Sun-loving lantana grows well in southern climates. Gardeners love lantana because of its brightly colored blossoms that attract butterflies and bloom from spring to frost. If you see your lantana plant turning yellow, it could be nothing or something serious. Read on to learn the range of issues that can cause yellow lantana leaves.
Reasons for Lantana with Yellow Leaves
Premature dormancy – Lantana with yellow leaves may think winter is coming. Lantana is a perennial in warm, frost-free climates. Everywhere else, it grows as an annual or else needs overwintering indoors. Extremely drought tolerant once established, lantana are unable to tolerate cold weather. They die at the first frost. In warmer climates, they go dormant as the weather chills. If you area has been experiencing cool weather lately, your lantana will have noticed. The lantana leaf yellowing may be a reaction to what the plant perceives as the first signs of winter, even if it’s not. If the days warm up, your lantana will get a second wind. In that case, you may not see any more yellow lantana leaves. Treating yellow leaves on lantana is easy if they are due to premature dormancy. Improper cultural care – Lantanas need warm weather, a sunny site and well-draining soil to thrive. Take away any of these and the plant won’t be as vigorous. Treating yellow leaves on lantana that results from improper care requires some effort but is entirely feasible. Lantana prefers warm temperatures, warm soil and direct sun. Generally, the plant won’t grow and develop until the weather warms. Grown in shade, the plant may develop yellow lantana leaves and fade. Transplant your lantana to a sunny site. Likewise, lantana tolerates almost any type of soil as long as it has good drainage. But if you let the plant’s roots sit in mud, expect lantana leaf yellowing and, in time, death. Again, you’ll need to replant your lantana in another location. Botrytis blight – Lantana leaves turning yellow can also be the sign of a serious disease like botrytis blight, also called gray mold. This happens in regions with high humidity and causes lantana leaf yellowing and wilting blossoms. If you use overhead watering, you may be making the problem worse. In time, if your lantana has botrytis blight, the leaves and flowers rot. Try cutting out diseased areas from lantana with yellow leaves. However, if the it doesn’t perk up and you still see lantana leaves turning yellow, you’ll have to dig up the plant and dispose of it. If your plant has blight, treating yellow leaves on lantana is not possible and the disease can spread to other plants. Variety - Another perfectly normal reason for yellowing in lantana plant leaves is the variety. Some types of lantana may have variegation in the foliage. This is nothing to worry about and can actually add a nice accent to the bed.
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Teo Spengler has been gardening for 30 years. She is a docent at the San Francisco Botanical Garden. Her passion is trees, 250 of which she has planted on her land in France.
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