Have you met Lantana?
This is a tough, beautiful plant you will want to grow if you enjoy watching hummingbirds and butterflies.
Once it comes into bloom, generally in late May for us, it remains absolutely covered in flowers until it is killed by a heavy frost.
And each of those flowers is made up of dozens of little nectar filled cups.
Beloved by hummingbirds and every species of butterfly which visits our garden, our clumps of Lantana offer us hours of entertainment, as we watch the traffic come and go from sunrise until dusk.
Even better, each little flower develops a little round fruit. And songbirds love these little fruits.
Nothing is wasted!
I gave my parents a potted yellow Lantana several weeks ago, which they placed on a patio table visible from their kitchen window.
I watched a beautiful green hummingbird ecstatically feed from their plant today, totally ignoring their “feeder” hanging 10 feet away. Hummingbirds know the difference between birdie “Kool Aid” and the real deal.
Given the choice, would you have your lunch at Red Lobster or Dairy Queen?
Here is a detailed post about growing Lantana, written about this time last year. Please take a look if you haven’t had the fun of growing this amazing plant yet.
Lantana is drought tolerant, easy to establish, colorful, healthy, and has been reliably hardy for us. They come in a fairly wide range of colors.
If you live in Zone 6 or further north, you can keep it indoors in a pot overwinter, or simply treat it like an annual.
These are not expensive plants. I generally pay about $4.oo for a 4″ Lantana plant during spring annual season at the garden center. A very small investment, for five to six months of color and entertainment, and the promise of many more years to come.
If you have not yet met Lantana, I invite you to get acquainted sometime soon.
Photos by Woodland Gnome 2014