Growing Lantana

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August 19, 2015

closeup of lantana flowersVerbenaceae, commonly known as lantana is a fast growing tropical American native. It is grown as an annual in all zones below 8, and may even freeze in zones 8 - 10. It is typically grown as a ground cover, shrub, or in containers, including hanging baskets, depending on the type you select. The two types typically grown in gardens are Lantana montevidensis, the trailing variety and Lantana camera, a woody shrub. Lantana flowers are found in shades of pink, bright orange, yellow, purple, red, and white, with variations depending on the hybrid. The tiny flowers grow in tight clusters. The leaves of the lantana are dark green with some of the trailing varieties exhibiting tinges of red or purple as the temperatures drop.closeup of lantana flowers


Plant lantana in the spring after danger of frost has passed. They will take off once the temperatures begin to climb. In addition to nursery stock, lantana can be propagated from softwood cuttings taken in spring or summer and grown from seed. Seeds must be soaked in warm water for 24 hours prior to planting, germination occurs at 70 to 75 degrees and seedlings will emerge after 42+ days.


Trailing lantana grows 18 - 24 inches with a spread of up to 48 inches. The shrub varieties typically grow to a height of 4 feet with a spread of 1 - 3 feet, some cultivars can reach 5 - 6 feet. Both varieties prefer full sun and well drained soil, that is slightly acidic. Keep the soil evenly moist after planting to help in establishing roots. Lantana is drought resistant once established, however, long spells without water will reduce flowering. A good soaking weekly should keep them happy. An annual fertilizing with a low nitrogen fertilizer is sufficient, excessive fertilizing can reduce flowering and increase the potential for disease.

Overgrown plants can be pruned back by 1/3 or more, to a height of 6 - 12 inches above ground level. This is best done in the spring. Light shearing of the tips during the summer will encourage more flowers. Do not do a hard pruning in the fall as this can reduce cold hardiness.


Although generally requiring very little maintenance, there may be occasional problems, particularly if there are improper growing conditions. If grown in shade they may develop powdery mildew. An infestation of whiteflies can bring about a blackish discoloration of the leaves, known as sooty mold. Lace bugs may cause the foliage to turn gray or brown and drop off. Caterpillars have been known to cause damage and mites may be a concern if the plants are too dry.

Some cultivars will produce small black fleshy berries. These not only diminish flowering if allowed to grow, but they are also poisonous, if eaten in quantity. Lantana is also toxic to dogs and cats. Symptoms include difficulty breathing, weakness, vomiting, and diarrhea.lantana berries


That being said lantana will attract butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds. They are deer resistant and not on the menu for your bunny neighbors. While the foliage emits a pleasant aroma when crushed the same cannot be said for the flowers, so choose your planting area accordingly.butterfly on lantana flower


Source: Personal experience growing lantana, and my ever faithful, The New Sunset Western Garden Book, as well as information gathered from online sites such as: Cornell University - Home Gardening, Gardening Know How - Caring for Lantana, and Clemson University.

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

February 13, 2008

A white cluster of flowers.Can anyone tell me what is the name of this flower? When I bought it last week it was still blooming, but now it's dying. Any tips for growing them will be very much appreciated.

Hardiness Zone: 11

chphoea from Surabaya,Indonesia


February 13, 20080 found this helpful
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Looks like Lantana. Lantana needs to dry out between waterings. Overwatering is usually what kills it.

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February 14, 20080 found this helpful
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My guess is that it's a primrose variety -- cowslip maybe? They can't take heat. From your zone, it's probably too warm for the little guy. But isn't it pretty?

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February 15, 20080 found this helpful
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This is not a lantana. See
I cannot identify it without knowing the size of the flower and the leaves and if it is a shrub or plant. If you will tell me what you know, I will try to locate the name.


Lantana is a shurb and the stems are very brittle. I have purple, white and yellow orange in my yard. It is a very drought resistant plant but usually spread out and does not grow upward.

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February 18, 20080 found this helpful
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Here's another picture of the plant, the seeds and leaves. Most people plant them as borders on sidewalks since they're only about 20 cm height. I have stopped watering them for days and I think they're doing pretty well. Btw, the leaves have a strong spicy scent and we only have 2 colors for the flowers, white and yellow.

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May 8, 2008

I have a problem getting lantana to grow. I have the yellow gold that will spread. Do you have any tips on planting and watering etc.? Seems after about a month or two they just die.

Hardiness Zone: 10a

Allene from Phoenix, AZ


May 13, 20080 found this helpful

This website has a ton of information about growing Lantana.

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By Gail (Guest Post)
May 16, 20080 found this helpful

I found this on a garden site....

Flowers Almost any time when forced
Potting or re-potting time After flowering, start new plants from softwood cuttings and throw old plant away


Position in garden during summer
Potting Mixture 3

Lantanas are popular.bedding plants, and are useful houseplants, too. They are distinctive for the numerous heads of small flowers, which often appear in three colors-yellow, orange, red-in a single cluster. Leaves are generally oval, with rounded teeth, and quite hairy on the under surface.

In the South, lantanas become very ornamental shrubs, but as a houseplant they are best treated as annuals, and discarded after flowering. Slips may be taken before the plant is thrown away, and any desired number of new plants started. The cuttings take root easily.
Grow in a cool room, with plenty of sun and moisture.
I live in the South of the UK, we overwinter our Lantana in the greenhouse and bring them out in the summer. I tend to check them weekly in the winter and cut any dead leaves or twigs off, new growth has now started on mine, they are now outside in pots, I never let them dry out. Hope this helps. Gail

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October 1, 2008

How would I go about getting seeds from a lantana?

Hardiness Zone: 9b

Shirley from Henderson, NV


By Frances (Guest Post)
October 1, 20080 found this helpful

Lantanas make little black berries. I just pull them off the plant. You may have to cover them with a netting of some kind to beat the birds to them while they are maturing.

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September 2, 2010

The lantana flower attracts several butterflies each year to my garden. Of course I run and get my camera when I see them.


This year I was able to catch this on in a photo. Next year planting time, I will plant lantana all over my back yard.

yellow lantana flowers

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December 13, 2016

This is a page about growing lantana from a cutting. Try getting cuttings from the tips of the plant for the best success.

rooted lantana cuttings

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

September 2, 2010

I started my lantana as a small plant and now it decorates my garden yearly.

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