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How to Divide a Lantana Plant

Lantana is an introduced perennial that was brought to the United States from Africa to serve as an ornamental. It often grows wild in pastures and fields, and roadsides and woodlands. Lantana has fuzzy, green leaves on long, thin stems. Each stem is topped with a cluster of floret bouquets, with colors including white, pink, yellow, orange and purple, depending on the variety. The flowers make it a favorite of bees and butterflies. While Lantana usually is propagated from cuttings, large Lantana plants can be divided to produce multiple plants.

Propagate Lantana by Division

Divide Lantana in the spring, when the plant first begins to sprout. Select a large Lantana plant that can be divided into several smaller plants, each able to fill at least a one-gallon container.

Look for a plant whose flower production and size have declined, and the center of the plant is beginning to die back. Lantana stems that are very leggy and thin are the best candidates to be divided.

Dig around the Lantana plant, then under the root ball using a shovel. Lift the crown of the plant from the hole.

Look for areas at the base of the stems of the Lantana plant to identify places where it can be separated at the roots. Ensure that each section has at least one good stem bud with sufficient roots.

Cut through the roots with a sharp knife to separate each section from the crown. Continue this process until all the divisions are completed.

Transplant each new Lantana into freshly-turned soil, or into containers filled with potting soil, and water thoroughly. Water regularly to keep the soil damp until the plant is well-established.

Lantana Plant Care

As a general rule, lantanas can grow as perennials in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zone 8 and warmer, although they may require protection from frosts and freezes. Incorporating a small amount of an organic soil amendment such as well-rotted compost into the planting area improves site fertility and drainage. Although lantanas tolerate drought, bloom and growth are affected by low water. A light application of a balanced fertilizer in early spring, often supplied shortly after annual pruning, is generally sufficient. An annual pruning in early spring that involves cutting the lantana back to 6 to 12 inches above ground level serves to remove old growth and prevent woodiness. Heavy feeding causes leaf yellowing or drying and premature drop. Whiteflies also excrete honeydew, a sticky, sweet substance that hosts the development of unsightly sooty mold and attracts ants.

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