How to Transplant Lantana
Whether you're trying to nail down a compelling landscape design or a lantana (Lantana camera) is suffering in a cold, dark wet area of the garden -- they like sun and fast-draining soil -- you can dig them up and transplant them easily. Lantana is a fast-growing, abundantly flowering evergreen perennial in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 8b through 11. Outside the growing region, plant lantana as an annual.
Picking the Right Season
Spring and fall are the best seasons to transplant lantana. In mild Mediterranean regions, transplant in late winter or early spring. If you're moving lantana in the summer, wait for an overcast day or work early or late in the day. If you're growing lantana as an annual, transplant it from the nursery pot to the garden in the spring after the last frost.
Preparing for the Move
If you're moving an existing lantana from one spot in the garden to another, start by digging out the root ball. Dig around the drip line with a garden shovel at least 12 inches deep. (The drip line is the area directly under the outer tips of the branches.) Once free, lift the roots from the soil and transport the lantana to the new spot.
Lantana is mildly toxic and can cause some skin irritation. Wear gloves when touching it. Keep pets and children away, and avoid ingesting any part of the plant.
Remove container-grown lantana from the nursery pot before planting. Place the container on its side and gently wiggle the roots free. Once free, handle the plant from the root ball.
Gently squeeze plastic nursery pots to help loosen the roots from the container.
Finding a New Spot
Transplant lantana to a bed that receives full sun or part shade with loamy or sandy soil that drains well. Full sun is best -- more than six hours per day -- but lantana will grow in part shade, a spot that gets between four and six hours per day. Before planting, spread 2 inches of compost over the bed or new planting area, then dig it into the soil 6 to 8 inches deep. This both improves the structure of the soil and adds nutrients for the new transplant. Dig a hole for the root ball the same depth and slightly wider than the root ball.
Setting, Backfilling and Care
Set the lantana in the hole. If the spot where the branches and root ball meet is lower or higher than the soil level, add or take soil out to compensate.
- Planting lantana too deep can cause rot problem, while shallow planting can cause the roots to dry out.
- When growing and planting several lantana plants, space them 1 to 2 feet apart to create a dense -- but not over-crowded -- planting.
Backfill using the same soil you dug out to create the hole and gently press it down with your hands. Water right away, soaking the soil slowly until it is damp to the bottom of the root ball. Water with 1 to 1 1/2 inch of water per week for the first season after transplanting.
Container Planting and Repotting
Lantana grows well in pots in full sun on a porch, patio or other outdoor spot. Transplant lantana into a planter 1 to 2 inches bigger around than the current planter or nursery pot.
Use containers with drainage holes in the bottom. Planters without holes collect water, gradually suffocating the roots.
Use standard potting soil to line the bottom of the container and set the root ball inside. Leave about 1 inch between the base of the stalks and the lip of the pot, and fill with soil up to the base of the stalks. This leaves a space between the potting soil and the edge of the pot for ongoing watering and fertilizer.
When watering plants in containers, fill the container and let the water drain through until the excess begins to leak from the bottom of the pot.