Propagating Lantana: 3 Ways To Start and Propagate Lantana Plants

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Whether you’re a longtime fan or new to the genus, lantanas (lan-TAN-a) are a part of the Verbanacaea family that you didn’t know you needed until you’ve had one.

More commonly known as shrub verdanas, these 150 or so species are both low maintenance and highly attractive.

lantana flowerPin

But, as with many other popular plants, it’s easy to fall victim to the Pringles Principle – one just isn’t enough.

The good news is it’s easy to propagate these plants, expanding a single specimen to fill an entire garden or room in only a couple of years.

Propagating Lantana: How To Propagate Lantana Plants

There are two major methods of propagation for lantanas: by seed and by stem cuttings (which may be done in either water or soil).

Let’s take a look at how to do both, as well as their pros and cons.

Stem Cuttings (Soil)

The more popular method, especially when propagating cultivars, is through stem cuttings.

This method produces clones of your plant and is incredibly easy to do. However, you’re more limited in when you can propagate and the plant must be healthy.

The ideal time for stem cuttings is in the spring, as this will allow the plant to establish itself before cold weather sets in.

Step 1: Preparation

You’ll want to prepare one or more containers, which should have drainage holes and be filled with appropriate soil.

Sandy, well-draining soils work best, but you can also use an equal mix of peat and perlite.

Gently moisten your potting mix with room temperature distilled water or rainwater and poke a hole 2″ inches deep for the cutting.

Step 2: Getting The Cuttings

Once you have everything prepared, give your lantana a last inspection for any signs of disease or infestation.

If it has a clean bill of health, pick some young, tender new growth for your cuttings.

Using a sharp, sterile knife, make a diagonal cut 4 to 6” inches from the top of the shoot, being sure to resterilize your knife between cuts.

Remove all but the top 2 to 3 leaves, also removing any buds, then dip the bottom 2” inches in rooting hormone.

Step 3: Planting

Place your cutting into the hole you made and gently pack the soil around it to help the cutting stay upright.

You will want to use a clear plastic bag, such as a gallon freezer bag, to help keep humidity in.

Use sticks or some other support structure to keep the bag tented over the plant.

Place in a spot with bright, indirect light and water when the soil is dry 1” inch down.

The roots should form in about 3 to 4 weeks, at which time you can remove the bag and transplant it to its permanent home.

Stem Cuttings (Water)

Water propagation tends to be more about fun than it is practicality, as your family can watch the roots grow.

However, you will need to transplant the lantana to soil once it’s ready and will have to pay closer attention to it until then.

Step 1: Preparation

You will need a clear jar, bottle, vase, or glass filled with room temperature distilled water or rainwater.

You may also need to cover the opening with plastic wrap, poking a hole in the middle for the plant.

As there is no soil to keep the plant upright, some form of support may be required, depending on the container used.

Step 2: Getting The Cuttings

Follow the same steps as with the soil method.

Step 3: Growing

Gently stick the treated stem into the water, making sure only the bottom 1 to 2” inches are submerged, and place it in a spot with bright, indirect sunlight where it won’t be disturbed.

You will need to add more water as the level drops, and should change it completely whenever it becomes cloudy.

As with the soil method, it will take 3 to 4 weeks for the roots to form, at which time it should be transplanted to soil.

Seed Propagation

Seeds and berries on lantana tend to be plentiful, and they can be sown at any point in the year, although they will need 6 to 8 weeks before being transplanted outdoors.

The biggest downside to seeds is the fact that they’re not clones.

This means growing cultivar seeds may result in getting one of the parent plants instead.

Step 1: Preparation

You will want some shallow seed trays or starter pots and a soilless potting mix.

The best mixes include equal parts aggregate and organic material.

For aggregates, orchid bark, coco coir, or perlite works best, while peat or sphagnum tends to be best for the organic component.

Fill the bottom ½” inch of your containers with this mix and moisten it.

Meanwhile, soak your seeds in room temperature distilled water for 24 hours before sowing.

Once ready, place 1 to 2 seeds in each pot or tray and add another 1/8” inch of mix on top.

Step 2: Germination

Your seeds will need to be kept in temperatures between 70 and 75° degrees Fahrenheit and in indirect light to partial shade.

Cover the pots with a clear plastic bag to help keep moisture in and dampen the soil as needed.

The bag may be removed once seedlings appear, usually in about a month or slightly longer.

If more than one seedling appears in a single container, use some sharp, sterile scissors to cut the weaker of the two.

The seedlings may be transplanted after another 2 to 4 weeks of growth after germinating.

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