LANTANA is the best drought tolerant plant – Red, White, Purple, Gold, Perennial Flowers!

yellow and red flowers bush

As I was going to the store I came across one of the greatest displays of The New Gold, White, Red and even Purple Trailing Lantana I have ever seen!  In our Arizona garden we have several species of Lantana because it is one of our desert favorites!

Best Drought tolerant plants, Lantana varieties
Purple Trailing Lantana, Texas New Gold, Red, Light Yellow Lantanas

White, Red (Texas), Purple Trailing and Gold lantana mounds in this picture – Gorgeous!

Lantana is a genus of about 150 species of perennial flowering plants in the VERBENA family, (Verbenaceae). They are native to tropical regions of Africa and here in the Americas.

Lantana Verbena in containers
Confetti Lantana and Purple Verbena desert plants

It comes in plants and shrubs commonly called Lantana and shrub verbenas. Some types are considered invasive; they spread easily because lantana leaves are somewhat poisonous to most animals.

This is precisely why Lantana is a large part of our desert garden. Not only is Lantana resistant to the hot temperatures in Southern Arizona, but also drought tolerant and all the small animals leave them alone!  Our dogs are not interested in our lantana plants or their poisonous leaves at all.

popular drought tolerant plant
Texas New Gold best lantana

The Purple Trailing Lantana looks beautiful dancing along side the Yellow New Gold and a lighter yellow lantana mound in the back.

Drought Tolerant flowering bush shrubs Lantana
Texas New Gold Lantana, Purple Trailing Lantana

Being somewhat toxic and rejected by herbivores, camara and trailing lantanas are very hardy, but once or twice a year mine become infested with pests.  Insecticidal soaps will damage this plant. Try using plain dish soap with water in a spray bottle.

Although I did not see any berries in this orchestra of multi-colored lantana plants … the berries are edible ONLY when they are ripe.

Yellow, Purple, Red, White Lantana
Varieties of colorful Lantana, Verbena bushes shrubs

Though the stems of lantana are thin, the wood is very tough and durable and thus useful for crafts and wickerwork.  This is one heat resistant, hardy evergreen lantana shrub!

Texas New Gold in a Pot

Planting, Growing and Caring for lantana is easy. They like a lot of sun and lantana is not picky about their soil.

red orange lantana species verbena
drought tolerant red flowering lantana plant

Half of our garden lantana are growing in pots and containers, the other half is in the ground by cacti.  We do water the potted lantana once a day when the temperature is high. Last week we reached 110 degrees and my pots / planters needed a small amount of water in the morning and then in the evening. This is unusual and was due to the bone dry heat.

Picture of Lantana Heaven!

Lantana stems are HOLLOW so overwatering will cause your lantana roots to rot.  Try NOT to prune or trim your lantana until the end of the season. Remember the lantana stems are hollow.

Red and Yellow Lantana Plants, trailing mound

On average, the ground lantana need a DEEP soaking twice a week. A good indicator is the leaves. If your lantana is wilting, then water but be careful NOT to get water on the leaves. Most of the lantana we have planted are in full sun.  Watering at the roots prevents the risk of burning the leaves.

Author: tjsgarden

We are a family that loves the Arizona Desert. A lot of research and team efforts go into our articles and photos. Come discover the beauty and mystery with us. Don't forget your sunscreen!

15 thoughts on “LANTANA is the best drought tolerant plant – Red, White, Purple, Gold, Perennial Flowers!”

  1. I have planted a couple varieties of Lantana in my yard near Phoenix. I have planted late, yes, but I figured as long as I watered it and kept the dirt moist, then the Lantana should survive. Nope! As soon as the mid-day sun hits it, it’s a goner…like instantly, even though the ground and roots are moist! Is anyone experiencing this? Also, on a side note, it seem the “Dallas Red” cultivar is taking the heat better than “Radiation” or “Yellow Gold”. So far, even when newly planted on a south-facing yard, it has survived. Personally, I think the Phoenix sun is not as forgiving as your Tucson sun, but perhaps you could lend some advice. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tony this year has been so hard for our plants. The heat has been extremely intense and it seems many of our plants including our lantana are barely surviving. Thanks for pointing out the Dallas Red cultivar. Next year we will plant that one. Our “Purple Trailing” is not doing well. We’ve talked and can’t remember the plants having such a hard time before. The sun is different this year. On an up note – our Marigolds, Yarrow, Aloe Vera and Pomegranate Trees are thriving!


    2. They may have gotten a little too dry for warm or hot weather. The soil that the wholesale nursery uses is peat, this drys out fast to water your new lantana a lot. at least for the first year


    1. You are correct for some areas such as Florida. In the hot desert it is easier to control the lantana and therefore it is not considered invasive. Thank you for the great comment!


  2. Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you relied on the video to make your point.

    You obviously know what youre talking about, why waste your intelligence on just posting videos
    to your weblog when you could be giving us something enlightening to read?


      1. This is how I discovered your site: researching my own lantana, which is thriving in my West Texas yard. It has proven the solution to a couple of previously very UGLY spots. And now I know a bit more about how to prune it and water it. Thanks.


  3. Hi Tj,

    Yes, I agree with you that the lantana can be quite beautiful especially when grown en masse. Sadly, it has long been declared as one of the top weeds in Australia due to its having considerable negative impacts on native species and ecosystems.


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