Friday, August 26, 2011

Lantana Makes the Short List

I'm adding lantana to my short list of garden ornamentals that can withstand heat, drought, pests, and DEER. No, they aren't hardy through intensely cold weather, but they have been known to live through mild winters. And even starting with a new small plant in the spring, they can cover a lot of ground by summer's end.

For the record, my short list now reads:

• butterfly bush
• crepe myrtle
• ornamental grasses
• white and pink spireas
• lavender
• four o'clocks
• fairy and Sarah Van Fleet roses
• and lantanas.

This is an almost-indestructible garden with some interest through the whole season.


Anonymous said...

Hello Anna.

In So California, where I live, Four o'Clocks are a nuisance. I have been trying to dig them up for years to make room for my vegies. It does not work.
BEWARE of these dubiously cute little friends.


Queen of the Natives said...

Here in Australia Lantana is a major problem!!

To be able to plant such a hardy ground cover would be marvellous and they were my favourite flower when I was little due to all the lovely colours and the miniature flowers to be found within the larger one. We really are 'world's apart'. Have a beautiful time in your garden Anna :)

Just a little info about how devastating Lantana is here in Oz.

"In Australia, lantana continues to invade grazing lands where it renders pastures useless and interferes with mustering. Lantana is responsible for about 1,500 cattle deaths a year through poisoning and photosensitivity. Lantana is also a problem in many conservation areas such as national parks and forestry areas. Here, it can form dense, impenetrable thickets and can become the dominant understorey species reducing biodiversity of the fauna and flora. It can also form monospecific stands along fencelines, roadsides and waterways.

The cost of lantana is estimated to be in excess of $7 million per annum. "

Incredible isn't it. Such a pretty little plant.

Rose said...

In Australia lantana has been declared a noxious weed, probably for the very reasons you mention Anna, it grows brilliantly here but is not indigenous to the area so takes over the native flora.

Becky K. said...

I had forgotten about four o'clocks. Thanks for the reminder. I love them!

Seeing Maria's warning I'll take note of it but I have some areas where it would be so nice to have something pretty take over.

Mrs.Rabe said...

We had Four O'clocks when I was growing up in So. Cal too. They can be invasive because of it self seeding! They are pretty though.

Your short list is full of beautiful plants and flowers! It makes for a lovely garden, Anna.


Anonymous said...

I planted Lantana in my flower pots this year for the first time, they are such cute little flowers! It's funny to read the other comments about how it's a weed in Australia. My daughter calls them 'Playmobil' flowers because they remind her of the tiny flowers in her sets.


Florence said...

Yes, lantana is a keeper on my list too. Here on the Texas Gulf coast we have been in a terrible drought and the lantana has done very well indeed.

Linda said...

I have most of those too Anna. If they can survive this Texas drought, they make it on my list! My salvia is surviving as well as a little antique rose bush. I just marvel.

Margo said...

what a cool idea - to make a short list for a garden! I never thought of gardening that way, although that's exactly how I plan cooking and meals. I tried some new flowers in my front porch pots this year and they will NOT be on my short list.

Anonymous said...

We have Lantana all around our Central Texas house and it is so easy. Pretty flowers and the deer never touch it. It is extremely popular where I live because it needs so little water and care and it is deer resistant. People here cut it back completely in winter. It amazes me how quickly it grows back in the spring. Out summer has been unbearably brutal, but my Lantana is still looking pretty good. There must be a different variety in Australia because I have not noticed it spreading.

Anonymous said...

What about zinnias?

We planted them from seed around our mailbox. We watered the first day and haven't watered since (4 months later). The multi-colored varieties are just beautiful.

Thanks for the list.

Anonymous said...

Hallo, writing from Australia, I concur with the other comments regarding Lantana. It is a shocking problem here.

Love your blog :-) Cat1

Laura said...

What about lady's mantle and russian sage?

Anonymous said...

May I add peonies to your short list? They take a long time to establish but are very hardy once they are. And miracles of miracles the dear don't eat them.
Amy F.

Anonymous said...

I, too, have had very good results with lantana in my garden. It seems to bloom non-stop, adding such a reliable note of color in some difficult places. Zinnias are, for me, another one of those dependable plants, especially during droughts.


Polly said...

You've got a good list! I think lantana is also very drought-resistant. I seem to remember a garden club meeting during a dry spell several years ago, and we discussed great flowers for dry weather--and lantana made THAT short list too!

I heart peonies, too. They are definitely on my gardening short list.

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