The genus Lantana (Lantana) includes about 150 species of evergreen shrubs and is directly related to the verbena family. Under natural conditions these plants can be found in tropical regions of the Americas. Today it can also be found in many parts of the world as it quickly becomes acclimatized to areas with similar climatic conditions.
If conditions are favorable for the growth of lantana, it can multiply quite quickly, crowding out almost all other plant species. For this peculiarity it has been called the "curse of the planters" in India.
However, in areas with cold winters this plant becomes extinct, so it is better known there as an indoor plant.
In domestic conditions most often grow Lantana camara or Lantana spiky, as well as many of its hybrids created by crossing with other species of closely related plants. In wild conditions such a flower is shrub-shaped and up to 150 centimeters in height. Indoors, lantana is quite compact and can grow to a height of 50 centimeters only.
It became so popular because of its bright and not quite ordinary flowers.
The thing is that from the moment it opens until it's ready to ripen, the flowers change color several times. So, after opening they are yellow, then turn pink and after ripening they become maroon or red.
It has upright, tetrahedral shoots covered by thorns of small size. A new garden form called Aloha with soft, drooping stems has been grown more recently. It is most commonly grown in hanging baskets or in garden containers.
The dark green leaves on the stem are arranged in opposite lines and have serrated edges. The underside of the leaves is pubescent along the veins. Rubbing the leaf a little, you can feel the spicy and very pleasant smell that can fill the whole room.
Growing this flower in the room conditions will not give you much trouble. It is possible to form from a lantana not very large tree or bush.
This plant is a fast grower and therefore it is useful to trim it regularly, which also stimulates the formation of inflorescences.
Lantana blooms from the spring and all summer. In the fall it begins its dormancy period, which will last until the following spring. During the warm season it is recommended to take it out into the fresh air (e.g.
garden or balcony).
The fleshy black berries form when the flowers stop flowering. It is important to remember that they are poisonous and therefore this flower is not suitable for children. To prolong flowering, it is recommended to remove the inflorescent inflorescences, at the same time you will prevent the setting of poisonous fruits.
Often this flower is grown as an annual garden plant, and it decorates the beds located in sunny places.
The reason is that bright sunlight makes the flowering more abundant and also the bush will be more compact in such a place.
Home care for lantana
Since this flower prefers sunny places in the wild, it also needs a large amount of light in apartment conditions. So, in the cold season, it is recommended to put the lantana on the window sill located in the southern part of the room, and with the onset of warm spring days to move it outside. If you cannot move it outdoors, it must be placed on an east or west window for the summer and the room must be aired regularly.
In the cold season it must be placed in a quite cool room (7 to 10 degrees).
In spring and summer it needs warmth (about 20 to 25 degrees). For overwintering it can be placed in a winter garden or a cool greenhouse.
It is fine in low humidity, but experts advise spraying lantana as often as possible.
How to water
In warm seasons water abundantly and in cold seasons water moderately. Both overwatering and overdrying of the soil (causing the leaves to fall off) should be avoided.
A large-sized flower with a lush leaf mass requires more abundant watering. During the cold winter the soil should be only slightly moistened.
There are no special soil requirements, but an overly fertile substrate will provoke leaf growth, but flowering will be sparse. A mixture of garden soil, sand and foliar humus is suitable for planting.
Feed Lantana during the vegetation period twice a month.
A weak solution of the full complex fertilizer for flowering plants is used. No fertilizing is done during the winter.
Potting is done once a year in January or February (almost at the very end of the dormancy period). Don't forget good drainage. Often the plant is not transplanted but cuttings are taken from it and rooted.
As the inflorescences only appear on the young shoots, the old and damaged branches should be trimmed in the last winter weeks. The remaining shoots should be shortened by 1/3rd.
Spaces of propagation
Seeds or cuttings are used for propagation.
A variety of seeds can be purchased at the store. Sow in February, using loose and light soil.
Place in heat (at least 20 degrees). With the emergence of seedlings, coolness is required, to avoid pulling the plants. The newly emerged seedlings should be nested in small cups.
Sprouts from the mother plant should be cut off semi-timbered and better "with a heel". They should be about 10 centimetres long.
For rooting, plant in a mixture of sand and peat taken in a ratio of 1:1 and put in a cool place (16 to 18 degrees). Before planting, it is recommended to dip the tip of the cuttings in a preparation that stimulates root growth. After complete rooting, the young plants are transplanted into separate flower pots.
Lantana propagation with cuttings
May be settled by spider mite, whitefly and also by the scale.
There are about 150 species of lantana in nature, but only two are used for indoor cultivation.
Lantana species and varieties with photos
The plant has curly stems with small spines. The branches have stiff gray-green heart-shaped or oval-shaped leaves. Their upper side is smooth and slightly rough, while underneath there are short villi. Bright paniculate inflorescences form in leaf axils in May. They consist of small tubular flowers.
The young buds are yellow or pink, but eventually become red or orange. The blooms last until the end of summer.
- Golden Cloud - flowers bright yellow;
- Cocktail - blooms terracotta and orange;
- Naida - snow-white buds that have a yellow core;
- Pink Queen - salmon-yellow flowers that gradually turn bright pink.
This species is not as common, but is also in demand. The flowing branches are covered with bright green ovate leaves.
They are smaller than those of the previous species. The small, shield-shaped inflorescences consist of small lilac-pink flowers. Flowering begins in June and can last until early October.
Lantana. Home care