How to Plant and Grow Lantana

Lantana is the solution for the hot, dry spots in your garden.

For those hot, dry spots in your garden where most plants may struggle, lantana may be your solution. This hardworking plant with colorful flowers thrives with little moisture in full, unyielding sun. It's also easy to grow and pollinator-friendly! It's common to see numerous butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds flitting around these plants, drinking the abundant nectar produced in their small, tubular blooms. Upright varieties make great pops of season-long color as high-impact annuals planted among perennials, while some varieties of lantana have a trailing habit, perfect for spilling over a container or hanging basket.

Lantana Luscious Citrus Blend
Justin Hancock.

Lantana has coarse, pungently scented, deep green leaves that are a wonderful backdrop to its contrasting flowers. In many cases, there's a tie-dye effect on the flower heads. Flowers generally start as a light color, then darken with age.

All parts of lantana plants are toxic to dogs, cats, horses and other livestock. They should not be planted where pets and livestock come into contact with them.

Lantana Overview

Genus Name Lantana
Common Name Lantana
Plant Type Annual, Perennial
Light Sun
Height 6 to 12 inches
Width 16 to 48 inches
Flower Color Orange, Pink, Purple, Red, White, Yellow
Foliage Color Blue/Green, Chartreuse/Gold
Season Features Fall Bloom, Summer Bloom
Special Features Attracts Birds, Good for Containers, Low Maintenance
Zones 10, 11, 8, 9
Propagation Seed, Stem Cuttings
Problem Solvers Deer Resistant, Drought Tolerant

Where to Plant Lantana

In warm southern climates of USDA zones 8 to 11, lantana is perennial and can grow 10 feet tall. However, in other climates, it's treated as an annual and reaches almost 3 feet tall in one growing season.

Invasive Plant

Lantana is an invasive plant in California, Florida, Hawaii, and Texas. It grows and spreads rapidly in most regions. If you choose to include it in your garden, confine it in beds and deadhead it regularly.

How and When to Plant Lantana

Wait a couple of weeks after the danger of frost has passed to plant lantanas. Lantanas like warmth, so choose a sunny spot. Dig a hole about the same width and depth as the planting container. Remove the plant and loosen the roots a bit from the root ball before placing in the hole. Backfill with soil and tamp lightly. Space lantana plants about 12 inches apart.

You won't see any growth until the weather and soil have warmed. However, keep the plant moist for several weeks after planting while it grows its root system.

Lantana Care Tips


The plants thrive in full sun and lots of warmth; they're likely to produce fewer blooms and have more trouble with diseases when growing in shade.

Soil and Water

Lantanas are drought-tolerant, but the blooms decrease when the plant goes without water for too long. While they are blooming, water them thoroughly every week unless they receive an inch of rain. However, be aware that repeated overhead watering increases the chance of disease or rot.

Lantanas tolerate most soil types as long as they are well-draining, and it prefers the soil to be slightly acidic.


Lantanas don't require much fertilizer. A single application early in the spring is usually sufficient. Another application during a prolific blooming period may be helpful, but don't overfertilize. It makes the plants susceptible to disease.


Perennial lantanas need to be pruned back hard in early spring. Cut them back to within 6 to 12 inches of the ground. During summer, lightly prune the tips of the plant to encourage reblooming.

Pests and Problems

Lace bugs, aphids, and caterpillars can cause lantana leaf damage. If the plants are very dry, watch for mites. When lantanas are planted in areas that are too moist, powdery mildew and root rot are more likely to occur.

How to Propagate Lantana

Older varieties of lantana can be started from seed. Six to eight weeks before you plan to set out seedlings, soak the seeds for 24 hours in warm water. Fill pots with soilless seed starting medium and moisten it. Put one or two seeds in each pot and cover them with 1/8 inch of the medium. Keep the pots in a warm location and cover them with clear plastic bags to maintain moisture. It may take as long as a month for the seeds to germinate. When they do, remove the plastic bags immediately.

Many new varieties of lantana are hybrids. These can be propagated by stem cuttings from young growth that hasn't become woody. In the spring, take 4-inch cuttings from the tips of the stems. Remove any leaves from the bottom half of the cutting. Fill a small pot with seed starting mix and make a hole that is 2 inches deep. Dip the bottom half of the cutting in rooting hormone and put it in the hole, firming the mix so that the cutting stands up straight. Position several small wooden sticks about the edge of the pot and position a clear plastic bag over the cutting and the sticks (which prevent the plastic bag from touching the cutting). When you see new growth, the cutting has begun rooting. Remove the plastic bag and put the pot in a warm room with a sunny window until planting time.

Lantana can be divided in the spring or early fall. Dig the plant and entire root ball out of the ground and cut it into thirds or quarters with a sharp shovel. Plant the transplants in a sunny area with soil that has been enriched with compost or manure. Place it at the same depth as the original plant. Keep the new plants moist until they are established.

Types of Lantana

Most lantanas range from less than 1 foot to 5 feet tall, but some reach 10 feet!

'Bandana Cherry' Lantana

Bandana Cherry Lantana
Cynthia Haynes

Lantana 'Bandana Cherry' offers rich yellow, orange, and cherry-red blooms in large heads.

'Irene' Lantana

Irene Lantana
Peter Krumhardt

Lantana 'Irene' bears bright yellow, pink, and red florets in large clusters on a spreading plant.

'Lucky™ Peach' Lantana

Lucky Peach Lantana
Marty Baldwin

Lantana 'Lucky™ Peach' offers heads of orange-peach flowers that mature to peachy-pink on compact plants.

Lantana Montevidensis

Lantana montevidensis lavender flowers
Hetherington & Associates

Lantana montevidensis is a wild form with lavender-purple flowers on a plant that can reach 3 feet tall and 4 feet wide.

'Landmark Pink Dawn' Lantana

Landmark Pink Dawn' Lantana
David Nevala Photography

Lantana 'Landmark Pink Dawn' offers creamy yellow flowers that mature to soft pink and can grow to 3 feet tall by 4 feet wide.

'Luscious Grape' Lantana

Luscious Grape Lantana
Justin Hancock

Lantana 'Luscious Grape' displays clusters of lavender-purple flowers on a vigorous, floriferous plant. It grows 16 inches tall and 36 inches wide.

'Luscious Citrus Blend' Lantana

Luscious Citrus Blend Lantana
Justin Hancock

Lantana 'Luscious Citrus Blend' is a heat-loving selection with vibrant red, orange, and yellow flowers on a mounding plant that grows to 3 feet tall and wide.

'Lucky™ Pot of Gold' Lantana

Lucky Pot of Gold Lantana
Marty Baldwin

Lantana 'Lucky™ Pot of Gold' offers heads of rich yellow blooms on compact plants that grow 1 foot tall and wide. It can tolerate humidity.

'Patriot™ Firewagon' Lantana

Patriot Firewagon Lantana
Hetherington & Associates

Lantana 'Patriot™ Firewagon' offers clusters of yellow flowers that turn from bright yellow to red-orange. They grow to 3 1/2 feet tall by 2 feet wide.

'Samantha' Lantana

Samantha Lantana
Kim Cornelison Photography

Lantana 'Samantha' has yellow flowers and golden-variegated foliage. It grows to 2 feet tall by 2 1/2 feet wide.

Lantana Companion Plants


angelonia summer snapdragon
David Speer

Angelonia is also called summer snapdragon, and you'll know why once you get a good look at it. Its salvia-like flower spires reach a foot or two high, studded with fascinating snapdragon-like flowers in beautiful shades of purple, white, or pink. It's the perfect plant for adding bright color to hot, sunny spaces. This tough plant blooms all summer. While all the varieties are beautiful, keep an eye out for the sweetly scented selections. Most gardeners treat angelonia as an annual, but it's a tough perennial in Zones 9-10. If you have a bright, sunny spot indoors, you can keep it flowering all winter.


Close up of pink Pentas
Kim Cornelison

Pentas is one of the best butterfly-attracting plants around. It blooms all summer, even during the hottest weather, with large clusters of starry blooms that attract hummingbirds and butterflies by the dozens. The plant grows well in both containers and ground—and can make a good houseplant if you have enough light. It does best in full sun and moist, well-drained soil. Pentas is grown as an annual in most parts of the country, but it's hardy in Zones 10-11. Plant after all danger of frost has passed.


Salvia farinacea Victoria Blue deep purple flowers
David Goldberg

There are few gardens that don't have at least one salvia growing. Whether you have sun or shade, a dry garden or lots of rainfall, there's a salvia you'll find indispensable. All attract hummingbirds, especially the red ones, and are great picks for hot, dry sites where you want tons of color all season. Most salvias dislike cool weather, so plant once all danger of frost has passed.

Garden Plans for Lantana

Garden Plan for Partial Shade

garden plan for partial shade

This garden plan combines easy, adaptable plants to add color to spots that don't see full sun.

Tropical-Look Garden Plan

Tropical-Look Garden Plan illustration
Illustration by Tom Rosborough

Make a bold garden statement with dramatic flowers and foliage.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do I grow lantana indoors?

    Lantana is an excellent container plant. The size of the container controls the size of the plant. If you have a lantana growing in a container outside, bring it in before the first frost. Put it in a cool room with indirect light, and water it infrequently. Move it back outside after the last spring frost. If you are growing lantana as a houseplant, grow it in a pot that has a water saucer with rocks underneath it to keep the plant supplied with moisture. Position it in a sunny location.

  • How long do lantana plants live?

    Frost kills lantanas, but they grow as tender perennials in warm areas where they typically live for two to five years. With excellent care, they can live up to 10 years.

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  1. Lantana, ASPCA

  2. Toxicity of Lantana in Animals, National Library of Medicine

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