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Lawn & Garden

Plant of the Week: Lantana




 

Selecting annuals in the spring that will thrive for the entire season is every gardener’s mission. Each year is a learning experience; determining which flowers last the longest, look pretty, stay perky, and do not require too much maintenance, as they struggle through the long, hot, summer days is truly an assignment of trial and error.


This year I have discovered a “new-old favorite” that is performing above and beyond all my expectations, Lantana, “Luscious Citrus Blend”.


Lantana is well known by gardeners of the south where the plant thrives, and in some spots is considered a perennial, almost a shrub, depending on the variety it can grow 6-8 feet tall, here in the northeast Lantana is labeled as an annual in our garden centers, short lived but much loved. Lantana is actually a tropical plant.


For years, only the bright yellow variety of Lantana was available in hanging baskets in the northeast. The sunshine, bright, blooms are clustered among a very pungent, deep green leaf system, "Lantana montevidensis" is the most recognizable, a common Lantana.  


New varieties of Lantana have been appearing in the market place over the past several years. My youngest daughter, Maggie, has always been drawn to Lantanas; she deemed the bright multi colored varieties the “fireworks flowers”, and now I can see why.




Lantana adores a direct afternoon place in the sun, thrives in well-drained soil. Lantana hates wet feet and can even develop powdery mildew spots if in a soggy, stagnant, situation.


Some varieties of Lantana will produce a small fruit that turns a dark navy blue after flowering, I remove that directly once it forms, I believe that measure produces more flowers.


The lovely “Luscious Citrus Blend” Lantana is the champion of my porch! We are dealing with a heat wave in the Northeast, much like the rest of the country, it is wicked hot, and the heat is totally ON!


I Love Lantana! Every time I water, and look at my Lantana friends, I am grateful for such a strong, bold and beautiful plant, and what a show they put on, just like Maggie said so many years ago,” they are like fireworks”!




Plant a real display of flower power, plant some Lantana! There is no error with this years trial!


Maureen

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Posted 2018-07-05T18:15:09+0000  by Maureen_HD_BOS Maureen_HD_BOS
 
 

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