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How to Care for Lantana Plants

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How to Care for Lantana Plants

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Overview

Lantana, also known as shrub verbena, is a genus of herbaceous flowering perennials native to the tropical regions of North and South America and Africa. They can grow up to 5 feet tall and bloom during late summer and early fall. Lantana flowers can be yellow, orange or red. Lantana is commonly grown as an annual in temperate regions, because it is unable to survive cold winters. You may, however, leave lantana in the ground year-round in zones 10 and 11 or grow it indoors as a perennial in any area.

Step 1

Plant lantana during early spring in a location that receives full sunlight throughout the day. Sprinkle bark soil conditioner over the site prior to planting to increase drainage. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for proper application.

Step 2

Water lantana plants only when more than 10 days have passed without at least 1 inch of rainfall. Never allow the soil to become wet or soggy, because the roots will rot and the plant will die. Lantana is drought-tolerant, and you should only water it when absolutely necessary.

Step 3

Spread a 3-inch layer of mulch over the soil surrounding the lantana to improve water conservation and further decrease the need for watering. Use shredded bark mulch, because it forms a thick mat that effectively prevents the growth of weeds and insulates the soil.

Step 4

Feed lantana once per month using a liquid flower fertilizer. Read the instructions provided by the manufacturer for application and dosage information. Do not splash any fertilizer on the foliage or stem of the plant, because nitrogen can burn the plant.

Step 5

Remove any dead or faded flowers to encourage the plant to form additional flowers instead of seeds. Pinch off the flowers as close to the stems as possible to reduce damage.

Tips and Warnings

  • The berries of lantana can be toxic. Don't plant lantana where it is accessible by children or pets.

Things You'll Need

  • Bark soil conditioner
  • Shovel
  • Shredded bark mulch
  • Liquid flower fertilizer

References

  • Cornell University
  • "The Carolinas Gardener's Guide"; Toby Bost and Jim Wilson; 2005
  • "Groundcovers for the South"; Marie Harrison; 2006
Keywords: lantana, lantana plants, lantana flowers

About this Author

Willow Sidhe is a freelance writer living in the beautiful Hot Springs, AR. She is a certified aromatherapist with a background in herbalism. She has extensive experience gardening, with a specialty in indoor plants and herbs. Sidhe's work has been published on numerous Web sites, including Gardenguides.com.