Lantana is an easy-to-grow, beautiful flowering plant that attracts bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. It's related to verbena, with little clusters of colorful solid or two-toned flowers, ranging from reds, oranges, and yellows, to white, pinks, and purples. It grows as a perennial in warm climates and can grow as big as eight to ten feet. However, it can become an invasive nuisance in places like Florida and Hawaii. Wherever it grows, it's a beautiful and versatile flowering plant.
Hanging baskets of lantana provide a very festive flowering show all summer long and can be brought indoors as houseplants over the winter in northern areas. Out in the garden or landscape, lantana can be used in various ways. Trailing varieties can be planted in window boxes or trained to grow on a trellis. Shrub and bush varieties can be highlighted in a sunny corner of the garden or yard. Smaller varieties can be used in the border.
Lantana can be grown from seeds or cuttings. It helps to speed germination if seeds are soaked in hot water a day before planting in soil. Cuttings can be taken in mid-summer and fall, dipped in rooting medium, and planted. They will root in a few weeks.
Lantana's native environment is sand and clay loam but it will tolerate a range of soils, including poor soil, as long as there is good drainage. Normal to moist watering is preferable but lantana will not do well with over watering or soggy conditions.
Lantana needs a full sun location and won't flower or survive well in shade. Lantana thrives in harsh growing conditions like poor soil and close to salt spray. Light fertilizer in early spring is all the fertilization that may be needed, if any.
Lantana grows rapidly and will reach its mature height in a season. Older lantanas can be pruned back in the spring to encourage green growth and avoid woody shrubs. Large shrub lantanas can be trimmed back to contain size. In tropical and warm climates, lantana may become a nuisance and need control.