Drought, heat, deer, rabbits, and salt-spray don’t even phase this tough-as-nails, but wildly glamorous summery garden staple. Lantana, native to tropical regions, puts out nonstop bright, nectar-rich blooms that attract crowds of butterflies while bringing brilliant, happy color even during the hottest, most humid summer days. Let it ramble down sunny slopes, tumble from hanging baskets, or add an elegant touch when trained into a patio tree. Pot it up for a lush, tropical feel near pools or seaside patios. Here are a few ways to use this sizzler and some of the best plants for each idea to get you started.
4 Fun Ways to Use Lantana
Plant solo, or mix with other full-sun annuals or perennials for color from spring to frost. Best blooming by rotating containers weekly so that plants gets light on all sides.
Spreading varieties quickly cover a large area, even dry slopes. Will go dormant in warmer climates, then back in bloom early summer.
With heights that range from 24 inches to over 6 feet tall, there’s one for most spots. Especially effective against a fence or wall.
Tropical Patio Tree
Clip a bushy one-gallon specimen into an 18 inch tabletop type, or purchase trained as a 5 foot tall patio tree. Can be overwintered indoors given moderate, diffuse light and occasional water.
Best for crazy, colorful containers
Best for blooming, tough groundcovers
Best for color-bursting beds and borders
Best for unexpected (but awesome) patio trees
Keeping Lantana Happy
- Plant in a location that receives at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight a day.
- While unfussy about soil type, does best in a rich, well-drained spot.
- Once established, water only occasionally except during periods of extreme drought.
- In frost-free regions lantana is a durable perennial; in colder zones, use lantana as an annual flower.