The Q&A Archives: Dwindling Lantana

Question: Almost 3 months ago, I purchased 16 of your compact Patriot Rainbow lantana plants and placed them in a very large outdoor planter. The next day, we had a fierce windstorm, which battered the plants. Within a few days, all 16 plants were almost totally bare. Since then, most have remained bare. A few sprouted new leaves, which lasted a short time. At this time - one has dried up and fallen into pieces, 14 are firmly rooted and still mostly flexible, and one has many leaves and numerous small flowers. What should I expect from these plants at this time of year? They are guaranteed for 3 months by Berrridge nursery (for a partial refund). Thank you.

Answer: Newly moved plants are susceptible to shock and it's unfortunate that the windstorm hit at the same time. That puts a severe strain on any plant. Dropping leaves is a common reaction to transplant shock. Lantana are frost-tender and often drop many of their leaves during the winter and don't bloom much, if at all. They can look fairly scrawny. However, as long as their root systems are still viable, they should leaf out again in spring. They are often cut back hard in early spring after all chance of frost is over, usually about mid-March in your area. From your description it sounds as if just the one plant is in trouble. Dig gently around the base to see if there's any root system left. Hope this info helps.

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