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There’s still time to plant lantanas

News Release Distributed 07/11/14

By Allen Owings

LSU AgCenter horticulturist

HAMMOND, La. – Lantanas continue to be one of the most popular herbaceous perennials for Louisiana landscapes. Many varieties – some old and some new – offer a multitude of growth forms and flower colors.

Lantanas can be added to the landscape anytime during the summer. And they work very well in containers, too.

Most lantanas we grow are either mounding types or upright types. Mounding lantanas reach 30-36 inches tall while upright growers, including the old “ham and egg”-type lantanas, can reach 4-5 feet tall in one growing season.

Both mounding and upright growers are reliably perennial. Cold weather this past winter, however, damaged lantanas much more than we would typically see from cold weather.

Older lantanas include the mounding varieties New Gold and Gold Mound with gold-colored flowers, Silver Mound with white flowers and Lemon Drop with yellow flowers. An older upright variety, Dallas Red, has red flowers. The Patriot series is not at the garden centers as much as it used to be.

A Mississippi nurseryman a number of years ago also introduced the very good performing Son series – Sonrise, Sonshine, Samson and Sonset.

Chapel Hill Yellow and Chapel Hill Gold are also worthy of use in Louisiana. You can think of these as an improved form of New Gold. They have done great in LSU AgCenter trials.

Newer varieties include the Landmark, Lucky and Little Lucky from Ball FloraPlant and the Bandana series from Syngenta Flowers. These all are smaller-growing, “true” dwarf forms of the popular mounding types. The Bandana series is a Louisiana Super Plant. Mature height on these varieties is 12-16 inches.

Landscape performance trials evaluating new and old lantanas at the LSU AgCenter Hammond Research Station are fairly extensive.

The new Ally Klaire lantana from Coach's Cedar Creek Farms in Lucedale, Mississippi, is one of the newest red lantanas on the market and is redder than others. We are also trialing another new Mississippi lantana release – the Star Landing variety with orangy and yellow overtone blooms. Both Ally Klaire and Star Landing are smaller-growing mounding varieties.

Grandma’s Pumpkin Patch and Butter Cream lantanas are from Texas horticulturist Greg Grant. Butter Cream is a "scrambled egg"-looking lantana Grant found as a sport. This plant at the LSU AgCenter Hammond Research Station overwintered through two 14-degree nights this past winter. Grandma’s Pumpkin Patch is a large-growing lantana with a combination of prominently orange and yellow blooms. Both bloom non-stop through summer.

Lantanas need full – eight hours or more daily. Lantanas are very drought-tolerant, so irrigation is needed only in very droughty situations. Fertilize these plants often to encourage growth – once at planting and again in late summer in a landscape bed.

If you have old lantanas that are stagnant in their growth or are not blooming well, prune them back about halfway and fertilize them. New growth will produce new flowers.

Also, watch plants for lantana lace bugs. Damage is similar to spider mite symptoms. This is the only main pest on lantana in Louisiana, but it has become more of a problem in recent years.

Besides providing landscape color most of the year, lantanas attract butterflies like crazy.

You can see more about work being done in landscape horticulture by visiting the LSU AgCenter Hammond Research Station website. Also, like us on Facebook. You can find an abundance of landscape information for both home gardeners and industry professionals at both sites.

Rick Bogren

Last Updated: 7/3/2014 2:18:29 PM

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