How do you care for lantana bushes?


Quick Answer

Lantana plants require full sun, good soil drainage, somewhat acidic soil, and light to moderate fertilizer, and growers must bring the plants indoors for winter in regions where temperatures fall below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. In frost-free climates, lantana may be grown as a perennial shrub or bedding plant in any sunny location.

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Full Answer

Lantana thrives in any area of the garden that gets full sun or at least six hours of sun per day. If the soil is heavy or wet, improve drainage by digging in sand and peat moss to a depth of about 2 feet before planting lantana. Peat moss increases soil acidity, which is beneficial to lantana; lower soil pH by mulching with pine needles or dried shredded oak leaves.

Lantana does well with very little fertilizer; fertilize lightly in spring and again in midsummer. Water sparingly once a week. Excess watering causes root rot and fungal diseases in lantana, particularly in container-grown plants, and makes the plants susceptible to whitefly and other insect pests. To encourage blooming and fullness, cut the plant tips periodically. Invigorate overgrown plants by cutting back extensively, which improves blooming and foliage.

Grow lantana outdoors year-round in areas where temperatures never drop below freezing, which includes zones 10 and above on the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map. In cooler climates, bring lantana indoors for winter. Starting in late summer, decrease water, and discontinue fertilizer to discourage new growth. Bring containers indoors before frost, and place in an east- or west-facing window in a cool room with temperatures of 55 degrees F; rotate regularly to give the plant even light exposure. Water only enough to moisten the top 2 inches of soil; allow to dry between watering. Move back outside once outdoor night temperatures are above 55 degrees F; place plants in dappled shade for the first week to avoid sunburn.

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