How To Overwinter Lantana Plants: Winter Care They Need

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Tropical, perennial Lantana is a popular addition to gardens across the United States and worldwide. In a tropical setting, such as its native Africa and South America, these hardy shrubs survive and thrive happily, producing masses of flowers outdoors year-round.

In the southern United States (USDA hardiness zones 9-11), Lantana has naturalized and can be left outdoors in winter. In colder climates, gardeners can enjoy Lantana as an annual or bring it indoors to overwinter. 

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This article will provide you with sound information to help you successfully overwinter your Lantana. Read on to learn more.

Overwintering Lantana Q&A

1. What happens if you leave Lantana out in winter in a cold climate?

Most of the time, the Lantana will simply die, and you’ll need to replant it as an annual in the springtime. Occasionally, the plant will self-seed and grow back on its own. 

If you leave your plant in your landscape in an area with fairly cold winters, try cutting it back to the ground just before the first frost and mulching over it heavily. Then, it may surprise you by returning in spring. 

TIP: Keep some cuttings when you cut your Lantana back in the fall. You can easily propagate new plants in soil or water indoors during the winter and have these young plants ready to transition to your garden come spring when the soil temperature has reached a consistent 60° degrees Fahrenheit. 

Taking cuttings is probably the easiest way to overwinter Lantana because of the sheer size challenge that these plants often present. 

2. Can you bring mature Lantana plants indoors in the wintertime? 

Lantana can do well as a large houseplant in the winter, and if you keep it as a container plant in summer, transitioning it indoors for the winter is a simple matter as long as you have enough room for it. 

Lantana typically does very well in pots and containers because of the better drainage. 

Be sure to provide a container with plenty of drainage holes, and use a potting mix that is light, airy, and well-draining. Amend coarse sand and organic matter to improve drainage. 

3. How much sun does Lantana need indoors? 

Remember that Lantana is a sun-loving plant, so choose an indoor setting that provides six or eight hours of bright sunlight daily. A southern or western window is best. 

Even in this sort of setting, you may need to supplement natural light with grow lights during the winter months.

4. Should you fertilize Lantana in winter? 

No, just as with other plants, fertilizing in winter is not advised for Lantana. It’s smart to start each growing season by repotting your container Lantana in a fresh potting mix. 

After that, you can provide a half dose of a balanced fertilizer every month throughout the growing season (spring and summer) if you wish, but it’s unnecessary. If you do fertilize, stop fertilizing 6 weeks before the first predicted frost. 

5. Should you keep Lantana watered in winter? 

As with all plants, you should reduce watering during the winter months. Begin cutting back on watering about 6 weeks before the first predicted frost. 

Once you have your Lantana indoors, check the soil weekly or so. When the top couple of inches feels dry, give the plant a light watering. Be sure any excess water drains out quickly, and never leave your Lantana sitting in water. 

TIP: Avoid overhead watering. Just water the soil. Don’t get the leaves wet, and don’t mist Lantana. Doing so may lead to mildew problems on the leaves. 

6. What if you don’t have room to keep Lantana as houseplants in winter? 

It is also possible to allow the plants to remain dormant during winter. To do this, put your Lantana in a low-light setting with a consistent temperature between 50° to 60° degrees Fahrenheit. 

They should receive diffused light through the winter. Turn the plant’s container weekly to ensure that all sides of the plant receive some sunlight through the winter. 

When the soil feels quite dry, provide small amounts of water. The plant will seem to die, but it will bounce back when you move it into a warmer setting in spring.

Protect Your Lantana From Frost

Whether you take cuttings, keep your Lantana as a houseplant or allow it to go dormant, the most important thing to remember is that you must protect it from that first frost. 

Therefore, start your cuttings and move your plants indoors at least a day or two before the first predicted frost. 

Set them up as you have decided (as cuttings, houseplants, or in dormancy). When spring comes, and temperatures are consistently above 55° degrees Fahrenheit, you can begin transitioning your plants to the outdoors. 

Repot your plants if you wish, or provide a full dose of balanced fertilizer. Then, gradually reintroduce them to sunlight and outdoor air. 

Provide good watering, and reestablish a normal watering schedule. You’ll soon see your Lantana begin creating new growth and blooms.

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