Lantana is one of the many recommended ornamental plants. Not only has a unique shape and color, but this grower is also easy to maintain and will not be a hassle.
In taxonomy, this perennial plant has at least 150 species.
It is native to America and Africa but appears in the Australian-Pacific region and parts of India.
Remarkable as an ornamental plant, people also believe that this grower has properties to cure various complaints, such as bruises, poisoning, or bleeding.
Therefore, cultivating it at home is not wrong. If you are planning on growing your own, here are some facts you need to know.
Lantana flower is not a new thing among gardeners. This plant has similarities with verbena because they are both included in the Verbenaceae family.
This plant can reach 2-4 feet tall and grow very well in warm weather. Generally, lantana has green foliage and produces prolific flowers.
The uniqueness of this plant is its structure which has a stem but grows sprawling. Thus, it is suitable for hanging plant decorations.
One of its advantages is the survival capability in locations that contain high salt. It will live for many years if there are a favorable environment and temperature.
This perennial plant will not die throughout the year and will flower in early spring to early winter.
Hence, you can enjoy its beauty for three seasons.
Lantana can thrive in places that have enough water content. Unfortunately, this grower often becomes an invasive plant whose growth is uncontrollable.
Therefore, if you want to cultivate, you have to plan where the lantana bushes will grow from the start.
If you do not initially choose the planting area, tidying it up will be quite difficult.
Some Types of Lantana to Grow
Talking about lantana, you will find dozens of types several species inside. Each of them has characteristics and will give a different beauty to your garden.
However, for newcomers in gardening, knowing everything is not necessary. Try these common varieties to grow:
People also know it by the name shrub lantana. Its height is about 6 feet. Further, this plant becomes a top choice for garden decor.
It grows in bushes very quickly and produces beautiful flowers during bloom.
Lantana bushes can reach a height of 5 feet in just one season. Although it looks beautiful with some colors, its development is often out of control.
Therefore, you have to prune it often.
Because of this lush growth, you may need extra effort in taking care of it. You have to monitor its growth and beautify the look by regular cleaning.
In addition, you should not plant them in farmland or locations that are accessible to children. The reason is, this part of the plant is poisonous so that it can harm living things.
Another recommendation is the popcorn type which is also known as lantana trifolia.
This variety is different because it produces purple ornamental fruits instead of blooming flowers.
Furthermore, this type is still divided into two types, namely Fruity Pebbles and Lavender Popcorn.
Both are very similar with small, clustered fruits but have different colors.
This plant is widely found in the Americas and can grow up to 3 feet. People also know it by the name 3-leaved lantana because the leaves are in groups consisting of three.
This type is also remarkable with the name lantana montevidensis. The plant is a slow-growing variety.
However, its growth can reach 18 inches.
This type is different from the lantana camara which has a variety of colors. Montevidensis only has a purple color with a non-dominant touch of white.
If there is another color, chances are it is a hybrid result.
The best way to display this flower is to use a support that makes it appear hanging. Otherwise, it will just creep over the ground, making the flower color is less visible.
Ordinary people usually call it by the name buttonsage. Its appearance is white with the yellow part in the middle.
This plant occurs widely in South Florida and can grow up to 8 feet. Interestingly, this plant can survive in fertile or poor soil.
For embellishment, this lantana flower also produces a fragrant aroma. Its existence can attract the attention of various beautiful insects such as butterflies.
This type is also remarkable in the nursery because it has a beautiful appearance. The flowers grow in clusters and form circles of various colors.
Several color choices are pink, cherry-like, and so on. But whatever it is, everything looks beautiful when you put it on the patio or glass container.
How to Grow Lantana Plant
The easiest way to grow lantana is to use seeds available at garden supply stores. You can plant the seeds in well-draining soil mixed with compost in a 1:1 ratio.
After placing the seeds, you can fill them carefully. Also, remember that they need sufficient water.
Moreover, do not forget to compact the soil to avoid collapsing after you grow the plant.
With seeds, you can choose which type is suitable for your garden. Get beautiful crosses by purchasing in the store.
However, growing seedlings may be a little tricky.
There is another way to get it easily and quickly; it is by the help of clumps of seeds from the brooders.
First, separate the clumps of seeds and then grow them in the planting media.
Some Aspects to Consider
Whatever way you practice, do not forget to take good care of it. Consider the following aspects after planting the seeds:
- You can place it in an area that has direct sun exposure. But providing shade can also be an alternative if the light exposure is very high.
- Make sure the soil remains moist after planting the seedlings. Do regular watering every day for a few weeks.
- If the plants have started to grow, you can reduce the water intensity. Juvenile lantana is generally hardy and can survive even in dry conditions.
- Make sure the temperature stays warm. The best time to plant is in summer because the temperature is favorable for growth.
Meanwhile, planting it in winter may fail.
- When the weather is cold, you can use a room heater to increase the temperature.
Lantana that grows in tropical or warm areas can live all the time.
Otherwise, in subtropical countries, it generally only lasts for a few seasons unless you give particular treatments.
Lantana Care and Tips
Young lantanas that have just sprouted do require intensive care. But after that, its maintenance will not take much time.
Importantly, you should make the environment warm. Moreover, here are several tips to keep them fertile and produce beautiful flowers:
- Frequent watering is not necessary. However, you can soak it in water once a week to provide moisture when the weather is dry.
- It does not need a lot of fertilizer, but you can give it a light dose to help them thrive.
- Do pruning regularly, especially when it’s spring.
- Regularly trimming the tips of the deadheads will help them continue to flower.
- Overgrown plants can be messy so you need to give treatment. Cut off a third of the plant and they will grow again in no time.
- Remember to do regular checking to keep them safe from pests and weeds.
- When you find any sick plants, immediately separate them and give special care so that they do not spread to others.
- As it has a fragrance, you may find some insects approaching, such as butterflies, pollinators, and others.
Manage it well so as not to disturb the people around.
Keeping lantana is fun because you can enjoy its beauty almost throughout year-round. But always use gloves and safety to avoid poison.
Some Problems You May Encounter
Even though it is easy to grow, there are always challenges in cultivation. You may encounter various difficulties when caring for lantana, for example:
- When powdery mildew appears, likely, the plant is not getting enough sunlight. Hence, please move it to a lighter and warmer location.
- Root rot is also common if you splash too much water. To prevent this, you must use the planting medium with the ability to absorb the solution quickly.
- Leaf color fading is generally the work of pests. Therefore, please check for the whiteflies’ nests or other insects around the lantana.
- Sometimes lace bugs also interfere with this plant and cause foliage to be damaged. Use a dish soap solution mixed with dish soap or insecticide.
You still have to do regular monitoring so that the condition of the plants remains good. If there are problems, you can look for references or contact plant experts around you.
Lantana is a plant that likes warm temperatures and plenty of sunlight. However, this plant contains toxins so you have to be careful while caring for it.