Vicki's Gardening

Lantana camara

Previous Index Next

Lantana is one of the easiest and most gratifying flowers to grow! Plant it once, and you can enjoy the abundant flowers for many years. It is a perennial which grows quickly and flowers from Spring until the first freeze of Winter.

These picture were taken in May 2002. They had frozen back during the Winter so I had cut them down to the ground. By May, they had already grown quite a bit and had begun blooming.

The flowers are a cluster of individual flowers which radiate from the center. Many varieties have more than one color within a single cluster, and the colors change as the flowers age.

Unfortunately, the nursery from which I purchased my Lantanas did not have them properly marked so I do not know which variety I have. By looking at various pictures on the internet, the best I could come up with is that I have one of the following varieties: Silver Mound, Cream Carpet or Yellow White.

The leaves and stems have a very strong odor when crushed or cut which I find unpleasant. The plant is also irritating to my skin so I prefer to wear gloves when working with it. Fortunately, Lantana is very carefree and requires almost no regular maintenance so I don't mind these minor drawbacks.

Each year as they freeze back, I cut the entire plants down to the ground. I keep the roots covered with a 2 to 3" layer of bark mulch. In the Spring, the plants start coming back rather quickly. They bloom early and continue blooming all through Spring, Summer, Fall and even Winter until we get a freeze. You can cut them back during their growing season to keep them more compact, but I have never had the need. They just grow and bloom on their own.

I have not had any problems with pests or diseases. Lantana also attracts a lot of butterflies. I plan to put more Lantana in my gardens because of their easy maintenance, abundant bloom and long blooming season.

You can also see a picture of my Lantana growing in my garden on my Bradford Pear page.

Basic Facts

Common Name:  Lantana
Scientific Name:  Lantana camara
Hardiness Zones:  8 to 11 (will freeze in zones 8 and 9, but will come back from roots)
Habit:  shrubby
Growth Rate:  moderate to rapid
Site Requirements:  Full sun; well-drained to sandy soil, fertile; keep well-fertilized
Height:  1 to 3'
Width:  3 to 6'
Leaf:  ovate, slightly toothed, finely wrinkled, mid to dark green, pubescent on both sides and rough (scabrous) above, 2-4 inches long; contact may irritate skin
Flower/Fruit:  heads 1-2 inches across of florets of varying colors and combinations-- red, yellow, orange, white, pink; from leaf axils
Propagation:  semi-hardwood cuttings, seed
Comments:  massed in bedding, containers, hanging, trained upright as a single-stem standard, hedge in warm climates
Problems:  aphids and whiteflies can be expected indoors; blooms poorly if too wet, too cool or insufficient light (as a cloudy northern summer)

Facts Source:  Perry's Perennial Pages / Dr. Leonard Perry, University of Vermont
Zone Map:  USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map

Previous Index Next