Lantana Care: Growing and Pruning Lantana
Discover what real flower power is by growing lantana. This low-maintenance bloomer opens blossoms steadily during the growing season—and year-round in warmest areas. Lantana care is easy no matter where you garden. Even in regions where lantana is evergreen, growing lantana is a snap. The most important chore is pruning lantana, and that’s not a difficult undertaking.
Growing lantana is a year-round proposition in Zone 10, with Zone 9 plants faring roughly the same. The only time growth grinds to a halt in Zone 9 is when temperatures dip to 28°F, which kills plants to the ground. Roots remain alive, though, and send up shoots in spring. The pattern of winter kill followed by sprouting from soil also occurs in Zone 8 with most lantana species. In all other zones with killing frosts and frigid winters, lantana care hinges on treating plants as annuals.
Regardless of where you garden, site lantana in full sun for best flowering. Plants can grow in part shade locations, but flower number will drop and plants do become more susceptible to diseases and certain insects. Growing lantana doesn’t require intense soil prep prior to planting. These steady bloomers grow in any well-drained soil, including sandy ones. In containers, it’s a good idea to use a commercial soil-less mix developed for container use.
Lantana care is pretty simple. Water newly planted lantana regularly to ensure healthy root development. While established plants are drought tolerant, they stage the best show when they receive roughly one inch of water per week, either through rainfall or irrigation. Regular watering fuels steady growth and full-size flowers in greater numbers.
Tackle pruning lantana several times throughout the growing season. In regions where lantana is winter hardy, shearing plants lightly following flowering promotes stem branching and a future flush of flowers. Prune plants at any time they outgrow their growing space. You can safely remove up to one-third of a lantana plant’s overall size at any one pruning.
In areas where lantana is winter hardy but dies to the ground, pruning lantana stems in spring is vital to maintaining plant health. Cut stems back to 6 or 12 inches tall. After pruning lantana, water and fertilize to encourage new growth. When stems show 6 inches of new growth, remove the tips to promote branching, which leads to more flowers.
If lantana forms black berries, part of your lantana care routine should be removing them before they mature. Pruning lantana after a strong flush of flowering prevents berries from forming on non-sterile plants. This is especially important if you’re growing Lantana camara or other invasive types. Some states that consider lantana invasive are Hawaii, Florida, Texas, Arizona and South Carolina.