No Flowers On Lantana Plants: Reasons Why A Lantana Won't Bloom

Yellow Lantana Plants
lantana flowers
(Image credit: liuyushan)

Lantanas are amazingly reliable and beautiful members of the landscape, but sometimes they just won't bloom. The delicate, clustered flowers of lantana attract butterflies and passersby alike, but when these sturdy, dependable bushes are more fizzle than sizzle, you may start searching for ways of making lantana bloom. No flowers on lantana have a number of causes, but by far the most common cause is planting them in the wrong spot. If your lantana won't bloom, take a look at these reasons why a lantana does not flower.

Reasons for Lantana Not Blooming

Even though lantana is usually blooming when you buy it at the nursery, it may not continue to bloom once you plant it. This is a common problem for all shrubs after transplantation-- all the manipulation of roots and change of scenery can cause a significant amount of shock that causes flowers and buds to drop shortly after planting. It's a normal reaction that will clear up over time, but if an established lantana does not flower, you've probably got one of these problems on your hands:

  • Too Much Shade - Lantana needs full sun in order to bloom properly and that means at least six hours of full sun (eight or more is even better). When flowering plants like lantana are deprived of sunlight, they lack the energy to bloom.
  • Excess TLC - When plants have evolved in tough conditions like the lantana has, too much care can give them the impression that they're living the easy life and don't need to worry about reproducing. Without a need to reproduce, lantana has no motivation to bloom, so lay off the deep waterings and heavy fertilizer.
  • Lace Bug Insects - Lantana plants are generally pretty pest resistant, but they can be bothered by lantana lace bug insects. These pests feed on the leaves, and their damage often resembles that of leafhoppers. It can stress the plants so much that they refuse to bloom. If everything else seems right, but your lantana still won't bloom, look for tiny insects on the undersides of the leaves. You can kill them with insecticidal soap. Once your plants recover, they should bloom happily again.
  • Mysterious Green Pods - Check your plant carefully for small green pods. These are the young seeds of the lantana plant. Once the plant has begun forming seeds, it has no reason to continue blooming since it accomplished its sole mission in life. Cut off the pods to stimulate new flowering.
Kristi Waterworth

Kristi Waterworth was a regular contributor to Gardening Know How for many years, answering countless queries on plant pests and diseases.