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!
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 VERBENAfamily, (Verbenaceae). They are native to tropical regions of Africa and here in the Americas.
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.
The Purple Trailing Lantana looks beautiful dancing along side the Yellow New Gold and a lighter yellow lantana mound in the back.
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 edibleONLY when they are ripe.
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!
Planting, Growing and Caring for lantana is easy. They like a lot of sun and lantana is not picky about their soil.
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 daywhen 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.
Lantana stems are HOLLOWso 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.
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.
Define drought tolerant. What is a drought resistant plant? Here is the difference between drought tolerant (true desert plant) and drought resistant (originated in semi-arid places).
A flower or plant that has naturally evolved to survive periods of drought with little water and has the ability to tolerate substantial dehydration of their tissues and organs is drought tolerant. Xerophytes are the BEST drought tolerant plants, shrubs, trees, and cacti.
Cacti and many plants survive on little water and make Xeriscape not only essential but pleasing to the eye. Derived from the Greek word “xeros”, meaning “dry” and combined with landscape, xeriscape means gardening with less than average water.
Many xerophyte plants have specialized tissues for storing water, as in the stems of cacti and the leaves of succulents. Others have thin, narrow leaves, or even spines, for minimizing water loss. Xerophyte leaves often have abundant stomata to maximize gas exchange during periods in which water is available, and the stomata are recessed in depressions, which are covered with fine hairs to help trap moisture in the air.
Drought tolerant plants have adapted by making use of either C4 Carbon Fixation or CAM (crassulacean acid metabolism) a carbon fixation pathway that evolved in some plants as an adaptation to arid conditions.
In a plant using full CAM, the stomata, in the leaves, remain shut during the day to reduce the loss of water as vapor, but open at night to collect carbon dioxide (CO2). The CO2 is stored and then used during photosynthesis, which is the process of capturing the suns energy.
CAM is particularly good for arid conditions because CO2 can be absorbed at night, allowing the pores on the leaves to stay closed during the day and thus reducing water loss. A easy way to explain it is drought tolerant plants can slow down metabolism.
High elasticity of the cytoplasm and the capacity to withstand compression of the cells during dehydration are characteristic of drought-tolerant plants. What is cytoplasm? An easy definition of cytoplasm is a gel-like casing, covering – containing all the contents of the cell’s organisms, except the nucleus. Most metabolic (chemical reactions) pathways occur in the cytoplasm.
Not to be confused with drought-tolerant plants, Drought Resistant plants are not true desert plants. Many have originated in semi-arid regions, the area around the Mediterranean, Latin America and sub-Sahara.
Here are pictures of drought resistant plants that are not native desert plants.
Lantana, in the verbena family, is a highly attractive drought resistant flowering plant that originated in tropical regions of Africa and the Americas.
This plant has it all: Drought resistant, it looks great, it smells wonderful, and it’s as tough as nails (as long as it’s not too wet). Lavender is in the mint family and originated in the Old World around the Canary Islands, Africa, India, and Asia.
Not only does yarrow tolerate heat and drought like a champion, but this easy-growing perennial is also a great cut flower. Yarrow, Achillea millefolium, originated in regions of Asia and Europe.
There is a difference between drought resistant and drought tolerant plants. Knowing the difference can save you considerable heartache.
Lantana plants and shrubs are one of our favorites for our desert garden and front yard. I recommend this flowering plant to people who want color in their landscaping. Not only is our Arizona Lantanaperennial but it is also a low maintenance plant and easy to grow.
In some cooler locations Lantana plants are annual; but places that do NOT get freezingweather will have new colorful blooms every spring.
You will find Lantana is inexpensive to buy, easy to find and takes the desert heat!
The entire shrub can be covered with multi colored Lantana flowers even in the worst triple digit temperatures.
How many Lantana varieties are there? There are about 150 species / varieties of Lantana. This perennial flowering plant is in the Verbena Family, Verbenaceae.
With so many colors to choose from your Lantanas can add vibrant flowersall season long.
Some species of Lantana change color as they mature.
The flower clusters on lantana plants are called umbels.
Some popularLantana variety names are: Irene, Red Bandana, Radiation, Confetti, Ham ‘n Eggs, Texas New Gold, Dallas Red, Trailing Purple, Christine, and many more….
Lantana seems to have no problems surviving on little moisture and soaking up unyielding sun. When watering your lantana try NOT to get the leaves wet but water at the base of the plant. This will prevent the plant from being sun burned.
If I see the leaves wilting I water immediately, soaking the Lantana well to promote deeper, stronger roots.
Can you grow Lantana in pots and containers? Absolutely and lantana loves it!
We have potted lantana all over the yard. It does take a little more effort to care forlantana in containers but it is worth it.
My potted Lantana seems to need more watering than my ground Lantana.
I do not let them dry out completely. Some people do and it works fine for them but I choose not to.
Our Purple Trailing Lantana spills over nicely in the above large pot.
When do I prune my Lantana? Give your Lantana a good pruning in the spring to remove the old growth and prevent the extra woodiness.
Water and lightly fertilize newly trimmed Lantana plants and they will return to bloom quickly. Lantana does not need much fertilizer.
When transplanting your Lantana, gently loosen the roots and shake off the excess dirt. Old soil does not help your Lantana plants.
Place it in the hole you made and backfill with healthy topsoil.
Most animals avoid Lantana flowers and leaves.
Although Lantana is considered poisonous the RIPE Lantana berries are a delicacy for many birds.
Growing Lantanain pots is so easy. Choose your size pot or container. Then have a fun time deciding on your Lantana colors. Stick to one or mix them up.
Remember to gently shake off the old dirt from the Lantana roots before you place it in its new home. Potted plants need more watering especially in the hot sun.
Always water at the base of the plants and not the leaves. An exception would be if the Lantana plant was not in direct sun.
The temperatures here in the Sonoran Desert frequently reach over 100 degrees so I add mulch to every plant in our yard. Mulch really helps here in Arizona.
Lantana is a magnet for hummingbirds and butterflies. These perfect desert plants give you flowering color all season long. That is a lot of butterflies!
Lantana will suffer from frost damage so cover them up during cold winter nights. Prune the damage from the Lantana in the spring and they may come back.
Lantana likes full sun, and isn’t picky about the type of soil it will grow in.
This is precisely why Lantana is a large part of my desert garden.
Not only are Lantanas resistant to extreme temperatures but also drought tolerant.
Some of our Lantana shrubs are growing in unfenced areas and the desert animals leave the plants and Lantana flowers alone.
Lantana is deciduous meaning it drops all leaves in the winter.
If Lantana plants outgrow their assigned space, they tolerate trimming back well during the growing season.
Lantana plants and dogs – Our dogs have no interest in our many Lantana plants, flowers or leaves at all.
The woody stems on the Lantana plants are especially tough and durable and have been used for weaving.
What is the best way to propagate Lantana? Dividing the roots in the winter when the Lantana plant is dormant is the easiest way to propagate.
Soaps, insecticides and common pest treatments can kill Lantana plants. On the rare occasions that our Lantanas have pest problems, I give them a trim and all is well.
Lantana is the best drought resistant, heat resistant, desert flowering perennial. Lets just say Lantana is perfect. With a genus of 150 species and numerous colors, this perennial flowering plant in the verbena family, Verbenaceae, will certainly help create a perfect Arizona, Texas, Georgia, California garden that will attract butterflies! Lantanta is one of the best choices for xeriscape yards.
This desert flowering perennial is native to tropical regions of Africa and here in the Americas. It comes in plants and shrubs commonly called Lantana and shrub verbenas. Some types of Lantana are considered invasive, the trailing plant spreads easily because the leaves are somewhat poisonous to most animals and critters leave Lantana alone.
This is precisely why Lantana is a large part of my Sonoran desert garden. Not only is Lantana resistant to the extreme hot temperatures in Phoenix, Tucson, and Southern Arizona, but also drought tolerant and the small animals leave this verbena shrub alone! Our dogs are not interested in the Lantana Plant, flowers or the Lantana poisonous leaves.
This photo above is a flowering Lantana ocean! Periodically I shop in this strip mall only to find an enormous Lantana, field of Red, Yellow, White, Trailing Purple, Texas New Gold, Confetti, Camara, Texas New Flame and more. Honestly I drive out of my way so I can enjoy this colorful display. This Lantana mound is truly a butterfly magnet.
Lantana Camara, in the verbena family, has sometimes been called red, yellow, or wild sage, even though it is in a completely different family than sage. Camara colonizes new areas when its seeds are transported by birds. Once it reaches an area, L. camara spreads quickly. Camara grows so well, that efforts to eradicate it have completely failed. Lantana Camara is fire resistant, and quickly grows in burnt areas.
Camara has become naturalized in tropical and warm regions worldwide. Livestock foraging on the plant has led to widespread losses in the United States, South Africa, India, Mexico, and Australia.
In the photo above is my lantana camara that I’ve grown in a large pot – container. The planter is a ceramic type which I do not recommend as it gets very hot in 100 – 110 degree weather. Most of my lantanas are growing in pots or containers.
The bright yellow Lantana pictured above is the Texas New Gold I have growing in a pot. The Lantana container sits nicely on the side of the pond and at night the solar lights give an amazing atmosphere! A separate article is coming with my personal verbena plants, shrubs.
TIDBITS: Lantana plants are a perennial flowering plant with hollow stems. Pruning tip for Lantana – careful NOT to over prune your Lantana because water can drip down into the hollow stems and rot the crown.