Lantana is a beautiful, easy to grow garden plant. It’s tough, drought tolerant, long blooming, and attracts butterflies. Its lovely clusters of flowers come in a variety of colors, sometimes with multiple colors mixed together.
There are over 150 species of lantana, from trailing groundcovers to 6-foot tall shrubs. A cousin to verbena, lantana is native to the tropics, where it grows as a perennial or shrub.
Lantana foliage feels coarse and rough, with a pungent scent. Some varieties of lantana produce pretty (but poisonous!) purple berries while other sterile varieties skip the berries in favor of more blooms.
Lantana can be grown in borders, mixed beds, and containers. Plant trailing varieties can also be grown in hanging baskets. In the Deep South, large varieties of lantana can be used as shrubs. And don’t forget to add lantana to your hummingbird and butterfly gardens!
Lantana Growing Conditions
Lantana is easy to grow, here are some tips to get you started:
- Climate: Lantana is winter hardy to about zone 8, with some varieties (such as ‘Miss Huff’) being more cold-tolerant than others. Some types of lantana die completely back in winter, while others keep a few stems aboveground. In colder zones, lantana is grown as an annual, or brought indoors for the winter.
- Soil: Lantana does best in well draining, slightly acidic soil. Lantana is pretty tolerant of soil type, but you should amend very heavy clay or sand with organic compost.
- Light: Lantana prefers full sun.
- Water: Once established, lantana is fairly drought-tolerant. An inch of water per week is ideal, but they are generally pretty adaptable.
Lantana Planting and Growing Tips
Here’s what you need to know to care for lantana in your yard:
- Fertilizer: Lantana doesn’t need much fertilizer; in fact, too much fertilizer can inhibit blooming. Use compost to enrich the soil, and feed in spring with a balanced organic fertilizer.
- Pruning: Lantana benefits from deadheading spent blooms and also from light shearing to keep the plant bushy and blooming. Give a heavy “rejuvenation” pruning in spring, down to 6”-8” tall. If your plant becomes leggy and overgrown during the growing season, you can cut it back by a third.
- Powdery mildew: Watch for powdery mildew on the leaves, especially if your lantana receives some shade.
- Pests: Lace bugs and whiteflies are common pests of lantana. Whitefly infestation can lead to development of sooty mold.
- Salt: Lantana tolerates salt and makes an excellent coastal planting.
- Lantana (Clemson University)
- Hummingbirds in the Garden (article)
- Flowers for a Butterfly Garden (article)
- Landscaping with Drought-Tolerant Plants (article)
Thank you for your website! My daughter noticed some blackberry-looking fruit growing on a fence by our church. Your site helped us identify them as poisonous Lantana berries and prevented us from eating them! (We took a picture of the orange and pink cluster flowers, along with the fruit, which helped us match them up).
Glad to hear our article was of help!
My mom recently gave us a lantana for our anniversary. Will it be safe to plant now and have it survive the winter in central Alabama? Thank you!
Meloney and Greg
Something is eating the lantana leaves-there are several large pale spiders on the plant but I think they’re not responsible for the damage. Any ideas?
The leaves of the lantana in my garden seems to have become smaller. Is it because the plant is almost 2 years old? Would pruning help or should I replant afresh?
Appreciate info shared on your website
I have a large amount of the berries from my Miss Huff plants. Can I take those and plant them for new plants. If so, how many berries do I put in the pot and how deep do I bury them. Hope to do this now, September, in NC and should I place them in a warmer spot when the first frost comes. Miss Huff is one of my favorite flowers. So beautiful.
Thank you for your help.
Will stay green premium weed control sheets prevent Lantana from spreading or should I not put the weed control down with mulch over it?
I have just purchased 4 small Lantana (camera flower). They’ve been repotted in a large pot 40cms together and in a compost mix, with gravel at the bottom. Is this acceptable for the plant, or should they be potted up separately?
I am new to gardening and have a “leggy and overgrown” lantana. If I prune / cut back by 1/3, where on the stalk should I make each cut? Above leaves/below leaves? Thanks
Jill has been with Johnson’s Nursery since 1998.
I have a Lantana in a container and it’s growing nice. Do I eventually need to plant in the ground for more growth?
Hi. I live in the UK and our weather is unpredictable to say the least! I’ve purchased 5 Lantana Calippo Tutti Fruitti’s after seeing this beautiful plant in Tenerife.
Do you think it will survive here in the UK?
I just planted some ‘1 gal lantana in my flower bed. I was told to water it daily in our hot summer in the Austin TX area. It’s been in the 100s. I want to know if I’m watering too much and can I give my new plants some slow release fertilizer?
Gardening questions can be tricky since the rules can change based on the region. We would suggest contacting your local Master Gardeners association.
Master gardeners train on a range of topics so they can provide advice, at no charge, for people in their area.
Here’s more information: http://www.tcmastergardeners.org/
Thanks for your question, and good luck!
Can a branch be taken off & transplanted to a different area?
I have tried multiple attempts but so far no luck. However I was successful with Verbena outside over winter( zone 8) and indoors
Glad to hear it, Kp!
Verbena’s purple blooms are beautiful and enhance any home’s landscaping.