Gardeners, container gardeners, and houseplants alike love the low-maintenance Lantana (Lantana camara). Lantana can be propagated from seed, but if you want a plant that looks exactly like the parent, you should consider taking cuttings. In USDA zones 10 and 11, Missouri Botanical Garden says these frost-sensitive perennials are hardy.
It’s not as tough as you imagined it would be to propagate lantanas and successfully grow them in your garden or hobby greenhouse. During the height of summer, lantanas display their huge, showy flowers in a variety of hues. It’s possible that as the plant grows, the lantana flowers will appear in a variety of hues. This would give the cluster a more bright and rich appearance.
To keep Lantana plants in your home or in your garden, you don’t need a lot of time or money. This plant is easy to grow from seed or cuttings. In order to get a plant that looks like its parent, you’ll need to start with cuttings.
Growing Lantana From Seed
Lantana can be grown from seed, but the plants may not be exactly like the cultivars you’ve purchased. As a result, several nurseries only stock sterile varieties of lantana in some places, according to University of Florida IFAS Gardening Solutions. If you wish to cultivate lantana with this technique, you may need to invest in seeds.
A few months before the last spring freeze, start seeds indoors. Cornell University recommends soaking the seeds for 24 hours in a dish of warm water. Fill a small pot or flat with commercial seed-starting mix before planting the seeds. Keep the soil moist and the temperature between 70 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. It takes 42 to 56 days for lantana seeds to germinate and emerge, so patience is essential.
A larger pot filled with potting soil should be used for the seedlings when they are ready. The Royal Horticultural Society recommends that you maintain the soil moist by watering and feeding it with a balanced fertilizer. You should progressively adapt the plants to the outdoor weather if you intend to transplant the seedlings into your garden or keep them outside in pots.
Growing Lantana From Cuttings
If you want a lantana with the same features as the parent plant, you can also grow it from cuttings. Spring or summer are good times to take a softwood cutting of the plant. Take a 4 to 6 inch long slice from the bottom of a bud with a sharp knife. IFAS Gardening Solutions at the University of Florida suggests that before using a knife on a delicate plant, it should be cleaned with Lysol or alcohol and disinfected.
Do not leave any blooms or anything higher than the first couple of leaf stipulations. Place the lantana cuttings in water, and be care to keep the water fresh. Replace the water as necessary. According to the Missouri Botanical Garden, rooting should begin in around three to four weeks. When planting the rooted cutting in potting soil, make sure the roots and soil are completely moistened.
Fine Gardening recommends dipping the cut end of the stem in rooting hormone and planting it in a soilless mix and perlite combination. Keep the soil moist for the first four weeks, and then begin checking for roots. Plant in a larger container after it has rooted.
Caring for Lantana
When your lantana seedling is well developed and there is no risk of frost, you can transplant it outside. Ensure that your plant has access to full sunlight and a soil that drains effectively. Cornell University noted that although the plants are drought-tolerant, they still require water when the soil is dry. A full fertilizer should be applied regularly to potted plants during the growing season, even though they favor low-fertility soil.
Lantana plants can be harmed or killed by even a mild frost, which is why it is important to protect them from the cold. Unless you plan to grow lantana as an annual, protect your outside plants from the cold and bring indoor potted plants inside before the first frost of the year.
These plants are often free of pests and illnesses. Pruning is necessary to keep the plant in form and to keep it from becoming too large. Pruning shears should be disinfected just like any other cutting implement.
Can You Root a Lantana?
One of the most striking features of the lantana (Lantana camara) is its showy clusters of small flowers, each of which has a distinct hue that blends together to create a stunning multicolor effect. Although certain varieties of lantana are perennials, Garden Design states that they are only annuals in USDA plant hardiness zones that are cooler than 9. Lantanas are not only beautiful, but they also attract a variety of insects, including butterflies, birds, and hummingbirds. Many people grow them for their visual beauty alone.
Lantana plants can be rooted, however the process can be time consuming. Proper circumstances and planning are also needed.
Care of Lantana Plants
Lanthana thrives in full sun and well-draining soil, according to HGTV’s gardening experts. It is best to plant them in the spring after the last frost has taken place. When you first plant them, they may take a while to grow, so you’ll need to keep an eye on them and water them frequently. As soon as the weather warms up, they’ll be in full bloom. Indoor plants behave the same as their outdoor counterparts. Deadhead lantana stems from time to time to increase blooming; otherwise, the plant doesn’t need any considerable pruning other than a spring trimming.
Overwatering or inadequate drainage can cause a plant to develop root rot and mildew if it isn’t exposed to enough sunshine. Rearrange and repot lantana if you see any of these issues. Several common pests, including as lace bugs and whiteflies, can harm lantana, so keep an eye out for leaf discolouration. Treat any indicators of an infestation as soon as you notice them.
Propagating Lantana Plants
However, even though lantana is an annual in northern latitudes, it can be easily propagated by either seeds or cuttings. Once they’ve bloomed, the lantana clusters produce little black berries. Harvest the seeds from these berries and start them indoors for transplanting to your garden or pots.
Soak the seeds for up to 24 hours in water before using. Until the seedlings sprout, keep the pots moist, warm, and out of direct sunshine. Seeds may not generate a plant that is identical to the parent plant.
Remove the lowest leaves from spring-grown cuttings if you want to create an exact replica of a lantana. Rooting hormone should be applied to the bottom two inches of the stems of these cuttings before planting them in tiny pots. Keep the soil moist and the plant undisturbed until new growth appears to indicate that the roots have taken hold. Putting the pot in a plastic bag to keep it warm and moist will make this easier. Rooting might take as long as four weeks, so be patient with yourself.
Lantana as an Invasive Species
The propagation of lantana plants is so simple that they are considered an invasive species in some parts of the United States, such as the Southeast. There are many hybrids of lantana that are offered as sterile plants, so they don’t spread the disease any more. Only by rooting can these plants be propagated.
Some birds eat the berries that lantana clusters generate after blooming, which then disperses the seeds. Lantana leaves are also poisonous to many animals, therefore they tend to thrive in places where other, more appetizing plants could fail. No one knows for sure whether mature lantana berries are harmful to people.
This is good news for gardeners who want to keep deer and other wildlife away by growing lantana. Lantanas can be an excellent addition to an outdoor garden as long as wild propagation is strictly regulated.
Best Way to Propagate Lantana Plants: Cuttings
Lathanas found in gardens are frequently previously bred. This is why reproducing lantanas from cuttings is preferable if you already have a successful variety in your garden. As a result of proper care, you can anticipate to see lantana that looks just like the parent plant in this manner.
You must ensure that the cutting is taken at the proper moment before propagation. Using this method is one of the greatest ways to ensure that your lantana thrives during the process of propagation. Softwood cuttings should be taken in the spring from your parent lantana plant, according to most gardeners.
To effectively reproduce your lantana from cuttings, here are a few measures to follow:
Step 1. Prepare the container for your cutting
Any container can be used to propagate cuttings of lantana. However, be sure that the pots are large enough to hold 8-inch (or longer) cuttings, as well as having sufficient drainage holes.
Step 2. Find the right soil/sand for propagation
In order to successfully propagate lantana, gardeners must first identify the proper type of sand to use in the process. In order to grow properly, they need full sun, adequate hydration, and good soil, but that’s not always the case. Lantanas thrive in sandy soil that is well-drained and wet.
Step 3. Take the lantana cuttings
Using a sharp knife, remove the softwood from the parent plant (about 4 to 6 inches below the bud) during spring or summer. Keep the blade clean and disinfected to prevent harmful bacteria from invading the plant’s delicate structure by cutting it diagonally. Remove the rest of the leaves and blooms from your cutting, save for a few on the top.
Step 4. Stick the cuttings in water or sandy soil
Lantanas can be propagated by either placing the cutting in water or planting it in the ground. If you’re growing your plants in water, make sure to keep the water level up to date. In three to four weeks, the roots should begin to grow.
A rooting hormone should be squirted into the sandy soil before to putting the cutting into the ground. As soon as the cutting has been planted, make sure to water it regularly. It will take about four weeks for your cutting to begin rooting.
Until you’re ready to move the cutting outside, keep it in a spot that gets enough of daylight. Make periodic checks on the cutting to ensure that the soil is not becoming dry. If this is the case, spritz it with water to keep it fresh.
Growing Your Lantana in a Hobby Greenhouse
Lantanas are easy to care for and may be grown in a variety of soil conditions. It’s a breeze to cultivate them in a little greenhouse. As long as you take good care of it, you’ll be able to enjoy its beautiful blooms.
Grow these plants in a greenhouse and reap the benefits:
Benefit #1. You can set up the perfect temperature
It’s possible to control the environment in a greenhouse to the fullest extent. Because Lantanas prefer to thrive in warm, sunny conditions, plants can wilt and die when the weather is too chilly for them to survive outside. However, in a hobby greenhouse, you can ensure that the temperature is maintained and that the plant is able to thrive.
Benefit #2. You can keep them away from pests
Despite the fact that lantana plants are less susceptible to pest infestations than other types of plants, this does not mean that they are immune to the wrath of pests and animals. You can rest assured that your delicate plants will be safe in your hobby greenhouse because it is able to keep these pests out.
Benefit #3. Protection against harsh weather conditions
Plants can suffer a great deal of harm if they are subjected to inclement weather. With a greenhouse in place, your plants will have an extra layer of protection from strong winds, heavy rains, sleet or snow, blizzards or hail.
Learn How to Propagate Lantana Successfully
When it comes to adding a splash of color to your landscape, lantanas are a terrific choice thanks to their vibrant foliage. The best lantanas are likely to inspire you to cultivate more of them.
In order to do so, you’ll need to learn how to successfully propagate lantana. If you follow the steps above, your garden will be filled with vibrant blooms by the time summer rolls around.