Lantana camara

Tried and Trouble-free Recommended by 8 Professionals
Common Name: lantana
Type: Broadleaf evergreen
Family: Verbenaceae
Native Range: Tropical America
Zone: 10 to 11
Height: 3.00 to 4.00 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 3.00 feet
Bloom Time: July to frost
Bloom Description: White, yellow, orange, red and purple, often mixed in same cluster
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Annual
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Fragrant
Attracts: Butterflies
Tolerate: Drought

Culture

Top growth winter hardy to USDA Zones 10-11 (roots hardy to Zone 9). In St. Louis, grow as annual bedding plants or in containers that may be overwintered indoors in bright, cool (40s) locations. Container plants can be trained as standards. Easily grown as bedding plants in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun. Tolerates poor soils. Since plants for bedding are relatively inexpensive, most gardeners purchase new plants each spring rather than trying to overwinter ones from the current year. Cultivars generally do not come true from seed, however, so cuttings may be taken in summer from favorite plants for overwintering.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Native to the Central and South America, this species of lantana (also commonly called shrub verbena) is an upright frost-tender shrub that grows 3-6’ tall. It has escaped gardens throughout the world and is considered to be a noxious weed in many frost-free/tropical areas where it can rapidly spread to form dense thickets. It has naturalized in parts of the southern U.S. including southern Florida, the Gulf Coast and southern California. When grown in St. Louis, plants placed out in spring after last frost date may grow to as much as 3-4’ tall by the end of the summer. Tiny 5-lobed flowers in dense hemispherical clusters (to 2” diameter) bloom summer to fall. Flower colors include white, yellow, orange, red and purple, often mixed in the same cluster. Ovate, toothed, dark green leaves (to 4” long) are rough-wrinkled above. Leaves are aromatic when bruised. Many cultivars and hybrids are available, including dwarf and trailing plants, to the point where this species is seldom found in commerce. Flowers are attractive to butterflies.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Watch for whiteflies and spider mites, particularly on overwintering plants.

Garden Uses

Annual bedding plant. Containers. Houseplant.