Deadheading Lantana Plants: Removing Spent Blooms On Lantana



The following instructions are based on the family of plants called lantanas. They belong to the plant family Solanaceae or sunflower family. These plants have leaves with two leaflets. There are many different kinds of these plants including the common lantana, the purple lantana, the white lantana, the red lantana and others. The species known as “lanta” refers to both male and female flowers on a single leaflet.

The name “lanta” comes from Latin meaning “two-leafed”.

The most commonly grown varieties of these plants include the common lantana (L. purpurea), the purple lantana (L. rubra), the white lantana (L. alba) and the red lantana (L. vulgaris).

All of them have similar characteristics except for their coloration which varies greatly among the species. Some of these plants are very small, some grow up to five feet tall and they all bloom in spring when it’s time to put out new growth for next year’s planting season.

Lantana plants are very easy to grow and can thrive in many different types of soil. They need a lot of sun but can also grow in partly shaded areas. When the temperatures rise they do best with some water on a regular basis. In the winter they should be kept moist but not soaking wet since they cannot tolerate frost. They go dormant (resting) during winter months and will stop growing altogether until spring comes around again.

Lantana care involves pruning the spent blooms off in order to keep them looking tidy. They are very easy to maintain and can be propagated from both seeds and cuttings (the best way to make new plants of your own). When the petals have all fallen off from a bloom it will wither and turn brown. Cut this off at the base of the spent bloom since it won’t look very nice once it has completely withered. If you don’t cut it off it may promote more rot to develop in the stem.

Lantana plants are usually not pest or disease prone. They don’t attract many different types of insects to come feed on them so you don’t have to worry much about removing any pests that might otherwise show up and spoil the look of these plants.


You can keep lantana plants neat and clean by performing some simple maintenance. About once every month cut off the spent blooms as they turn brown and wither. If you don’t remove these blooms they won’t look very nice and could possibly even promote disease or rot to develop in the stems.

After you’ve removed all the dead blooms you can cut off the stem right below it. If left alone this will decompose and provide nutrition to the plant as it goes into its resting phase for the winter months.

After you’ve completed this process it’s important to remember to water the plants since they are not getting any rain once the weather turns dry. Keep them moist but not soaking wet since they do not like to be in soggy soil.

Deadheading Lantana Plants: Removing Spent Blooms On Lantana - Picture

Lantana plants will go dormant until spring comes along and then they will start to grow again around the same time as all your other outdoor plants begin sprouting new foliage and blossoms.


The care of lantana plants during winter mostly involves watering. Since they are tropical plants they do not like the cold and will need protection from freezing temperatures. If there is a risk of them getting frost they should be brought indoors or at the very least brought under a covered area.

During cold snaps they shouldn’t be watered since this will only promote frost to form on the plants which would cause damage. It’s best to keep them out of the elements altogether during this time and resume normal care for them once the weather warms back up again.

Lantana plants are not very picky about their soil types, they can grow in almost all types, but they do require good drainage so don’t plant them in constantly soggy soil or they will most likely decline.

This plant does well in full sun and can even handle a little partial shade. They do not need to be fertilized since they get all the nutrients they need from the slow draining soil that they grow in. Any fertilizer given would only promote lush growth which could lead to problems with disease or even death since the roots aren’t able to support the new growth.

Lantana plants can be easily propagated by taking cuttings from them during the spring or summer months. All you need to do is remove a branch up to around twelve inches long, strip the bottom of leaves off and plant it in some potting soil. You can put this in some shaded area outdoors such as under a shrub or tree and it should take right up.

You can also divide the plants in half during this time which is a form of propagation known as division. This involves digging up the entire plant and separating the clump into several different pieces. Each of these pieces then needs to be replanted. While this may seem rather complex it’s quite easy to do and with a little patience you’ll have more lantana plants to give away to family and friends or even sell to others.

NOTE: The red berries of the lantana plant are toxic to humans so it’s best not to let children or pets around the plants since they could cause a fuss over the pretty red berries.

Deadheading Lantana Plants: Removing Spent Blooms On Lantana - Image

Lantana Care FAQs

How do you get lantana to bloom?

Lantana plants are considered to be short-day plants which means in order to bloom they need a certain amount of hours of darkness. If you live in an area that has longer daylight hours in the summer such as the far northern areas of the US and Canada then your plant may not ever bloom.

If you live in an area that has a shorter day then it’s likely that your lantana will bloom the following spring and summer. If it doesn’t then you’ll need to purchase a short-day plant light which is sold mostly in garden centers and online.

Plant the lantana in a pot or some other container that can be placed underneath the light and make sure to turn it on for fourteen hours a day and not leave it on for more than sixteen.

It should begin to bloom within a couple of weeks of being placed under the light. Once bloomed be sure not to move it back into a normal lit room or it may not bloom the following year. It will need to stay under the fourteen hour light each day or it will thinks its fall again and not bloom.

Why won’t my lantana bloom even though I’m using a short-day light?

If you’re living in an area that doesn’t have a short day season such as the southern half of the US your lantana most likely won’t bloom no matter what type of lighting you use. Unlike basic perennials and annuals that depend on certain conditions such as cold weather to bloom lantana plants can be categorized as short-day blooming plants which means they need a specific amount of darkness in order to trigger the blooming cycle.

Why did all my lantana leaves turn yellow and drop off?

This is probably due to the amount of sunlight your plant is getting. Lantana plants can’t stand too much sun so if its placement has been in direct sunlight for a few days you’ll begin to notice yellowing of the leaves and if left it will drop them altogether. If you’re noticing this problem immediately move the plant into an area that gets partial sunlight or move it into complete shade.

Sources & references used in this article:

Colorful Plant Beds for South Florida and Similar Climates by SH Brown, B Mason, M Gardener – Lee County Extension, Fort Myers …, 2012 –

Hydrangea plant named ‘Blue Heaven’ by AD Klaveren – US Patent App. 11/508,681, 2008 – Google Patents

Flowering Annuals: Characteristics and Culture (2005) by DH Trinklein – Extension publications (MU), 2005 –



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