Purple Trailing Lantana
Common lantana is highly invasive species in Florida. While the Purple Trailing Lantana (Lantana montevidensis) was once considered a mild mannered species, it has since been categorized as an invasive plant and therefore is no longer recommended for Florida-Friendly gardens. While the purple flower clusters are attractive, the spreading nature of this plant is causing problems in natural areas. if you already own this plant consider removing it from the landscape or at least managing it to prevent its escape from your yard.
In addition to being invasive, all varieties of lantana are poisonous. The berries are poisonous to humans and the leaves are highly toxic to animals. In addition, handling plants may cause skin irritation or allergic reactions in some people.
If you can't live without Lantana in your landscape, there are non-invasive, sterile selections available such as 'New Gold' Lantana (Lantana x 'New Gold'). Planting these will ensure that birds can't disperse the seeds to natural areas and plants won't spread to areas where they aren't welcome.
Mature Size: 18 inches tall, 6 foot spread
Growth Rate: Fast
Plant Habit: Trailing
Ornamental Characteristics & Uses:
Foliage Color: Green
Flower Color: Purple
Bloom Time: Spring - Fall
Attracts Wildlife: Butterflies
Uses: Landscape groundcover, hanging baskets, container gardens
Cold Hardiness Zone(s): 8 – 11
Exposure: Full Sun or Partial Shade
Water Needs: Low
Soil Tolerances: Drought tolerant; prefers well-drained to medium-drained soils
Soil pH: Acidic to Alkaline
General Care & Growing Tips:
Purple Trailing Lantana tolerates partial shade, but blooms better in full sun. Once established, only occasional watering is needed. Plants can be pruned back in late winter to produce new growth. It should also be noted that all varieties of lantana are poisonous (berries are poisonous to humans and leaves are highly toxic to animals), and handling of plants may cause skin irritation or allergic reactions in some people. For these reasons, gardeners should give careful consideration before planting lantana in the landscape.
Watch for whiteflies. A leaf spot fungal disease may appear in times of wet weather or excessive overhead irrigation.
Reference: University of Florida. (n.d.) Lantana. Gardening in a Minute. http://gardeningsolutions.ifas.ufl.edu
Photos by Alicia Lamborn
- UF/IFAS Sites
- Demonstration Gardens of the University of Florida's Extension Service
- Ornamental Teaching Gardens: Design, Development and Use
- Types of Gardens
- Lawn and Garden Landscape Design
- Florida-Friendly Landscaping Program
- Florida Yards.org