Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Virtures of Lantana

I must admit that I have a tendency to overlook the virtues of lantana in our climate. It is one of those perennials (sometimes called a shrub) that is easy to take for granted because it requires so little care. It is in the verbena family and I often get the lavender ones mixed up. This picture is proof that it is not attractive to grazing critters because the rabbits decimate everything in this bed that they find the least bit tasty. I grow a few different colors, lavender, yellow, and this orange. I have not had much luck with the white variety, but it may be the garden it is planted in doesn't get enough sun. It is a really great filler plant that will almost take over, but I like it next to big sculptural plants like these green agaves or drought tolerant ornamental grasses where it has the same cultural requirements and fills in the empty spots to hug it's neighbor quite nicely. It is drought tolerant once established with little need for fertilizer or mulch and it will smother any weeds trying to invade its space. If there is a difficult spot in the sun, I always try lantana to see if it will work. An easy pop of color!


Nancy said...

I totally agree. Lantana freezes to the ground in the winter here, but comes back, thank goodness. It always brings back memories of my Southern California childhood.

HolleyGarden said...

I'm starting to really love lantana, too. There's a lot to be said for easy care and reliability!

Pam/Digging said...

I've overlooked lantana for too long also. Now that drought seems to be the norm for central Texas, I'm bringing it and its sunny toughness back into my garden.