Lantana vs. Verbena

msroseApril 29, 2007

I'm always getting these two mixed up. Are they both perennials and is one better than the other? Someone told my mother to get Lantana because it comes back and Verbena doesn't, but a friend of my mothers recently told her that Homestead Verbena does come back. I don't know if there are different types of Lantana, but the kind my mother has is white and low like a groundcover, which is what I need. Verbena is a low grower also isn't it? Is either one invasive. Whichever one I plant, I want to put it around my roses and daylilies.

Laurie

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sally2_gw

Both can be annuals or perennials, depending on the variety and where you live. In north central Texas, some of the lantana comes back every year, and some doesn't. The native lantana, L. horrida, is a perennial here. Same with L. camara. The 'New Gold' lantana sometimes comes back, and sometimes doesn't. The Dallas Red usually doesn't make it through the winter. The trailing lantanas are iffy, also. It all depends on the severity of the winter. A cold wet winter does a lot of lantana in.

Verbena, at best, is a short lived perennial, living around 3 or 4 years, and then dwindling down to nothing. There are annual varieties of verbena, also, but I'm not familiar with their names. Homestead is indeed a perennial variety, but there are others, too. There's a marroon variety, Mabel's Marroon, that lived for a few years for me. Verbena bonariensis, the tall verbena, aka Peruvian (or is it Brazilian?) verbena, is a perennial that also reseeds prolifically. Once you plant one of those babies, you'll have plenty for years to come!

By the way, lantana and verbena are related, which explains why they kind of look alike. Both will attract butterflies galore!

Sally

    Bookmark   April 29, 2007 at 2:28PM
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elphaba_gw

I love my Homestead Verbena. I live in Houston. There has been some fungus problems but my latest treatment with cornmeal seems to have eliminated the fungus problem (so far). I've only had it for a little over a year. In trying to keep it blooming, I researched and learned that it needs good drainage (along with plenty of sun) but doesn't like to get totally dried out.

Seems like I remember that Lantana is more of a xeriscape plant and can survive on very little water. Just wanted to share in case that is an important fact for you. Of course different types of Lantana as well as verbena may have different requirements.

As far as the blooms, I think they are equally beautiful and have similar form making a good ground cover. My verbena has spread quite a bit and climbed on some Indian hawthorn shrubs that it is adjacent to it making a nice "look".

It doesn't seem that invasive because it is easy to pull out. The Lantana may be more woody and bushier and not as low to the ground if I remember. I think that may be the "New Gold" variety I'm describing.

Good luck and keep us posted on what you decide on.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2007 at 3:15PM
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gnabonnand(Zone 8 Texas)

'Homestead Purple' verbena was definitely perennial for me when I used to grow it. It spreads really, really wide. And gets bigger & showier each year. In some places, where the stems touched the ground, it would root, so it would spread even wider. Very nice looking plant, bloomed a lot, and was extremely healthy here. I removed it because it got much wider than what I needed. All the other varieties of verbena I tried were miserable flops.

'New Gold' lantana was perennial for me most every year (but a really cold winter would occasionally take it out). It got really wide over the years too. My favorite lantana is 'Confetti', which is an annual here. It's worth planting every year, because it is so beautiful. I can't imagine going through a spring/summer/fall without it.

Randy

    Bookmark   April 29, 2007 at 3:30PM
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msrose

Does anyone grow Blue Princess verbena? My mother's friend just got some and she said it was the prettiest blue, but it wasn't blooming when I went over to see it.

If I don't grow the blue, I'm thinking I may want white, but after searching on the internet, it looks like the verbena doesn't come in white. The sprawling lantana does though. Anyone know if it comes back?

Laurie

    Bookmark   April 29, 2007 at 4:44PM
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sally2_gw

Yes, there is a white verbena, and it's a very bright white, real pretty. I like it better than white lantana, but that's me. I'm not wild about white lantana - it has a sort of dingy or greyish-white look to it to me. The white verbena is not like that. Sorry, I don't remember the variety name, though, nor how long lived it is.

Sally

    Bookmark   April 29, 2007 at 6:14PM
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maden_theshade(8 - Austin)

I have the sprawling, purple verbena and it comes back every year. Last winter I cut mine back b/c it had spread so much. I have that mixed in with the old style gold Lantana and that grows taller than the verbena. It also comes back, never fail.

I've tried some of the newer hybrids of lantana and they don't all come back in the spring. Some are not as drought resistant or deer resistant as the original. They're still pretty and if you're willing to replant every year then I would just treat them as an annual.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2007 at 10:56PM
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roopooroo(N TX)

I have a purple variety of verbena growing right along with the lantanas. I don't recall which verbena it is, and the lantanas were all pass-alongs so I don't know what kind they are, either. The lantanas are white and maroon, if I remember correctly. They all come back each year, and in fact this past winter some of the verbena grew up along the house and it never died out this winter, despite the fact that I never even covered it during either hard freeze. I think the warmth of the siding and spot light they were under kept those parts of the vine warm enough to not go dormant.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2007 at 12:28AM
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natvtxn(z8BTX)

Laurie you've got mail

I have a very pretty verbena. It is apple blossom (pink). In 2005 a friend gave me one little 6" cuttting. It has really grown and rooted to the ground in places. It probably covers a 10' x 3' area. I have certainly been thrilled with it.

Apple Blossom verbena has left the building...er bed!

    Bookmark   May 1, 2007 at 8:06AM
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jardineratx

I agree with Sally2 on the white lantanas/verbenas. The white verbena has a really bright white, rather large bloom (for a verbena)...the white lantana has small dingy blooms. This is my 3rd spring with the white verbena. The name of the one I have is "colonial white". This particular cultivar has never developed powdery mildew and doesn't spread as readily as other verbenas. I love mine.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2007 at 8:13AM
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PKponder TX(7b)

And trailing white lantana does come back every spring.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2007 at 8:48AM
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msrose

Well I ended up buying Aztec white Improved Verbena yesterday. The lady at the nursery said it was a perennial, but after researching it on the interent, it sounds like it might be an annual. It's really pretty though, so I'm glad I got it.

Laurie

    Bookmark   May 1, 2007 at 9:22AM
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cseim(8B Austin)

This is our first year having a yard/garden, so we've been trying to choose easy-to-grow plants since neither of us has developed much a a green thumb yet! I recently planted two "Blue Princess" verbena since they are listed as Texas Superstars. They are not blue at all, but rather a lovely purple. They also smell heavenly! Incidentally, we originally avoided lantana because it is very poisonous to dogs, but I've recently learned that verbena is toxic too.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2007 at 9:40AM
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msrose

Oh gosh, I didn't know lantana was poisonous to dogs. We have three dogs so thanks for letting me know. I hope verbena is okay.

I just saw Blue Princess the other day, but I didn't know it was supposed to be fragrant or I would have given it a big whiff.

Laurie

    Bookmark   May 1, 2007 at 7:26PM
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sally2_gw

The berries are poisonous, but I don't know about the plants themselves. I would imagine that lantana would be very distasteful to a dog, but that's just a guess. Interstingly, even though the berries are poisonous, they don't hurt the birds, who love to eat them.

Sally

    Bookmark   May 2, 2007 at 9:23AM
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gnabonnand(Zone 8 Texas)

Luarie, I have grown Blue Princess verbena on two different occasions because it was listed as a Texas Superstar plant.. Each time, it started out beautifully, but went down hill fast. It did terribly for me. Homestead Purple was a much better performer.

Randy

    Bookmark   May 2, 2007 at 9:00PM
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maden_theshade(8 - Austin)

Both plants have 'aromatic' leaves and stems...can't imagine a dog would want to eat any. The deer won't touch them b/c they're so stinky to them.

Most native type plants will have some kind of poison factor or distastefullness...it's a survival thing for them. But a dog would likely have to eat a whole truckload to really get sick enough to die. A few bites would probably just make the dog spit out the plant, maybe vomit a little at worst.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2007 at 10:48PM
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angie83(9)

I grew this one from seeds and I have never seen one like it its white up top and has light pink flowers around the bottom love it.Its a verbena.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2007 at 11:27AM
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msrose

That's really pretty, Angie.

Laurie

    Bookmark   May 3, 2007 at 1:55PM
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bnpgardner_bellsouth_net

I think I've planted both this year--they look so similar. I noticed that the leaves on the verbena are small(an inch or less), but the leaves on the lantana are like a couple of inches and pointed at the end. Is this the case?

    Bookmark   May 17, 2011 at 3:05PM
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