Facts About the Lantana Flower
Lantana, a wonderful flower
Several years ago I planted Lantana for the first time, but I never realized how much I would come to love this wonderful flower. The most obvious reasons to plant and enjoy lantana include their beautiful and vibrant colors, and the ease of growing them. They last a long time, throughout the summer and into the fall months.
One of my all time favorite reasons for growing lantana is that they are an amazing butterfly magnet! Butterflies cannot seem to resist lantana to the degree that where you see lantana growing on a warm day, you will also see butterflies enjoying their nectar. That is a win win for me!
The native habitat for Lantana is in tropical and subtropical both North and South America. They will grow on the margins of forests, and in disturbed sites. They can be very hardy and survive even intense heat once established.
Facts about the Lantana Flower
Lantana, or shrub verbena, grow as an evergreen or deciduous shrub. They do best in zones 9 and 10 or in Sunset's zones 12 & 13, and 15-22. You can find many colors of this flower now more than ever. From pale colors to the more bold colors. The intensity of the colors can change as the flower matures as well. You will find the colors red, orange, yellow, pinks and purples even now. They don't like frost, and will happily bloom until frost in many areas. In frost free areas, they can bloom all year if some care is taken.
Lantanas like bright and full sun, and thrive in almost any kind of soil which is a real plus for poor gardening sites. You can skip waterings, but when you do water, you will want to do so thoroughly. They have been known to become invasive in some climates, but I honestly cannot picture it myself. If they grew more fully in my garden, then I would love that. They give off such beautiful little flowers that I just love them, as do the butterflies. Lantanas attract a wide range of butterflies.
There is a kind of lantana that is more of a trailing variety. The trailing variety is called L. montevidensis. They make a good ground cover with more rosy/lilac colored flowers. You can find many cultivars of both kinds of lantana. The colors of the reds and orange balance and compliment the rich green of the leaves. I would definitely recommend them for gardeners everywhere, even beginner gardeners love these.
One thing I have found to keep the blooms coming, it to occasionally trim back the plant. When flowers fade, I do a form of dead heading the flowers, so they will produce more.
When initially planting your lantana, follow the directions closely. I also apply a liquid flower fertilizer in the summer sometimes, especially for my potted plants. The only down side I have with this flower, is the need to replant every year, because where I live they can't survive the winter.
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© 2010 Paula
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