The horticulturist explains that the growth habit of lantanas can be
categorized as trailing, mounding or upright. Trailing types are
classified as Lantana montevidensis and typically reach a height of
18 inches. Foliage texture is finer, and flower colors in the
trailing types are white, lavender and purple.
Mounding and upright lantanas are primarily classified as Lantana
camara. Mounding lantanas reach 30 inches tall, and the upright,
which include the old ham and egg type of lantanas, can reach 4-5
feet tall in one growing season.
Owings recommends a number of lantana varieties and their
characteristics: New Gold (mounding, gold), Gold Mound (mounding,
gold), Silver Mound (mounding, white), Lemon Drop (mounding, lemon),
Dallas Red (upright, red), Imperial Purple (trailing, purple),
Trailing White (trailing, white) and Trailing Lavender (trailing,
The newest series of lantanas are the Patriot group, which come in
about 15 varieties and are broken down into even more diverse growth
habits. Some new flower colors can be found in the Patriot series.
Another new series of lantanas are the Son group from Mississippi,
which include Sonrise, Sonset, Samson and Sonshine. These varieties
have excelled in LSU AgCenter trials, according to Owings.
"Lantanas are great for landscape plants and do well in containers,"
Owings says, adding, "They perform well on a patio or around the
swimming pool if full sun is available most of the day." Water as
needed, and fertilize often when growing them in containers.
Lantanas are usually planted beginning in mid-April and can be
continually planted through the summer. Garden centers have lantanas
available in 3-inch to 4-inch pots. Plant these smaller containers of
trailing lantanas on 18-inch centers, and plant mounding and upright
lantanas on slightly wider spacing. If you buy gallon containers,
plant on 3- to 4-foot centers. Complete coverage of the planted area
takes about six weeks.
In a landscape bed, fertilize twice during the growing season, once
at planting and again in mid- to late summer. Broadcast a
slow-release fertilizer (StaGreen Nursery Special or Osmocote) over
the planted area according to label recommendations.
Besides providing landscape color most of the year, lantanas attract
butterflies. "Try some this year. You’ll be pleased with the
results," Owings says.
For related topics, look for Gardening and Get It Growing links in
the Feature section of the
LSU AgCenter Web site.
Additional yard and garden topics are available from an extension
agent in your parish LSU AgCenter office.