Lantanas Are Sun Loving Flowers that Are Easy to Grow

Lantanas love the sun and they have the warm yellow and orange colors of the sun. Lantanas are shrub-like plants that are easy to grow, can bloom all summer, and can stand some neglect and drought.

Lantanas are perennials in warm locations.
The plants are grown as annuals in most of North America. Lantanas are only winter hardy down to 28 degrees Fahrenheit. That means they are perennials in California, Florida, and along the Gulf Coast. Most gardeners buy them as potted plants in the spring. Growing them from seeds is possible but takes too long to be convenient for most gardeners.

Flower colors are yellow, orange, red, white, and lavender. The blooms grow in umbrella shaped clusters at the end of long stems. Many varieties are multicolored. The stems grow to 14 inches tall and spread more horizontal than vertical, making lantana popular for hanging pots and containers. In garden beds, lantana is usually planted in the front or middle of the bed.

Grow lantana in full sun with at least six full hours of sunlight. The soil should be well drained and not moist. The plants have profuse flowers though too much water and fertilizer can encourage foliage and reduce blooms. Allow the soil to dry before watering. Removing old blooms encourages lantana to continue to flower. The plant may need occasional trimming if it becomes ungainly looking. In areas where lantana is grown as a perennial, mulching in winter protects the roots and helps insure its survival.

Butterflies love lantana.
Butterflies and bees are strongly attracted to lantana. The leaves and stems, however, have an unpleasant odor when rubbed, and the sap can cause some people to develop minor rashes. Green berries that grow from fertilized flowers are poisonous. Birds eat the berries when they ripen and turn black. Deer, rabbits, and other animals will not eat lantana plants.

Lantana is native to tropical America and is perennial shrub that sometimes becomes an invasive nuisance in a few areas. The most common lantana has the scientific name Lantana camara, a mound forming plant with yellow or red flowers. Another commonly grown lantana is Lantana montevidenis also called "trailing lantana", a low growing, and spreading plant with purple or white flowers.

Varieties of lantana include "confetti" which has many pink and purple flowers or multicolored yellow. "Dallas Red" is a prolific bloomer with solid red blooms. A variety that has numerous yellow and orange flowers is "Gold Mound". "Imperial Purple" is a trailing lantana which looks good in a hanging pot.