Ask a Question forum: Pruning lantana

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Name: Melissa
Paradise, CA (Zone 9b)
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msandsm
Feb 24, 2018 10:03 AM CST
I have been given conflicting advice on when to prune my Lantana - some say autumn, others say in the spring after the first growth appears. (It's planted in a large clay pot.) I pruned it in the fall of 2015 - the plant didn't get very bushy or have many flowers in 2016, despite monthly feedings. However, I transplanted it into a larger pot in spring of 2016, so that was possibly the problem. Then in 2017 I waited until new growth appeared before I pruned it. In the spring and summer of 2017, it had very little new growth - leaves didn't fill out much, and not until July. And there were hardly any flowers that year.

I've searched the forums for a pruning forum, but couldn't find one. Can anyone give me consistent advice on when to prune? I really love the plant when it gets bushy with tons of flowers - I used to have a praying mantis living on it - and would like to get it back to that.

Thanks for your help!
msandsm
=^..^=
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
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tarev
Feb 24, 2018 11:24 AM CST
Hello Melissa, I prune my lantana in early Spring. I wait patiently for our overnight temps to be at least in the 45F to 50F range. Our daytime highs is okay but it is the overnight temps that delays me where we are still getting 30F.

And right now it is a weird weather pattern, with a very dry winter and cold overnights stretching longer. Don't know if conditions in your area is similar to mine.

I start getting my buds towards late Spring, and a second flush of blooms towards Fall when temps return to 75F to 90F, after the triple digit summer dry heat period.
Name: Melissa
Paradise, CA (Zone 9b)
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msandsm
Feb 24, 2018 1:33 PM CST
Dear tarev ~ Thanks for the answer. You always give good answers to my questions.

You and I are in the same USDA zone, but we very rarely get temps, even at night, below 30 degrees. Like you, though, our summer temps are often in the triple digits.

The reason I'm concerned about pruning is because when I got the plant in early summer of 2015, it was fully leafed out and had tons of flowers. I don't know how to get it back to that state. It's in full sun and in summer I water every morning. and feed monthly, usually with fish emulsion. Maybe in spring of 2017 I waited too long to prune, until there were actually small leaves rather than just buds?

Our winter weather pattern is like yours, with little rain and somewhat colder temps. My iris bulbs have pretty high blades, though. Maybe they start growing earlier, or maybe the week of 70 degree temps forced them.

So I will watch the thermometer and prune at the temps you recommend. I still find it odd, though, that the Spring I bought it it bloomed all summer. Maybe nurseries do something to force the plants from their usual growth pattern.

Thank You! Melissa
msandsm
=^..^=
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Cat Lover Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Region: California Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
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tarev
Feb 24, 2018 4:03 PM CST
Hi Melissa, my lantana had been into a lot of abuse here on my side, and it really survived well. There was a time we had to be out of the country for more than a month around summer so when I came back, it was all brown, literally dead looking. But it bounced back surprisingly and made better blooms afterwards.

Pretty much what I observe here is that they will bloom nicely when our temps are in the 65F to 85F range. Once we start hitting those nasty higher 90F to triple digits got to step up watering and the plant just naturally slows down in growth at that time. It resumes growing again once the temps return to favorable levels in Fall. Then it goes into that cycle of slow growth again when temps hover way too cold. It is nice to see though that this winter it is holding its leaves even when temps were going 27F to 30F overnight.

I am bad with giving fertilizers, and if ever I give it something I just use osmocote and I apply it towards mid Spring before our nasty heat wave season sets in.

Just to give you an idea how bad my plant went in 2016: I did not prune at this time, I was not sure where new growth will try to come out.
Aug 2016
Thumb of 2018-02-24/tarev/247fec

Oct 2016 - just happy to see it alive once again then!
Thumb of 2018-02-24/tarev/b84be8

I am also due to prune my lantana, just waiting for more stable Spring conditions.
Name: Melissa
Paradise, CA (Zone 9b)
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msandsm
Feb 24, 2018 7:52 PM CST
Thanks - I learned a lot from you today, like proper growing temps and when the plants blooms, etc.

I can't believe your lantana in the top picture was alive - it looks absolutely dead. And then to see what it looked like 2 months later was amazing. Do you ever scratch off a very thin piece of bark to see whether it's green inside? That's my test for whether a plant is dead or will come back.

Melissa
msandsm
=^..^=
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL ๐ŸŒต๐ŸŒทโš˜๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒป (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
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purpleinopp
Feb 25, 2018 7:05 AM CST
What kind of Lantana? There are so many diff ones.
๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‚ - SMILE! -โ˜บ๐Ÿ˜Žโ˜ปโ˜ฎ๐Ÿ‘ŒโœŒโˆžโ˜ฏ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ๐Ÿฏ๐Ÿพ
The less I interfere, the more balance mother nature provides.
๐Ÿ‘’๐ŸŽ„๐Ÿ‘ฃ๐Ÿก๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒฟ๐Ÿโฆโง ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒฝโ€โ˜€๐ŸŒบ
โ˜•๐Ÿ‘“ The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Cat Lover Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Region: California Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
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tarev
Feb 25, 2018 2:35 PM CST
Hi Melissa, yes sometimes I do scratch the bark to see if a plant is still alive With that lantana, I was just hoping for the best since the branches were just too brittle and I was thinking got to relieve the extreme heat and drought stress it underwent. So I resumed watering and spraying the branches. Although the plant is deemed drought tolerant, it was just too much leaving it bone dry during our furnace weather here in the Central Valley. It really taught me a lot about how to handle plants in my area. Always learning something new and adjusting as the seasons change.

There are two lantanas in that container, one is labeled Golden Lantana and the other is Lantana Ham and Eggs.

An old photo of the two plants in Sept 2011:

Thumb of 2018-02-25/tarev/cdbef1

Reviewing the photos I took helped me further understand just at what time of the year I get my better blooms, and it seems for my area it is towards Fall.
Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
Plant Identifier Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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stone
Feb 26, 2018 4:17 PM CST
Personally, I like to toss mulch or manure on top of the stems before frost, and if I'm lucky, in the spring, the stalks will still be green, and hopefully rooted. I cut lose the green stems, and set them out in new beds... Instant new section of lantana!

At my house, leaving the old dead stalks helps to prop up the new stems, giving desired height to the bush sooner...

In my area, the prevailing wisdom is that if you cut the stems in the autumn, those hollow stems fill with moisture... which freezes and potentially kills the shrub.

You all are trying to grow lantana as a potted plant?

You know that if planted in the ground...It shouldn't need any extra watering... It's taking over Austrailia....
https://www.environment.gov.au...
[Last edited by stone - Feb 26, 2018 4:24 PM (+)]
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Name: Melissa
Paradise, CA (Zone 9b)
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msandsm
Feb 27, 2018 2:09 PM CST
Tiffany - my Lantana is a Rose Glow.

Stone: yes, I'm growing it in a clay pot.

Tarev - thanks for the heads up on when I can expect blooms. It's strange, though, that when I bought it in the spring it was fully leafed out and flowered all summer.

Since I did get some conflicting advice here, I called my nursery (who know me by now, I do so much business with them!). The woman I spoke to talked about her methods, based on both personal experience with her Lantana at home, and her knowledge from working at a nursery. She said they are normally trimmed in the early fall, before the weather turns cold. But she told me I could prune it now once the cold spell we're having is over. I also think I'll put mulch on the soil around the plant.
msandsm
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Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL ๐ŸŒต๐ŸŒทโš˜๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒป (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
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purpleinopp
Feb 28, 2018 8:56 AM CST
It looks like that is a cultivar of L. camara:
Lantana (Lantana camara Landmarkโ„ข Rose Glow)

These are such HUGE plants, I would hope its' pot is a really big one, like the size of a half-barrel at least. They are not evergreen here most winters, dying back to ground level most years, then springing up to 5+ feet tall again by fall. I've always trimmed away whatever is dead in the spring, after I can see if any above-ground parts are still alive.

I failed to get the dead trimmed from these one year before they regrew and the result was a very scraggly appearance:
๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‚ - SMILE! -โ˜บ๐Ÿ˜Žโ˜ปโ˜ฎ๐Ÿ‘ŒโœŒโˆžโ˜ฏ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ๐Ÿฏ๐Ÿพ
The less I interfere, the more balance mother nature provides.
๐Ÿ‘’๐ŸŽ„๐Ÿ‘ฃ๐Ÿก๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒฟ๐Ÿโฆโง ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒฝโ€โ˜€๐ŸŒบ
โ˜•๐Ÿ‘“ The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Cat Lover Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Region: California Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
Composter Cactus and Succulents Dragonflies Hummingbirder Amaryllis Container Gardener
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tarev
Feb 28, 2018 10:26 AM CST
Hi stone, my garden is more on container gardening. I do not have the luxury of space here and just glad lantana at the very least is drought tolerant to a point, so it blends well with my dry garden. Glad our mild winter tempers down the plant a bit so it does not go too invasive.

Tiffany, that is how my plant behaves too at times, especially when it is an extremely dry winter. But we are catching up now with some much needed rains, so my lantana is holding on to some of its leaves and starting to make new ones too. I think I may finally start to do pruning in mid March. Just got to shake off this final bout with rain/cold conditions coming our way in the next few days.

Melissa, I think your are more to the foothills area, good luck on the winter storm coming later.
[Last edited by tarev - Feb 28, 2018 10:27 AM (+)]
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Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL ๐ŸŒต๐ŸŒทโš˜๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒป (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
Tropicals Butterflies Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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purpleinopp
Feb 28, 2018 10:56 AM CST
Nice. ;) What causes defoliation above-ground here is cold nights below freezing, to be expected most winters in Z8.
๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‚ - SMILE! -โ˜บ๐Ÿ˜Žโ˜ปโ˜ฎ๐Ÿ‘ŒโœŒโˆžโ˜ฏ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ๐Ÿฏ๐Ÿพ
The less I interfere, the more balance mother nature provides.
๐Ÿ‘’๐ŸŽ„๐Ÿ‘ฃ๐Ÿก๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒฟ๐Ÿโฆโง ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒฝโ€โ˜€๐ŸŒบ
โ˜•๐Ÿ‘“ The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Cat Lover Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Region: California Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
Composter Cactus and Succulents Dragonflies Hummingbirder Amaryllis Container Gardener
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tarev
Feb 28, 2018 11:37 AM CST
Yes it seems it just takes at least one below 30F overnight to early morning temps to send the leaves of this plant in defoliation mode.

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