Lantana Pruning: How And When To Prune Lantana Bushes

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The Lantana plant is an excellent choice if you want to enjoy the beauty of flowers with minimum maintenance.

This flowery shrub grows multiple bright-colored flowers that bring a pop of color to any outdoor area. This is especially important if you’re growing Lantana camara or other invasive types.  

flowers of the Lantana plantPin

Many cultivars are hybrids with trailing lantana (Lantana montevidensis). In addition to the cultivars listed, there are many others, and new cultivars frequently appear on the market.

Regular pruning is the best way to help your Lantana grow to its full potential.

So, how can you take care of your plant? Keep on reading to learn how and when to prune Lantana bushes.

How and When to Prune Lantana Bushes?

There are different types of Lantana bushes, and some of them can grow to be about six feet tall. This is why pruning and trimming the bushes is definitely a must.

Unless noted otherwise, listed species and cultivars are not reliably hardy and will most likely perform as annuals.

Without proper pruning, Lantana bushes can grow out of control, making your outdoor area look too crowded instead of being adequately planted.

Plants In late winter or early spring, you should prune lantanas back to about six inches to a foot (15 to 30.5 cm.) from the ground, especially if there’s a lot of old or dead growth. 

Moreover, the bushes can take the food that belongs to other plants, eventually ruining your landscape.

The best time to prune Lantana bushes is in spring, although some people prefer to do this job in fall before the winter cold or in late winter before the spring growing season.

However, as someone who cares for plants, you can do the pruning and trimming whenever you feel more comfortable, as long as it works for your plants.

Trimming and pruning in spring guarantee better hardiness for your Lantana bushes in winter. Excess moisture can lead to the rotting of the flowering crowns of the Lantana.

Prune perennial lantanas back hard in spring (March) to remove old growth and prevent woodiness. 

Pruning should be done by cutting the plants back between 6″ – 12″ inches tall from the ground. Removing old and dead growth is essential to keep the plant in excellent shape.

Overgrown Lantana bushes should be pruned back to about a third of their height or even less if the plant is not in a good state. 

To keep the plant compact and full, prune it back by one-half its total height in early summer after it has finished flowering.

The plant should receive at least six hours (or more) of direct sunlight every day. It can tolerate some afternoon shade but will flower less if planted in a shady spot.

Use the cuttings to try your hand at propagating more lantana plants.

Light trimming throughout the season is essential as it can stimulate new growth and encourage the bushes to produce more yellow flowers.

After trimming and pruning, you need to apply a good type of fertilizer to encourage better and faster blooming.

Regular pruning helps keep your Lantana bush in good shape, promotes the growth of new Lantana flowers, and allows you to keep nearby plants healthy.

Even the smallest snips can help you improve your landscape design.

These plants thrive in well-draining soil. They will grow in most soil conditions but prefer a neutral pH. 

If you’re unsure about the pH of your soil or whether or not it’s suitable for growing a Lantana, it’s a good idea to test the soil pH in the planting area.  

With sandy soil, you will likely need to water every day. If blooming has slowed or stopped altogether, try more water.  

If you are uncertain about soil drainage in the area you intend to plant, it’s well worth taking the time to test the drainage before planting.

To test soil drainage, dig a hole 12″ wide by 12″ deep in the planting area. Fill the hole with water and let it drain. 

Pruning Steps For Common Lantana Bushes

Using pruning shears, you can easily prune your Lantana bushes without hiring a professional gardener. Follow these steps when pruning your Lantana bushes.

  • Make sure you are starting the pruning process before your bushes bloom for the best results. Since Lantana bushes bloom in spring and fall, you should start pruning the bushes before the first blooms appear to guarantee more and healthier flowers.
  • Remove any dead flowers and examine the stems carefully to decide on the stems, branches, and leaves you want to discard. Root rot can be a problem if the soil is poorly drained or plants are watered too frequently. 
  • Use the shears to make cuts at about 45 degrees angle. This angle will help the bush recover from the wounds, encouraging the growth of more leaves and flowers.

Make sure that the plant stems are cut to be about 6 to 8 inches. You can leave the stems a little longer if there isn’t a lot of dead or old growth.

  • Cut away all the damaged spots. If there are any signs of diseases or damage, you should get rid of them, as they hinder future growth. Keep an eye on the areas that suffered from any frostbite in winter and cut them away to help your bush grow better.
  • Damaged stems can be cut up to half or a foot long, or you can cut your shrubs to the ground, depending on your landscape design.
  • These can be minimized by allowing sufficient space for the plant to reach its mature size in the landscape. 
  • Renovating or rejuvenating old or overgrown shrubs through pruning generally improves the structure and quality of the plant and results in improved displays for flowering shrubs.
  • If your Lantana bush is in awful condition, you can revive it by pruning it. Trim the bush to about one-third of its mass to get rid of all the damaged parts.
  • Plant lantana in spring, at least 2 weeks after all danger of frost is past. Hardy lantanas will typically show no growth in the spring until soil and air temperatures are quite warm.
  • Fill small pots with soilless potting mix, place one or two seeds in the center of each pot, and cover with the medium. 

Start cutting at the top and sides to get rid of the overgrowth. Start by trimming the crown, then move to the stems on the sides to help keep your bush under control.

  • During the summer, trim your Lantana bushes periodically. In most cases, after the season, pruning is done for cosmetic purposes, so you can fit your shrub in a container, flower box, or pot. Since Lantana bushes grow too fast, you might have to trim the stems more than once per year.
  • If you’re pruning your Lantana bushes for cosmetic purposes in the summer or fall, remove any damaged or withered flowers. Take a look at the branches and stems and remove any damaged ones to keep your bushes in excellent shape.
  • Use your shears to make cuts at 45 degrees angle or remove the stem at the base if it’s badly damaged. When making cuts in the stem, make sure that you’re cutting between 2 leaves to help the shrubs grow better.

Common Pests & Diseases

 Lantana can survive most pests but watch for the following insects that can cause problems if the infestation becomes severe. 

The four most common pests of lantana are aphids, lace bugs, mealybugs, whiteflies, and spider mites.

Use insecticidal soap to eliminate pests or use a method more specific to the insect to save lantana plants.

Wrap Up

Lantana care is easy no matter where you garden. Even in regions where lantana is evergreen, growing lantana is a snap. 

Lantana bushes tend to grow fast, so regular pruning and trimming are necessary. The best time to prune your Lantana bushes is during spring, but you can also trim your bush in summer, fall, or winter.

Overgrown plants can be pruned back to about a third of their height (and spread if necessary). You can also lightly trim lantana plants periodically throughout the season to stimulate new growth and encourage flowering. 

While established plants are drought tolerant, they stage the best show when they receive roughly one inch of water per week, either through rainfall or irrigation.  

Outdoor plants, especially newly planted plants or plant seedlings, can be prone to a lack of watering. 

Always start by removing any dead leaves, flowers, or damaged branches, then make angled cuts along the stem to remove the damaged spots.

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