Lantana: The Easiest Outdoor Plant
Are you looking for a plant that will thrive in the hottest and sunniest spaces? Lantana will easily provide lush foliage and abundant, colorful blooms in even the hottest, driest areas. If your summer temperatures soar and you are tired of painstakingly caring for more tender plants, plant Lantana and forget about it.
Lantana is an excellent container plant that will grow full enough to fill a large container. Depending on the variety, Lantana can grow up to eight feet tall and four feet wide. Lantana also produces a variety of colorful blooms. The most common is an orange and red flower or a yellow flower, but there are also varieties that produce pink or purple flowers or a combination of many colors. The small flowers set on large dense clusters. The flowers are often fragrant and are wonderful for attracting butterflies and hummingbirds. Lantana is a prolific bloomer that will last throughout the entire summer season.
Plant Lantana in a well draining, slightly acidic potting medium. Choose mounding varieties for large pots and trailing varieties for hanging baskets. Provide plenty of water until the plant is established. After this initial period, Lantana is drought tolerant and needs to be watered only once a week. If you have a cool spring, the Lantana may grow a little slow to start. As soon as temperatures rise the plant will grow quickly.
You may give Lantana a bit of fertilizer to help get the plant started, but it does not require much. Too much fertilizer may inhibit blooms. If your plant becomes overgrown, you can prune it back aggressively. Removing spent flowers will also encourage more flowers to set on.
Lantana is a perennial in frost free climate zones. In climates with harsh winters Lantana can be treated as an annual or when grown in containers, it can be brought indoors. In a sunny location, Lantana will continue to grow inside.
Lantana works well as a stand alone plant, but it can also be paired with other flowers that enjoy the sun and attract butterflies for enchanting butterfly garden arrangements. Pair Lantana with sun loving varieties of Salvia, Pentas, and Angelonia.
Here are some of the more popular varieties of Lantana:
- ‘Patriot Rainbow’ is a compact variety that has brilliant multicolored flowers. It grows only about a foot high and boasts yellow, fuchsia, and orange flowers.
- ‘Pinkie’ is recommended as a trailing variety. This plant produces lovely pink and cream flowers.
- ‘New Gold’ is a trailing plant that produces yellow flowers.
- “Silver Mound” is notorious for attracting butterflies. It boasts cream flowers with yellow centers and mounds to about two feet tall.
- ‘Luscious Grape’ is a prolific bloomer that produces bright purple flowers. It grows up to three feet wide and a foot and half tall.
- ‘Samantha’ has beautifully variegated foliage and golden flowers.
Easy Care All Season
No matter what variety you choose, your container will be full of attractive blooms all season. There are few plants that require so little care and look so beautiful all season long even in hot dry weather. Use Lantana to add plentiful color to a sunny balcony, porch, or patio.
What are your favorite varieties of Lantana? What other heat tolerant plants do you use in container arrangements?
“Lantana” Better Homes and Gardens. <http://www.bhg.com/gardening/plant-dictionary/annual/lantana/>
“How to Grow Lantana—Information on Growing Lantana” Gardening Know How. <http://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/flowers/lantana/lantana-plants.htm>
“Nonstop Blooms with Lantana” Southern Gardening Guide. <http://www.southernliving.com/home-garden/gardens/foolproof-flower-blooms-nonstop>
Image: “Lantana” by halfrain
Image: “lantana camara bandera española” by -Merce-