The Q&A Archives: Lantana camara---Myoporum

Question: Lantana growth is very aggressive and blocks irrigation etc. When and how severly can they be pruned without harming them?
Myoporum--what category is myoporum? Is looks unhappy. Please provide watering, fertilizing and pruning instructions.

Answer: Myoporum is a small, bright green, evergreen tree or shrub with a broadly spreading crown. The rather narrow, sub-fleshy leaves are bright green and shiny with translucent dots. Young twigs and leaves are bronze-green and sticky. Branches are stout and spreading, and trunks have thick, furrowed bark. This plant?s rapid growth, branching and spreading habit, and dense foliage make it useful as a thick, high screen or hedge. Growing alone, it is a handsome multi-trunked plant.

There is also a groundcover Myoporum. Myoporum parvifolium 'Pink' (Pink Groundcover Myoporum) - This is a very low growing, trailing evergreen groundcover with closely spaced leaves on the many branches. The pink flowers bloom on cluster at the tips of the branches in the summer. It can be expected to grow 6 inches tall and spreads to 5 feet. Plant in sun or part shade. It is drought and seaside tolerant and is hardy to about 20 degrees F.

Either plant is extremely drought tolerant, adapts to most soil types, and does not need fertilizer. You can trim after flowering to keep the plants looking neat and attractive, and to control their size.

Lantana can be pruned back by one third. If yours is very overgrown, prune it back by one third now, wait 2-3 months and prune it back by one third again. If you take it way back in one pruning session, you'll end up with lots of bare stems until the plant recovers and produces new foliage. I'd opt to prune it back gradually until it is of the right size for your landscape.

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