Grown for its showy flowers and fragrant foliage, lantana makes an attractive addition to shrub groupings, mixed borders and oceanfront landscapes. Colorful flower clusters have long made lantana plants a favorite for flower beds and borders. Crowds of colorful butterflies will flock to your garden when you grow lantana. This super productive plant puts out a nonstop supply of bright, nectar-rich flowers all summer long. Lantana loves hot, sunny weather and is tolerant of both drought and humid conditions. Use lantana in landscape beds or in pots and planters packed with other sun-loving bloomers. In frost-free regions, lantana forms a low shrub that can grow 2 to 3 feet tall. In the North, use lantana as an annual flower. It is an upright frost-tender shrub that grows 3-6’ tall. Container plants can be trained as standards. Easily grown as bedding plants in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun. Tolerates poor soils. Lantana is also deer and rabbit resistant. It is native to the Central and South America. It is an upright frost-tender shrub that grows 3-6’ tall.
The elliptic medium green leaves are up to 8cm (3 inch) long and 4cm (1.5 inch) wide, rough-surfaced and coarse-textured. Leaves have slightly toothed edges, have 1cm (0.4 inch) long stalks and appear in opposite pairs or whorls of three. The flowering season lasts from late spring to middle autumn. Round 5cm (2 inch) wide flower heads are produced from the leaf axils on 5cm (2 inch) stalks. Each head consists of densely packed, tubular flowers. Individual flowers open successively, in rows starting from the outside of the circle. Whatever their color, it changes (usually darkening) as they age. Thus a single flower head can contain blooms of two or three related colors – for instance, yellow, orange and reddish. There are a number of named forms with primarily white, yellow, orange, pink or red flowers.
Lantana is easiest to grow from seed when you keep the soil consistently moist and at a steady temperature between 70 and 75 F. (21-24 C.) day and night. A good way to maintain the moisture is to place the pots in a plastic bag and seal the bag. While the pots are in the bag, keep them away from direct sunlight. Check the pots often and remove the bag as soon as the seedlings emerge. The seeds may take a month or more to germinate.
- Soak the seed in water for 24 hours.
- Prepare a mixture of half potting soil and half sand, perlite or vermiculite. Water the mixture so that it is moist but not wet.
- Put the seeds on the soil.
- Cover the seeds with a thin layer of soil.
- Water the seeds.
- Place the pots in an area with warm temperatures in full sun or part shade.
- When the seedlings are a few inches tall, they can be transplanted.