Lantana camara, also known as Bonnie Bush, is a flowering shrub native to the tropical Americas. Left to its own devices, the Lantana camara plant can grow up to 5 or 6 feet tall. Lantana camara's drought tolerance, small, rough green leaves and tubular blossoms in yellow, orange, pink, red, lavender and creamy ivory make it a attractive choice for planting in hot locations that receive lots of sun.
- Skill level:
Plant your Lantana camara. Lantana camara grows best in USDA hardiness zones 9 to 11 (see Resources). When choosing where to plant your lantana, select a location that receives full sunlight. Plant your lantana in the spring, two weeks after the last frost.
Dig wide, rather than deep, holes to plant your lantana. Gently lower the lantana into the hole and fill with potting soil. Water the freshly planted lantana to settle its roots. Cover the area with 1 to 3 inches of natural mulch, like bark or wood chips.
Water your lantana camara plant regularly. While established lantana plants are drought-tolerant, the soil around freshly planted lantana plants must be kept moist. Water your lantana as often as necessary to keep the soil moist, but well-drained to the touch. If possible, water your lantana plant in the morning, rather than at night, to avoid diseases associated with night watering.
Keep a 1- to 3-inch layer of natural mulch spread around your lantana plants to help reduce water vaporisation. This is especially helpful for your lantana plant if you live in a warm climate with dry soil.
Fertilise your lantana camara plant. Unlike many flowers, lantana camara needs little fertilisation to thrive. Fertilise with an all-purpose plant fertiliser in spring, and again in midsummer, if necessary.
Prune your lantana camara periodically to control its size. Cut, pinch or snip off the dead blossoms to encourage more blooms. Thin the newly grown shoots on your lantana plant for more vigorous growth overall.
Tips and warnings
- Watering your lantana plant in two watering sessions just a few minutes apart will help the water better soak into the soil.
- Avoid over-watering the soil around your Lantana plant to reduce the risk of root rot. Remember, the soil should be moist, but well-drained.
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