Lantana plant’s beautiful colorful blooms and sweet fragrance make it an absolute favorite among many insect pollinators, including bees and butterflies.
It also attracts hummingbirds and other types of nectar-eating birds. So, you won’t be enjoying the beauty of this plant species alone.
Lantana plants thrive in warm weather all year round but don’t do well in places characterized by cold winters. Luckily, It can be grown in pots, hanging baskets, and window boxes for those who live in colder places.
They also are perfect potted plants for adding a pop of color to your balcony, deck, or patio.
How do you grow and care for lantana plants in pots, though? That’s what this post is about.
- How to Grow and Care for Lantana in Pots?
- Growing Lantana in Containers
- Caring For Lantana in Pots
How to Grow and Care for Lantana in Pots?
Despite what you may think, Lantana is fairly easy to grow in pots. All you need is a suitable soil mix and a suitable size pot.
When it comes to caring for your potted Lantana plant, it doesn’t need much work. All it needs is water, light, and warmth.
Growing Lantana in Containers
As mentioned above, growing Lantana in pots are fairly easy, but there’s a caveat; you’ll need to figure out what type of Lantana you need to grow.
Some Lantana varieties grow very large, whereas others are moderate in size. If you opt for one that grows large, you’ll have to buy a container that is sturdy and large enough to accommodate it.
Lantana varieties are also suitable for pots and hanging baskets, like the Dwarf and Weeping varieties. The most popular varieties are the Lantana Camara and Patriot Cowboy.
Depending on the variety, the colors of blooms may differ. They commonly produce orange and red flowers or yellow flowers. However, some may feature pink or purple flowers or a combination of many colors.
Now that you’ve chosen the type of Lantana you want to grow, let’s cover the six steps needed to grow your Lantana plant in a pot.
Step 1: Choosing the Right Pot
The first step is to choose the right pot. The pot must have drainage holes at the bottom to avoid any diseases caused by soggy soil.
Also, pick a pot larger than your plant’s rootball, enough to allow growth over a couple of years.
Step 2: Filling the Pot
Fill the bottom of the pot with a good amount of gravel. This enhances drainage. You can also use perlite, sand, vermiculite, or mulch.
Step 3: Removing the Plant
Remove your Lantana very gently from its original pot. You don’t want to damage it. You can cut the pot if the rootball of your plant is stuck to it.
Step 4: Setting the Plant
Set the plant in the pot. Add or remove some soil until it’s even with the top surface of the rootball. We recommend using a lightweight potting mix as your soil choice.
You want to leave about 1″ inch vacant from the top of the container to the surface of the soil.
Step 5: Watering the Plant
Water perennial Lantana plants well. The water depth should be equal to the length of the rootball. If you notice any water settling, it’s recommended to add more of the soil mix.
Step 6: Choosing the Right Place
Now that you’ve established your new Lantana plant, make sure to place your plant in direct sunlight.
Lantana thrives in warmth and light. The more sunlight it’s exposed to, the more it’ll flower.
Caring For Lantana in Pots
When you’re growing Lantana in containers, extra care is needed as opposed to growing it in the ground. It’s not all that challenging, though.
Lantana is drought tolerant. It’ll need a good soak once per week. Only water it when the top surface of the soil is a little bit dry.
Avoid overwatering your plant. Consistent soggy soil will lead to root rot and other deadly diseases.
Pro tip: Always water your plant in the early morning to prepare it for the day. You can also water it in the evening to cool it off.
Moreover, avoid watering the foliage to prevent rot.
As sun-loving plants, the plant needs full sun or partial exposure to bright sunlight. About 4-5 hours of direct sunlight every day is ideal. Lantana flowers less if planted in a shady area.
Remember to mimic the natural habitat of these plants, as they are native to the tropics of South America, Africa, and other warmer climates.
Lantana prefers well-drained, slightly acidic soil. The best soil pH level is between 5.5 to 6.5. We recommend testing your soil pH level before you plant your Lantana.
If you need to raise the acidity of the soil, an organic way to do that is by using vinegar. You can add 2 tablespoons of vinegar to a gallon of water and water your soil as needed.
Another way is by using organic compost as mulch. This will help increase and maintain the acidity of the soil.
Lantana likes warm weather. If the temperature drops below 28° degrees Fahrenheit, the plant often dies. Lantana cannot thrive in cold weather.
To protect it from the cold, you can bring it indoors during early fall. Keep your plant at around 55° degrees temperature. Expose the plant to constant sunlight and water once a week, as explained before.
If you live in USDA zones 9 or 11, overwintering your plant is not required. They are hardy and can be grown as annuals in these regions.
However, Lantanas can be grown as a perennial in frost-free climate zones.
Lantana shrubs normally don’t need fertilization as it’s a light-feeder plant. However, when growing in pots, the nutrients in the potting mix are consumed faster, so regular fertilization, in this case, is good for it.
A slow-release fertilizer in the early spring is required. Also, make sure you provide the plant with a balanced, water-soluble liquid fertilizer every month.
Avoid over-fertilizing your Lantana, as it can cause the plant to weaken and bloom less. Make sure to water the plant thoroughly after applying the fertilizer to distribute it evenly.
Deadheading and Pruning
Deadheading and pruning encourage new growth and continuous blooming. To deadhead your Lantana means trimming the faded flower clusters about to rot.
If you feel the plant is getting leggy, it’s recommended to prune your Lantana to ¾ of its original height. The best time to prune your plant is in the early spring.
Pest and Diseases
Lantana plants are rarely bothered by pests. However, potential insect pests may occasionally attack, including aphids, lace bugs, mealybugs, whiteflies, and spider mites.
They secrete a sweet, sticky material called honeydew that accumulates on the leaves and stem of the plant, encouraging sooty mold, a black fungus, to grow.
You can eliminate pest infestation by using neem oil or insecticidal soap.
You can also deter insects by introducing natural predators or beneficial animals.
Companion planting will also help keep these pests away. You can plant marigolds to ward off pests.