Are Lantanas Considered Annual, Biennial, or Perennial Plants?
Are you considering adding some lantana to your garden, but aren't sure if they will come back year after year? Lantana are quite popular, and can grow across many different climates. In this article, we examine if Lantana are considered annual, biennial, or perennial plants!
Lantanas are a popular choice for butterfly gardens. These tropical shrubs produce brightly-colored, heavily-scented flowers that are loved by pollinators. They look lovely in yards where they can get plenty of sunlight.
So, you love Lantanas and want to plant them in your garden, perhaps to attract more butterflies. But you’re not sure if these popular flowers are annual, biennial, or perennial. Many people are confused about what these fantastic flowering shrubs are considered.
The answer, unfortunately, isn’t as easy as one would hope. Climate plays a large role in figuring out if these pretty little plants will come back each year, or if they will be treated as flowering annuals. Let’s dig into whether Lantanas are considered annual, biennial annuals or perennial plants, and how to care for them in your climate zone!
The Short Answer
Lantanas are tropical shrubs, so they are treated as perennials in USDA hardiness zones 9-11, where the temperatures are fairly hot. These zones include the southern and western coastline. However, in every other USDA hardiness zone (1-8), Lantanas are treated as summer annuals. So, to find out if Lantanas are annual or perennial plants, you would have to consider the region grown and the type of Lantana you’ve selected for your garden.
The Long Answer
Lantana is actually a perennial plant, but they may be grown as annuals in some areas. Therefore, depending on the expert you ask, it may be both annual and perennial.
It all depends on your climate, which we’ll discuss throughout this post. Lantanas thrive as short-lived flowering perennials or tender perennials. This means that they will typically last for two to three years before needing to be replanted.
Those you see grown in gardens are traditionally perennials, unless it’s a colder climate, in which they are treated as perennials. Because of their drought tolerance, they are also treated as drought tolerant annuals in cold, dry climates where they can’t survive the winter.
Lantana doesn’t require lots of minerals to thrive. Worrying about having the right fertilizer and changing it often is no longer a concern. A light feeding in spring is all that is needed to keep them thriving.
Lantana can be left in the ground in climates that have mild winters and will come back each year. However, it is best to dig up the plants and store them indoors in areas with colder winters.
Lantanas can be considered short-lived perennials or tender perennials. These two terms have different meanings. Short-lived perennials live for around 2-3 years. Tender perennials can’t withstand cold weather and typically die in the winter.
Lantana plants are native to tropical and subtropical regions of the world. They cannot tolerate frost. However, don’t let the cold climate deter you from growing Lantanas. Bring your Lantanas indoors or grow them in a greenhouse over winter to remedy this.
Lantana can be left in the ground in areas with mild winters and will come back each year. However, it is best to dig up the plants and store them indoors in areas with colder winters if you want them to come back. Another thing to consider is that you will have to replant your Lantana every few years in colder climates.
Hardiness Zones for Lantanas
Lantanas are tropical plants that originated in Central and South America. They can’t tolerate cold weather and will die if exposed to frost or freezing temperatures. For this reason, they are typically only grown as annuals in colder climates.
Lantana thrives when planted outdoors in USDA hardiness zones 9-11. However, some varieties can tolerate colder temperatures and can flourish in hardiness zone 8. It’s very popular in desert climates due to it’s hardiness.
There is a slight chance that a Lantana plant can survive frost. There have been cases where Lantana plants have come back after a light frost, but this is not common.
Usually, Lantana dies if the temperature goes below 28 degrees and stays there. They thrive best in constant temperatures of 55 degrees or higher. Lantana enjoys soaking up the sun and humidity.
Growing Lantana in a pot is best if you live in a cold climate. That way, you can bring it indoors during the winter months. This will protect the plant from the cold and increase its survival chances until spring.
Lantanas are relatively disease and pest-resistant. However, they can be susceptible to root rot and powdery mildew if grown in poorly drained soil. They may also experience attacks by aphids, whiteflies, and spider mites.
Plant your Lantana in well-drained soil and watch for signs of pests or diseases to prevent these problems. Water from underneath to avoid fungal diseases that can grow on the leaves and stems.
Region Based Lantana Care
Lantanas are easy to care for as they don’t require lots of attention, just consistency. With proper care, Lantana plants can thrive in even the coldest regions. The perennial will continue to bloom through the fall season if brought inside. Do so after the first frost, as it can be challenging to keep them healthy once exposed to freezing temperatures.
Your plant will not bloom during the winter months. However, continue to give the plant ample water and sunlight during this time.
Dormancy in Cold Regions
Lantana plants are tropical plants that cannot tolerate cold weather. In regions with cold winters, they will become dormant and lose their leaves. The plants will remain alive during this time, but they will not grow or bloom until warmer weather sets in.
If you live in a region with cold winters, you can still grow Lantana plants. However, if you want them to thrive, they need to be indoors in a greenhouse environment.
There are many different varieties of Lantana available. Some of the most popular include:
- Lantana camara: This is the most common type of Lantana. It is an ever-increasing plant that can reach up to 6 feet high. The flowers are typically yellow, orange, or red.
- Lantana montevidensis: The Lantana montevidensis variety is also known as weeping Lantana. It has long, drooping branches and small, purple flowers.
- Lantana trifolia: This variety is also known as popcorn lavender. It can grow up to 24 inches tall. The shrub sports beautiful purple flowers with a yellow center.
- Lantana horrida: Lantana horrida is also known as wild Lantana. It is a fast-growing, invasive plant that can reach 10 feet tall. The flowers are typically yellow or orange.
Growing as a Short-Lived Perennial
Perennials usually live more than two years. Annuals are plants that live for one growing season and then die. Biennials complete an entire life cycle in two years.
Lantanas can be grown as annuals, biennials, or short-lived perennials. Your Lantana will come back year after year! However, you will need to replant your Lantana every few years.
Seeds, cuttings, or divisions typically propagate Lantana. Seeds can be sown indoors in late winter or early spring.
- Short-lived Lantanas are easy to grow and care for.
- They are heat and drought-tolerant.
- They attract butterflies and hummingbirds.
- They are available in a wide range of colors.
- They can be invasive in some areas.
- They are not tolerant of cold weather.
- They can be susceptible to pests and diseases.
Growing as a Tender Perennial
When growing Lantana as a tender perennial, it is essential to choose a suitable variety for your climate. Be prepared for colder months by using pots for your tender Lantanas. It will save you time and effort in the long run.
To grow Lantana as a tender perennial, you must bring your plants indoors during the winter months. Place them where they will get constant sunlight and water them regularly.
Short-lived and tender perennials are the same species. The most significant determining factor in their lifespan is the climate they are grown in.
Lantana camera, for example, is a short-lived perennial in cooler climates but can be a tender perennial in warmer temperatures. This applies to every Lantana plant in many cases, making it a popular choice for gardeners.
Whether you live in a hot, humid climate or a colder region with more temperate weather, growing Lantana as a tender perennial is excellent for enjoying its beautiful blooms through the fall season.
To ensure your Lantana plants last as long as possible, plant them in a location that gets full sun. Water them regularly. Your Lantana plants will bloom beautifully for many years to come with proper care!
- You can still enjoy the beauty of lantana plants even if you live in a cold climate.
- They bloom through the fall.
- They are heat and drought-tolerant.
- They attract butterflies and hummingbirds.
- You will need to bring the plants indoors or grow them in a greenhouse during the winter months.
- Planting in pots can be an inconvenience.
- They can be an eyesore in the winter months.
Since Lantanas aren’t frost-tolerant, colder climates will kill them. If planted outside, your Lantana will thrive as a short-lived perennial, meaning it will last 2-5 years. With extra care, they can survive as tender perennials and last up to 10 years!
If you want your plant to last longer, you will need to bring your Lantana plants indoors or grow them in a greenhouse during the winter. If you choose to do this, your Lantana plant will thrive as a tender perennial that will bloom until winter.