By: Teo Spengler
Sun-loving lantana grows well in southern climates. Gardeners love lantana because of its brightly colored blossoms that attract butterflies and bloom from spring to frost. Read on to learn the range of issues that can cause yellow lantana leaves.
Reasons for Lantana with Yellow Leaves
Premature dormancy – Lantana with yellow leaves may think winter is coming. Lantana is a perennial in warm, frost-free climates. Everywhere else, it grows as an annual or else needs overwintering indoors. Extremely drought tolerant once established, lantana are unable to tolerate cold weather. They die at the first frost. In warmer climates, they go dormant as the weather chills.
If you area has been experiencing cool weather lately, your lantana will have noticed. The lantana leaf yellowing may be a reaction to what the plant perceives as the first signs of winter, even if it’s not. If the days warm up, your lantana will get a second wind. In that case, you may not see any more yellow lantana leaves. Treating yellow leaves on lantana is easy if they are due to premature dormancy.
Improper cultural care – Lantanas need warm weather, a sunny site and well-draining soil to thrive. Take away any of these and the plant won’t be as vigorous. Treating yellow leaves on lantana that results from improper care requires some effort but is entirely feasible.
Lantana prefers warm temperatures, warm soil and direct sun. Generally, the plant won’t grow and develop until the weather warms. Grown in shade, the plant may develop yellow lantana leaves and fade. Transplant your lantana to a sunny site. Likewise, lantana tolerates almost any type of soil as long as it has good drainage. But if you let the plant’s roots sit in mud, expect lantana leaf yellowing and, in time, death. Again, you’ll need to replant your lantana in another location.
Botrytis blight – Lantana leaves turning yellow can also be the sign of a serious disease like botrytis blight, also called gray mold. This happens in regions with high humidity and causes lantana leaf yellowing and wilting blossoms. If you use overhead watering, you may be making the problem worse.
In time, if your lantana has botrytis blight, the leaves and flowers rot. Try cutting out diseased areas from lantana with yellow leaves. However, if the it doesn’t perk up and you still see lantana leaves turning yellow, you’ll have to dig up the plant and dispose of it. If your plant has blight, treating yellow leaves on lantana is not possible and the disease can spread to other plants.
Variety – Another perfectly normal reason for yellowing in lantana plant leaves is the variety. Some types of lantana may have variegation in the foliage. This is nothing to worry about and can actually add a nice accent to the bed.
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Lantana Care: Growing and Pruning Lantana
Add easy-care beauty to your yard by growing lantana—you won’t be disappointed.
Discover what real flower power is by growing lantana. This low-maintenance bloomer opens blossoms steadily during the growing season—and year-round in warmest areas. Lantana care is easy no matter where you garden. Even in regions where lantana is evergreen, growing lantana is a snap. The most important chore is pruning lantana, and that’s not a difficult undertaking.
BallSeed Bloomify's Lantana Mango has lovely sherbert-y colors that make my garden feel a little more fashion forward than usual.
Lantana flowers feature a remarkable trait: Each blossom head frequently showcases multiple hues, creating a kaleidoscope of color. Lantana flowers measure 1 to 2 inches across and are comprised of numerous smaller blooms arranged in a sphere. Blossom shades vary, including lavender, orange, red, rose, pink, gold and white.
Root rot is a fungal disease that results from excess water in the soil of a lantana. Poorly drained soil or over-watering lead to the growth of this fungal disease, which causes numerous problems for lantanas. As the disease progresses, it causes the leaves of the lantana to wilt and develop brown edges along. Over time, the stems of the lantana are affected as well, which leads to defoliation and drooping. Remove infected plants from the garden.
- Lantana is a flowering plant that puts out clumps of brightly colored flowers during the spring and summer.
- A lack of water in the soil, whether from drought or too little manual watering, leads to a lantana with brown-edged, yellowing leaves that eventually curl and drop from the plant.
Types of Lantana According to Growth Size
1. Shrub Lantana (Lantana Camara)
Lantana Camara refers to the species of the Verbena family that grows in small, upright shrubs reaching a height of up to 6 feet. Native to American tropics, this species is not easily available in most nurseries, but you can find various other lantana varieties that have been derived from the original Camara or share ancestry with the plant. Therefore, the term Lantana Camara is often used interchangeably for other species of lantana that grow in bushes.
This plant varietal is known for its rapid growth which is both a good a bad thing. You can expect a sapling to grow over 5 feet tall within one season, but at the same time, this also means that you need to trim it every now and then so that it looks prim and proper. If you choose to grow lantana camara on farmland, then note that it will require hard pruning because if left unchecked, this type of lantana can invade agricultural areas and harm livestock due to its toxicity. Failing to remove the old stems from this will turn the bush into a woody shrub that doesn’t look very visually appealing.
Although this type of lantana requires greater care and attention than other varieties, the rewards are worth it too. The plant abundantly produces gorgeous, flamboyant flowers that feature an array of vivacious colors such as deep red, bright yellow, vivid orange as well as coral pink. Set against lush green leaves, these blooms are guaranteed to catch everyone’s attention from afar.
2. Trailing Lantana (Lantana Motevidensis)
Lantana Motevidensis is more commonly known as trailing lantana and is a type of lantana that follows a ‘trailing’ growth pattern. It is a low-growing, spreading shrub that reaches a maximum height of 18 inches and a width of 5 to 10 feet.
Unlike Lantana Camara, which includes a range of different colored flowers, the trailing lantana only includes purple flower heads that have a slight touch of white spots in the middle of each floret. However, you might come across ‘yellow’ trailing lantanas that are actually a hybrid between Lantana Motevidensis and yellow Lantana Camara.
If grown with support, the trailing lantana takes a climbing vine form whereas if you grow it without any support, it will make an ideal groundcover. It will look impressive if grown in wall-mounted boxes or any other container with a trailing accent.
Have you got a stone wall in your house? Are there some rocks in your garden or any other form of landscaping? If that’s an affirmative, then adorn it with trailing lantana for a truly majestic look.
3. Popcorn Lantana (Lantana Trifolia)
Popcorn Lantana is distinct from most of the other varieties because it instead of being cultivated for showy flowers this type of lantanas is largely cultivated for its ornamental fruits.
The plant can grow up to 3 feet high with a similar spread and is prized for the fruit clusters that it produces after the flowering season. It can further be divided into two varieties, Fruity Pebbles and Lavender Popcorn that feature bright pink and elongated purple fruits.
Popcorn lantana is native to Central and South America and therefore, thrives best in tropical or sub-tropical regions. It is also known as 3-leaved lantana because the leaves of this plant grow in groups of three.
Q. Non Blooming Lantana
I planted a lantana over 2 months ago. Initially, it was blooming but it has not bloomed since then. It seems healthy and is growing but no blooms. I have it in a hanging planter. Any advice?
You might want to add some phosphorus to the soil to help with blooming. Bone meal is a good source for this, or use a fertilizer that has a higher phosphorus ratio.
How to Grow & Care for Lantana
Northern gardeners typically grow lantana as a seasonal annual. Growing lantana is a year-round proposition in Zone 10, with Zone 9 plants faring roughly the same. The only time growth grinds to a halt in Zone 9 is when temperatures dip to 28°F, which kills plants to the ground. Roots remain alive, though, and send up shoots in spring. The pattern of winter kill followed by sprouting from soil also occurs in Zone 8 with most lantana species. In all other zones with killing frosts and frigid winters, lantana care hinges on treating plants as annuals.
Regardless of where you garden, site lantana in full sun for best flowering. Plants can grow in part shade locations, but flower number will drop and plants do become more susceptible to diseases and certain insects. Growing lantana doesn’t require intense soil prep prior to planting. These steady bloomers grow in any well-drained soil, including sandy ones. In containers, it’s a good idea to use a commercial soil-less mix developed for container use.
Lantana care is pretty simple. Water newly planted lantana regularly to ensure healthy root development. While established plants are drought tolerant, they stage the best show when they receive roughly one inch of water per week, either through rainfall or irrigation. Regular watering fuels steady growth and full-size flowers in greater numbers.
- When your plant is recovering, water always when the topsoil is dry. However, that doesn’t mean to let the soil to become bone dry between watering spells.
- Avoid fertilization at all cost until the plant shows new growth. Fertilizing can burn the roots, which you wouldn’t want at this initial recovering stage of the plant.
- Once you see the new growth, you can fertilize it again.
- After the plant becomes normal again, you can switch back to your regular caring routine depending on the plant. Just don’t overwater this time!
Tip: The best way to avoid overwatering is to water only when the topsoil is dry. You can poke your finger one or two inches deep to feel the moisture level.