly perrenial in tropical areas in colder climes where they are "treated as annuals". So for the gardener trying to raise these plants the only practical question really is coldhardiness. I lost rosemary two winters in a row before giving up and planting it in a container I could bring in. Rosemary is perrenial in its native area but not reliably here in z6.

That said of course, the botanical term annual means that the natural lifespan of a plant is one growing season, after which it sets seed and dies. And perrenials live for more than one season but perrenial of course, is not perrenial in the sense of "forever". All plants have a natural lifespan. That's why you will see some perrenials referred to as "shortlived". They tend to die out naturally after a few seasons. A lot of them selfseed though so if you don't deadhead you still have the plant.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2010 at 9:37PM
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sammy zone 7 Tulsa

I think it is very confusing. So dianthus is a short lived perennial since it only lives about 3 or 4 years. Homestead purple verbena keeps coming back in the front. I wonder if it just takes a break or reseeds. Some of the wood seems to have new leaves, and some are just trash. Columbine shoots out sprouts all over our front bed, but I cannot get another color going. It is all yellow.

I think I have replanted salvia, but it usually comes back.

I think I am rambling.


    Bookmark   May 28, 2010 at 10:05PM
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My rosemary bit the dirt this winter, while the sage, thyme and oregano right next to it survived just fine. The plant was several years old and I'd done nothing different in all that time.

I'd love to get my lantana to come back, but they grow so fast here, that if they don't, it's not really a problem.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2010 at 8:06AM
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Finally! One of my four large lantana has sprouts. The other three are goners. I'll have to start some from this one after it's growing really well.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2010 at 7:13AM
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