How to Care for a Lantana Plant

Overview

Lantana is showy, flowering shrub desirable for its clusters of brightly-colored flowers and ease of care. This tropical evergreen grows as a perennial in warm climates, and as an annual in areas where frost occurs. This adaptable, hardy plant is so strong that it is considered an invasive species in many areas, including Florida citrus groves, where it has been labeled a major weed pest, according to information published by the University of Florida. Home gardeners may choose to grow this plant in the ground or in a container where it can be easily protected from frost.

Step 1

Place your lantana in a location where it will receive a full day's worth of sunlight. This plant flowers from spring until early fall, but if it is located in the shade, the blooming period will be greatly reduced.

Step 2

Keep the soil moist after planting lantana for a few weeks, until the roots are established. Older plants are drought-tolerant, but they will bloom better if given regular waterings, according to information published by Clemson University. Water once a week if there is less than 1 inch of rain.

Step 3

Light shear off the tips of the plant after flowers have faded to encourage new bloom development. Prune vigorously in the spring down to about a foot from the ground. This will prevent the plant from becoming too woody and leggy, according to Clemson University.

Step 4

Fertilize in the spring with a balanced (10-10-10) fertilizer designed for evergreen flowering shrubs. Follow the directions on the label according to the size of your plant.

Tips and Warnings

  • The leaves of the lantana plant, when crushed, emit an order similar to cat urine that many find objectionable, according to information published by Floridata, so take care where you place the plant.

Things You'll Need

  • Watering tool
  • Pruning tools
  • Balanced (10-10-10) fertilizer

References

  • Clemson University: Lantana
  • Texas A&M University: Lantana
  • University of Florida Center of Aquatic and Invasive Plants: Lantana Species
  • Floridata: Lantana Camara
Keywords: growing lantana plants, care of lantanas, lantana shrub care

About this Author

April Sanders has been a professional writer since 1998. Previously, she worked as an educator and currently writes academic research content for EBSCO publishing and elementary reading curriculum for Compass Publishing. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in social psychology from the University of Washington and a master's degree in information sciences and technology in education from Mansfield University.