Monday, February 23, 2009
Once again, I am still pretty much a novice, so bare with me in such things. Today I would like to talk about my second favorite plant: Lantana.
I don't know the latin name, which of course my father would totally berate me for, but I think I am a better gardener than him, so there ya go. He is of course a scientist and beats me in that department for sure. But it's not a competition, so where was I?
Ah, Lantana...I met this plant in Florida where I was not immediately impressed...But in Michigan where the summers are hot and alternating between humid and dry...I was suddenly looking at Lantana with brand new eyes.
This annual (in Michigan it is an annual) is a great plant for Michigan because it can handle all day sun, and partial sun. It can handle very hot weather and fairly cool weather. It can handle some neglect in the watering department and prefers to not be over watered-but to it's credit can handle too much water too. It blooms from spring all the way to fall and then has attractive-BUT HIGHLY POISONOUS-purple berries.
I prefer the non mounding forms as I feel they are more prolific bloomers...my favorite has been the red and purple varieties.
I like to combine the red and orange flowering lantana with purple potatoe vine and some blue salvia and maybe some fountain grass for a long blooming, low maintenance and classy garden combo. Add a gazing ball and all your friends will be having major garden envy.