Lantana Care Guide: Planting & Caring For Lantana

The lantana bush can grow in some of the toughest conditions, with multi-colored blooms that are loved by gardeners and pollinators.

Pink and yellow lantana flowers
(Image credit: dikti / Getty Images)

Lantana is a small, woody shrub native to tropical Africa and South America. It has become popular in North America for its showy, multi-colored and long-lasting blooms. Lantana is an annual or houseplant in most areas but can be grown as a perennial in the warmest parts of the U.S.

Lantana Plant Care

Lantana Quick Facts

Botanical name

Lantana camara


3 to 4 feet (0.9 to 1.2 m)


1 to 2 feet (0.3 to 0.6 m)

Sun exposure

Full sun

Soil requirements

Well-drained, slightly acidic, high organic content

Hardiness zones

10 to 11

When to plant


As an annual or as a perennial in warmer climates, lantana is a tough species that tolerates a lot of poor conditions. It manages to thrive in poor soil, high heat, drought, and salt. This makes it easy to grow a large shrub with minimal maintenance.

Lantana is also known for its pretty flowers. When flowering, lantana produces multiple small blooms in dense, two-inch (5-cm) clusters. They can be orange, pink, red, yellow, purple, and white, often with multiple colors within a cluster. The flowers attract butterflies and other pollinators.

Water & Light Requirements

The lantana bush prefers and will bloom best in full sun. It also tolerates drought but will bloom most prolifically when watered regularly. The soil should maintain medium moisture but also drain very well. Overwatering can decrease the number of flowers and cause root rot. Water only when the first couple of inches (5 cm) of soil are dry.

Soil & Fertilizer Needs

Lantana will tolerate poor and even salty soil, but it grows best in slightly acidic, well-draining soil with high organic content. In a container, a general, high-quality potting mix is adequate.

Fertilizer is generally not necessary for lantana. You can use a general fertilizer in spring at half strength, but too much will decrease flowering. If you add fertilizer to the soil when planting lantana, you do not need to fertilize it again.

Problems, Pests & Diseases

Root rot due to overwatering or poor drainage is one of the most common issues associated with lantana but is also easy to avoid. Powdery mildew can become a problem. To prevent it, make sure there is good airflow in the plant and avoid getting the plant wet when watering. In terms of pests, watch out for white flies and spider mites.

Pruning Lantana

Prune lantana bushes to maintain the desired size and shape. Do a hard pruning in spring to remove woody old growth and promote new growth. You can also trim lightly in summer to promote additional blooming.

Propagating Lantana

The best way to propagate lantana is by cuttings. Trim off about six inches (15 cm) of a stem with no flowers. Remove leaves from the bottom few inches and place in water. Plant the cutting in soil once it has developed several roots.

Lantana Varieties

There are many cultivars of L. camara available. Some are hybrids with L. monteviensis. Most are mounding shrubs, but some have trailing characteristics.

  • Clear White - This cultivar has a spreading growth habit and completely white flowers.
  • Miss Huff - Miss Huff is hardier than some other varieties and grows tall and quickly. It is sterile and has orange, gold, and reddish flowers.
  • Mozelle - Mozelle is similar to Miss Huff but the flower colors are softer.
  • New Gold - This is a newer cultivar with solid, bright yellow flowers. It is sterile and grows smaller than many other varieties.
  • Patriot Cowboy - Even smaller is Patriot Cowboy, the most compact variety. It only grows about 12 inches (30 cm) high and wide. The flowers begin bright yellow and change to orange.
  • New Red - New Red offers the reddest option for lantana flowers and also has some orange and yellow.
  • Samantha - This sterile variety produces lemon-yellow flowers and has unique variegated foliage in chartreuse and dark green.
  • Patriot Popcorn - This small variety has a weeping form and is great for containers. The flowers are white and yellow.
  • Imperial Purple - Imperial Purple trails and has striking purple flowers that bloom profusely.

In some areas, including South Florida, lantana is considered invasive. You can still safely enjoy it in the garden by using new, sterile cultivars. They do not produce pollen or seeds. Some examples of these include Bloomify Red, Bloomify Rose, and Luscious Royale Red Zone.

In addition to L. camara, look for L. montevidensis, a trailing lantana species that is hardy through zone 8. Grow it as a trailing low shrub or in a hanging container.

Nikki Tilley
Senior Editor

Nikki Tilley has been gardening for nearly three decades. The former Senior Editor and Archivist of Gardening Know How, Nikki has also authored six gardening books.