Care Of "spreading Sunset Lantana" Plants - Knowledgebase Question

New Ringgold, PA
Question by jackwelch9
December 27, 2001
We purchased two of these plants, and since we are in Northeastern Pennsylvania and get some sub-freezing temps. they seem to have perished. Were we given the wrong info. when we bought them? Specifically that they would survive in this at minimum temp. 20 to 30F. We have only had one night of 18F so far. Should we move them indoors for the rest of the winter? They are in pots.


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Answer from NGA
December 27, 2001

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Generally speaking, lantana is treated as a warm weather-only plant in cold winter areas such as yours. This means one would bring them indoors in the fall to overwinter in a greenhouse or a very sunny window. Since they have been outside until now, you may find that they have not only defoliated but also died outright due to the cold. If they were planted in the ground, the roots would have been better insulated than in an above ground container, especially if the container is a smaller one. At this point, you might try bringing them indoors and keeping them in a bright window, watering lightly, and see if they can manage to recover. In my own experience, an accidental overnight exposure to temperatures in the upper twenties, the plants did pull through although it took them some time to show any signs of life. They may eventually show growht on the stems or possibly even beginning from below the soil if all of the top growth was cold damaged. I'm sorry about your plants, but in all honesty it is just not reasonable to expect them to survive a Pennsylvania winter outdoors.

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