Due of its susceptibility to frost, vibrant and strong lantana (Lantana camara) is typically cultivated as an annual. However, overwintering lantana in colder locations will help keep it alive and flowering for years to come. According to Arizona State University, lantana is a summer annual in the plant hardiness zones 1 to 8 of the United States Department of Agriculture, but it is a herbaceous or semi-woody perennial in the plant hardiness zones 9 to 11. This means that it can survive the winter outdoors in the ground in warmer areas.
In many regions, the only way to keep lantana alive throughout the winter is to bring it indoors. If this is the case, the plant must be grown in containers. However, it is possible to overwinter lantana that has been grown in a garden in USDA hardiness zone 9 with the appropriate amount of care and conditioning.
Shears for cutting back bushes and shrubs Antibacterial agent for the home!!-!! Compost
Fertilizer with a controlled release rate (optional)
According to the Missouri Botanical Garden, lantana may survive the winter outdoors with with minimum care in plant hardiness zones 9 to 11 of the USDA. However, in zone 9, the plants may die completely down to the roots. In the late summer, you should start preparing lantana plants for the winter by discontinuing all fertiliser treatments. This will ensure that any new growth will have the time to become brittle before the first frost. Continue to water the plants if there is a prolonged absence of rain for at least a week, but be sure to check the moisture level of the soil regularly and only water when the soil feels dry below the surface.
When very cold weather is expected, it is particularly vital to protect the roots of the plants by applying a layer of mulch that is between 2 and 3 inches deep between the plants. This recommendation comes from the Alabama Cooperative Extension. Lantana stems that have been damaged by frost should be left in place until spring because they provide some extra protection to the roots of the plant when temperatures drop below freezing. Because wet soil is better at retaining heat than dry soil, providing enough amounts of water to the plants on days when severe frosts are expected will assist to protect the plant’s roots.
Overwintering Lantana Outdoors
When growing lantana in regions with cooler winters, it is best to do it in containers that can be brought inside for the winter. Bringing lantana inside for the winter will help the plants to survive, but the temperature of the room in which they are housed should be maintained at a moderate level. This will allow the plant to relax and go into dormancy for a few months. The University of Vermont notes that lantana thrives best in “warm and sunny” indoor conditions during the winter months. As a result, the university advises selecting a room that is well-lit, has windows that face west, east, or south, and maintains temperatures between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Steer clear of too warm rooms if you want to prevent the formation of winter mould.
When brought indoors for the winter, lantana plants need little in the way of maintenance or care beyond the occasional application of water to keep the roots moist. Because root rot may be caused by an excess of water when temperatures are chilly, it is essential to avoid overwatering lantana. You should use the very tip of your finger to probe the soil, and you should only water the plant when the earth feels dry just under the surface. Continue adding water until some of it can be seen dripping out of the bottom of the saucepan.
Overwintering Lantana Indoors
Lantana begins a fresh growth cycle in the spring, producing a rush of new growth as soon as the temperature begins to rise above freezing. If you want to create room for new growth, the optimum time to cut off any stems that were injured by frost is in the spring. Remove the diseased and damaged new growth from the plant’s foundation by cutting it off using pruning shears that have been sharpened and sterilised with an ordinary disinfectant. In addition, take away the layer of mulch in the spring in order to allow the soil to dry out. If you remove the mulch, you will also get rid of any bugs that may have burrowed below it throughout the winter in order to find shelter from the harsh weather.
Even while lantana does not need any additional feeding to thrive, a modest side-dressing of compost applied to established plants in the spring may offer those plants with a little bit of an additional nutritional boost. Spread a layer of compost with a thickness of one inch over the plant’s roots, but be sure to leave a tiny space between the compost layer and the base of the plant’s crown. Deep watering will help the roots retain moisture and will also assist in the release of some of the compost’s nutrients into the soil. Alternately, plants growing in really poor soil may benefit from having a light dose of balanced, slow-release fertiliser put to the soil after it has rained.
Caring for Lantana in Spring
Lantana renews its growth in the spring, putting on a flush of new growth once temperatures warm up. Spring is the best time to prune off any frost-damaged stems to make way for new growth. Prune off the damaged growth at the base using very sharp pruning shears that have been sanitized with household disinfectant. Also, remove the mulch layer in spring so the soil can dry out. Removing the mulch will also remove any pests that may have burrowed underneath it to seek protection from the winter cold.
Lantana will grow well without any supplemental feeding, although a light side-dressing of compost will provide a little extra nutrient boost to established plants in spring. Spread a 1-inch-thick layer of compost over the roots of the plant, leaving a small gap between the compost layer and the base of the crown. Water deeply to hydrate the roots and help release some of the compost nutrients into the soil. Alternatively, a light application of balanced, slow-release fertilizer applied to wet soil can help plants grown in very poor soil.