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Lovely lantana

Expect proliferation of flowers all summer

One of my all-time favorite summer annual flowers to grow is lantana. I have been planting it in my garden for more than 20 years, and I don’t plan on stopping any time soon. The main reason I like it is because once it gets established you don’t have to do anything to it and it flowers all summer long. It is really amazing.

many varieties ARE available with new ones coming out each year. The flowers can be single or multi-colored, and almost all colors are available (except brown or black). The flowers can be a half-inch to 1 inch across, and they are produced all over the plant. Later in the summer, lantana can produce a small black fruit that is considered poisonous. If you are concerned about the fruit, select a sterile variety because they do not produce seeds. 

Varieties can range in height from 12 inches to 4 feet, so read the labels before purchasing. While they do respond well to pruning, there are so many types, it’s just easier to select one appropriately sized for your space. 

This incredibly low-maintenance annual flower tolerates a wide range of soils, but avoid too much fertilization, constantly wet sites or shady spots, which can cause them to stop flowering. Full sun is best for maximum performance. Butterflies and hummingbirds love lantana. So, plant several and be prepared to enjoy a summer-long show of our winged friends working the flowers for nectar.

SHELLY NOLD is a horticulturist and owner of The Plant Kingdom. Send stories and ideas to her at The Plant Kingdom, 4101 Westport Road, Louisville, KY 40207. 

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