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!
Lantana has coarse, pungently scented, deep green leaves that act as 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. Once the blooms have aged through all of their colors, they simply fall off—saving you from time spent deadheading.
The overall size of lantana varies. In warm southern climates, it can be considered a perennial or tropical shrub and can grow 10 feet tall. However, in most climates it's treated as an annual, which still reaches almost 3 feet in one growing season. Some varieties of lantana have a trailing habit, perfect for spilling over a container or hanging basket. Upright varieties make great pops of season-long color as high-impact annuals planted among perennials.
Consider placement when it comes to lantana. The plants thrive in full sun and lots of warmth., and are likely to produce fewer blooms and be more susceptible to disease when planted in too much shade. In areas that are too moist, powdery mildew and root rot are more likely to occur.
Older varieties of lantana can be started from seed. Many new varieties don't produce seed, and can only be propagated by stem cuttings from young growth that hasn't become too woody.
Lantanas are extremely attractive to pollinators. It's common to see numerous butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds swarming around these plants, drinking up the abundant nectar produced in their small, tubular blooms.