The Lantana is a patio plant which is easy to care for. It is a genus of the Verbenaceae family and is native to the tropical regions of America and Africa. In the warm regions of America where the shrub mainly grows in meadows and along forest margins, it is considered to be a noxious weed since parts of the plant are poisonous to cattle. In the Netherlands, the plant is also referred to as the ‘Wisselbloem’ or ‘Verkleurbloem’, which translates literally as ‘colour-changing flower’ in English. This is on account of its abundant tubular flowers which change colour. These flowers grow in umbels and develop from the inside out. After flowering, fruit resembling blackberries may form. The strongly fragrant flowers are loved by butterflies which are attracted to them in swarms. The leaves are slightly rough with dense veins. Please note that it is the leaves and the unripe fruit which are poisonous.
Where to put the plant on your patio or balcony
The Lantana needs plenty of sunlight and its ideal position is in direct sunlight on your patio or balcony, preferably in a spot where there is not much wind. Are you thinking of using a pot with a hole in the bottom? If you do, excess water will always be able to drain off.
Caring for your Lantana
The Lantana needs plenty of water during the flowering period. The soil should never be allowed to dry out. Remove faded flowers so that new ones can be produced.
Prune new shoots regularly in order for the Lantana to retain its original shape. You can help plants that were bought on stems to retain their shape by pruning the longest branches. The Lantana grows naturally as a shrub.