Lantana: growing an exotic flower at home
Lantana is an exotic tropical flower that has successfully adapted to the microclimate in modern apartments. Lovers of home plants appreciate it for its abundance and duration of flowering. Blooming buds gradually change colors, so lanthanum looks very unusual. Many flower growers hesitate to start such an exotic, fearing difficulties in leaving, but in fact the plant is surprisingly unpretentious.
What does lantana look like?
Lantana (Lantana) - a genus of perennials that is part of the Verbenaceae family. It is widespread in South and Central America, some species are found in Africa and Southeast Asia. According to various sources, the genus has from 140 to 170 species.
Lantana grows very fast in nature
The name of the plant was given by the famous Swedish organizer Karl Linney. The ancient Romans called Viburnum “Lantana”. Apparently, the characteristic corymbose form of inflorescences influenced the choice of the botanist.
Lovers of indoor plants appreciate lantana for its unusual flowering. In addition to the fact that it is long (from April to October), the petals gradually change color. This happens literally before our eyes, within 2-3 days. At the same time on the bush you can see red, orange, bright yellow, white flowers. They are collected in numerous dense inflorescences in the shape of an umbrella or an almost regular ball. A pleasant aroma is characteristic. If lanthanum has enough light, it can bloom continuously almost all year round.
Lantana inflorescences in the shape of an almost regular ball
After flowering, small rounded berries appear, each with two seeds. Unripe fruits are green, you can’t eat them, they are poisonous. Ripe berries, where lanthanum grows, are eaten, most often added to various desserts. The taste resembles mulberry.
Unripe fruits of lanthanum are poisonous
The plant branches intensively. In nature, it is a shrub or tree, reaching 3 m in height. Lantana has a growth rate, so at home it needs regular pruning. You can shorten it to about a height of 30-50 cm. The shoots are covered with smooth greenish-gray bark, sometimes with frequent spikes.
Opposite leaves are slightly pubescent. The average length is about 4–5 cm. To the touch they are quite rigid, rough, as if made of plastic. In shape, the leaves resemble nettles. The edge is likewise carved with cloves. The veins are clearly distinguished.
Leaves also spread a specific tart aroma that not everyone likes. In it notes of mint, lemon, camphor are guessed, and some feel onion “amber”. For it to spread throughout the room, a light touch of the flower is enough. However, others really like the smell. Dry lanthanum leaves are even used to make sachets.
Lantana leaves are also pretty, but this is not the main advantage of the plant.
On the palate, the leaves are also not very pleasant, give bitterness. The plant secretes a special toxin, covering them with a thin film. This feature reliably protects lanthanum from attacks by pets.
In countries where lanthanum is not an endemic plant, this is a real disaster. It grows very quickly, mastering new territories and crowding out the local flora. Against the foreign "invader" of the state are forced to take harsh measures. For example, in Australia and South Africa it is officially forbidden to plant lanthanum in parks and gardens, even private ones.
Where climate permits and where it is not prohibited, lantana is widely used in landscape design
Lantana has many nicknames. It is called "nettle" (for the characteristic shape of the leaves), "girl's word", "changeable rose", "switching flower" (for "inconsistency" of color), "scrambled eggs with bacon", "Spanish flag" (for a similar color scheme) . Other unofficial names are “coastal rose”, “big sage”, “little berry”.
Lantana petals change color right before our eyes
Views popular with amateur gardeners
Of the many types of lanthanum, only a few have adapted to home conditions. Most of the plants found in the apartments of amateur gardeners are breeding hybrids, the “parent” of which is prickly lantana. Many of them have larger and more uniform flowers. Also, the creators "corrected" other parameters. Such lanthanums grow much more slowly and rarely reach a height of more than 30 cm.
- Spiky, spiky or vaulted lantana (camara). The stems are prickly, hence the name. The leaves are saturated green in color, egg- or heart-shaped, covered from the inside with a short soft "pile" of white color. “Aroma” is specific, not very pleasant. Petioles are long. The color of the petals changes from bright yellow to scarlet or from pinkish to peach. Flowering occurs in May-October. The diameter of the inflorescences is about 5 cm.
- Lantana Sello (selloviana). The shoots are thin, flexible, similar to whips. Leaves with a slight edge on the back. The flowers are very small (3-5 mm in diameter), mauve. The base of the petals is bright yellow.
- Lantana montevidea (montevidensis). Shoots are as flexible, curly, as in Sello lanthanum, woody at the base. The flowers are brighter, lavender or purple. Leaves are small (2-3 cm in length). The diameter of inflorescences is 2-3 cm. Natural mutations with white or yellowish flowers are found.
- Wrinkled lantana (rugulosa). Shrub 1-1.2 m high. Shoots straight, covered with small spikes. The leaves are dark green, the front side is rough to the touch. The flowers are pale purple.
- Lantana sage (salviifolia). Intensively branching shrub about 2 m high. Shoots are thin, curly. Veins stand out very sharply. The hue of the petals varies from pastel pink to pale purple.
- Lantana blood red (sanguinea). The height of the bush is about 1.5 m. The shoots are thin, erect. The leaves are large (6–7 cm), oval with a pointed tip. The flowers are red-orange.
- Hybrid lanthanum (hybrida). A compact shrub 70–80 cm high. The leaf plate is “wrinkled”. Lemon-yellow buds change color to red-orange.
- Lantana variegata. It is distinguished by variegated leaves with pale green, white and silver spots. Such an artificial modification greatly weakens the plant, so it needs more careful care.
Photo Gallery: “Natural” Home-grown Lanthanum Species
- Variegate lantana is distinguished not only by abundant and prolonged flowering, but also by variegated foliage
- Lanthanum hybrid, despite the name - a natural species
- Lanthanum blood-red monotonous inflorescences
- Lantana sage has very bright flowers
- The name lanthanum wrinkled is due to the appearance of leaf plates
- Monevidean lantana is very similar to Cello lantana, but its flowers are more saturated
- Sello lantana has very small flowers and not so dense inflorescences
- Prickly lantana is most often found in florist apartments
The achievements of the breeders are very impressive. The material for most experiments is spiky lanthanum.
Photo Gallery: Breeders' Achievements
- Lantana Ice Queen, Snow, White Dwarf - snow-white flowers, very pure shade
- Lantana Tutti Frutti - yellow is gradually changing to orange, then - to pink and deep purple
- Lantana Tukan - flowers are pale yellow or cream, bloom in early spring
- Lantana Esperanta Pink - petals of a very delicate mauve
- Lantana Calipso Gold - shiny, as if chromed yellow petals
- Lantana Bandana Pink - pink or raspberry flowers, among all breeding hybrids it differs in size (up to 80 cm in height)
- Lantana Samanta - bright lemon flowers and lime border on the leaves
- Lantana Sonja - flowers shimmer in different shades of pink and yellow
- Lantana Naida - snow-white petals, with a bright yellow base
- Lantana Schloss Ortenburg - very beautiful saffron flowers
- Lantana Sunkiss, Coctail, Po - petals brick red, copper or terracotta
- Aloha Lantana has pale golden flowers
- Lantana Spreading Sunset - a very interesting creeping plant, flowers of different shades of yellow and orange
- Lantana Pink Queen - yellow with pinkish undertones buds and pink-raspberry flowers
- Lantana Cloud Of Gold and Goldensonne - Petals of rich golden yellow
How to create a plant optimal microclimate
Lantana is a tropical plant, but it is surprisingly well adapted to the microclimate of modern apartments, which is radically different from the usual microclimate of it. She calmly tolerates low humidity. The only thing the plant needs is a lot of light.
Table: optimal conditions for growing lanthanum
|Location||Window facing west, east, southeast, southwest. Lantana is very afraid of cold drafts. In summer, you can take it to the open balcony to the garden, protecting it from wind and rain.|
|Lighting||Very photophilous plant. It can tolerate a certain amount of direct sunlight (3-5 hours per day), but the best option is bright diffused light. In winter, you can not do without backlighting. Use ordinary fluorescent or special phytolamps.|
|Temperature||In the summer - 22–27ºС. Below 20ºС - it is undesirable. At rest - 5–12ºС. This is an indispensable condition for abundant flowering for the next season. From the winter "hibernation" the plant is brought out gradually, providing a temperature of about 14–18 ° C in early spring.|
|Air humidity||It calmly exists at standard 40-50%. In the heat, daily spraying is recommended. In this case, you need to be careful - waterlogging for lanthanum is harmful. And make sure that the drops do not fall on the flowers. You can raise indicators in another way - place wet pebbles, expanded clay, moss-sphagnum in a pallet, place water containers next to it, and purchase a special device.|
The main requirement of lantana for the conditions of detention is good lighting
Since lanthanum is notable for its growth rate, transplantation is an annual procedure for it. The best time for this is early spring, before the start of the period of active vegetation. If you do not pick up a volumetric pot or tub, a powerful root system can fill the tank and in less time, the plant will need a transplant “off schedule”. Clearly indicate that the need is ripe, the roots sticking out of the drainage holes. If you ignore the unequivocal signal, lanthanum simply will not bloom.
The plant does not have special requirements for soil quality. The main thing is that it be loose enough, it passes air and water well. The acid-base balance is neutral - pH 6.6–7.0. It is suitable store soil for flowering houseplants. Sometimes there is a special soil for the Verbenovs, but rarely.
You can mix the substrate yourself:
- fertile turf, leafy earth, humus, fine sand (2: 4: 1: 1);
- peat crumb, universal soil for flowering indoor plants, coarse river sand or perlite (1: 2: 1);
It’s quite difficult to find a special soil for the Verbenovs, but lanthanum is also suitable for the usual substrate for flowering indoor plants
If it is difficult to transplant lantana because of its size (it is problematic to remove the plant from the pot), limit yourself to replacing the top layer of the substrate with a thickness of 5–7 cm. In other cases, the transplant is carried out by the transfer method, the earthen lump is preserved as whole as possible.
It is easier to extract lanthanum from the pot if half an hour before it is abundantly watered
In the process of transplanting, do not forget that at the bottom of the new pot you need to create a thick (4–5 cm) layer of drainage and cut off with a sharp clean knife 2–3 mm of roots that have fallen down into a continuous “pile”. The transplanted lanthanum is moderately watered and sent to light penumbra for 3-5 days to minimize the stress received by the plant.
Experienced flower growers recommend planting 2-3 lanthanum bushes in one pot. Firstly, if they are of different varieties, such a multicolor looks very elegant and original. Secondly, for an unknown reason, it stimulates branching - plants increase in volume by 1.5–2 times.
Important Nuances of Flower Care
For tropical exotic, lanthanum is completely unpretentious. In nature, this is a real weed. The florist will not be required to arrange "dancing with tambourines" around the plant. But just put the pot on the windowsill and forget about it will not work.
Blooming lanthanum needs abundant watering. But it is also impossible to turn the soil in a pot into a swamp - rot quickly develops. Wait until the substrate dries 1–2 cm deep. Lantana, which does not have enough moisture, quickly drops the buds. If the street is not hot, one watering in 3-5 days is enough. After 35-40 minutes, it is imperative to drain excess moisture from the pan.
Do not forget about other water procedures. Lantana is very fond of them. Until the plant blooms, it can be washed in the shower, the rest of the time - regularly wipe the leaves with a damp sponge or soft cloth, removing dust.
Abundant flowering takes a lot of energy from lanthanum. Therefore, she needs regular feeding. Any universal fertilizer for flowering indoor plants is suitable. Once every 12-15 days, it is watered with the prepared solution, halving the dose of the drug by half compared with the recommended manufacturer. Feeding should not be abused, otherwise it will begin to intensively build up green mass to the detriment of flowering.
Lantana needs regular top dressing, universal fertilizer for flowering indoor plants is quite suitable
Lantana responds positively to natural organic matter. You can use, for example, an infusion of fresh cow manure diluted 1:15 with water. Such dressing is best done before flowering. Excess nitrogen can interfere with bud formation.
Radical pruning of lanthanum is carried out in early spring, at the end of the dormant period. You can combine it with a transplant. First of all, they get rid of old side shoots that are ugly elongated and “bald” from below. Of the remaining ones, pinch each on 2-3 top leaves - this has a positive effect on the abundance of flowering.
Bonsai art lovers have successfully miniaturized lantana
During the flowering period, do not forget to get rid of dried buds. In their place, new ones are formed.
The lanthanum crohn is easy to shape. Here the flower grower is limited only by his own imagination. The most common options are:
- Spherical bush. Shorten the shoots, creating the desired configuration. Then, remove about a third of the length each year, and also get rid of unsuccessfully located shoots that clearly go beyond the selected path.
- The stem tree. Formed from plants from the age of three years, in which shoots are lignified. Choose one upright strongest branch, all the others located below the desired height of the "trunk" are cut to the base. Necessarily need support. Above the crown is formed in accordance with the selected configuration. The “trunk” is regularly cleaned of emerging lateral shoots.
- Ampel plant. Choose varieties of lanthanum with thin creeping shoots. It is enough to place the plant in a hanging pot and periodically shorten the whips to the desired length. For greater bushiness, cut every third shoot in half in spring.
Lanthanum "tree" looks very impressive
“Trees” look very impressive, into the crown of which several shoots of other varieties are grafted. An unusual variety of colors immediately attracts attention.
Lantana needs a cool wintering. This is a prerequisite for flowering for the next season. From mid-autumn, watering is gradually reduced (one procedure is enough in 12-14 days), top dressing ceases to be applied at all.
Lighting requirements do not change. The “resting” lanthanum is looking for the brightest place in the apartment. In most of the territory of Russia there is not enough natural light, so you have to use luminescent or special phytolamps.
Some breeding hybrids bloom almost continuously, so they do not need wintering. They need to be rearranged on the windowsill of the window facing south so that the leaves do not touch the cold glass. You can not protect from direct sunlight - at this time it is not so active.
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Common mistakes of a beginner grower
Most unintentional florist mistakes will not kill Lantana. But they negatively affect its decorativeness. A plant may refuse to bloom altogether. This is the most obvious signal - something does not suit him. But there are other disturbing symptoms that need to be able to interpret.
Table: how lanthanum responds to florist errors
|What does the plant look like||Than the reason|
|Lack of flowering.||Failure to provide the right conditions (especially temperature) for the period of rest, lack of nutrients in the soil. Or the flower has not been transplanted for a long time.|
|Leaves are fading, turning pale, shoots are thinning.||Deficit of light.|
|The tips of the leaves turn brown, dry, the leaf plates are twisted into a tube.||Too sparse watering and / or very low humidity in the room.|
|Pale blurry spots on the leaves.||Burn from direct sunlight.|
|Leaves turn black.||Abundant watering combined with low humidity in the room. The flower needs to be sprayed more often, and watering, on the contrary, is reduced.|
|Leaves fall.||Autumn "leaf fall" is a natural phenomenon. During the period of active vegetation, it can be triggered by heat or low humidity.|
|The base of the shoots blackens, the mold becomes moldy.||Low temperature combined with high humidity. The development of rot is almost inevitable.|
Common Diseases and Pests
It has no specific pests of lanthanum. For some reason, of the insect-eating plants of insects, whiteflies are especially indifferent to it. The appearance of pathogenic fungi often provokes the florist himself, overly watering the plant.
Any problem is easier to prevent than to deal with unpleasant consequences. Simple preventative measures will help minimize the risk of infection:
- quarantine newly acquired copies of the collection for 3-4 weeks;
- weekly inspection of flowers (even possible with a magnifying glass) and immediate isolation of those that showed suspicious signs;
- placing pots on the windowsill without excessive crowding;
- regular airing of the room and rubbing the leaves from dust;
- use only sterilized substrate, clean tools and pots;
- proper watering of plants (once every 2-3 weeks you can replace ordinary water with a pale pink solution of potassium permanganate);
- removal of dried leaves and buds, regular sanitary pruning;
- weekly irradiation of leaves with a quartz lamp on both sides (two to three minutes are enough).
Table: Lanthanum-typical diseases and pests
|Disease or pest||External manifestations||Control measures|
|Root rot||The base of the shoots blackens, spots of the same color appear on the leaves. The soil is covered with mold, from it there is an unpleasant putrefactive odor.||The disease is treatable only in the early stages of development. Then the flower can only be thrown away. |
|Gray rot||Beige spots on the leaves, covered with a layer of fluffy grayish “pile” with small black patches. Then these tissue sections soften, the leaves fall, the buds turn black.|
For prevention, every 2-3 months, you can spray the plants with a 0.1% solution of Fundazol, Bayleton, Topsin-M.
|Rust||Small oval “pads” of yellow-orange color on the underside of the leaves, eventually covered with a layer of “pollen” of the same shade.|
|Brown spotting||Light olive spots on the front side of the leaves. First, the lowest ones suffer. Gradually, the leaf plate turns yellow, a gray-brown coating appears on the inside.|
|Aphid||Small insects of yellow-green or black-brown color, sticking to the underside of leaves, tops of shoots, flower buds.|
|Mealybug||Spots of a whitish coating, the plant is as if interrogated with flour. Leaves, flowers and buds dry quickly, fall off.|
For prophylaxis, once a month, gently apply on the leaves any preparations based on Neem tree oil.
|Whitefly||Small whitish butterflies flutter from the plant with the lightest touch of it.|
Photo Gallery: Diseases and Pests Affecting Lanthanum
- Whitefly for unknown reasons is very partial to lanthanum
- Mealybug seems like a harmless pest, but it’s not at all
- Aphid is one of the most “universal” pests of indoor plants; it will not refuse lanthanum either
- All leaves affected by brown spotting need to be cut and destroyed.
- "Pollen" on the leaves - pathogenic fungus spores
- Leaves affected by gray rot dry quickly and fall off
- Root rot can be treated only in the early stages of the disease
Propagation at home
The easiest way to grow a new lanthanum, rooting cuttings. Planting material (even in abundance) the flower grower receives in the process of pruning. It is rarely propagated by seeds because of the difficulties associated with their acquisition. At home, they are tied up infrequently, in addition, the characteristic varietal characters of “parents” are rarely transmitted to “descendants”.
Lanthanum cuttings are the top of a semi-lignified shoot 8–12 cm long. They are cut only from perfectly healthy plants.
Lanthanum cuttings in abundance appear in the grower after each pruning
- Let the slices dry for 2–3 hours outdoors.
- Powder them with any powdery root stimulant (Zircon, Heteroauxin) and plant them in small pots filled with wet peat, 2-3 cm deep. Some flower growers recommend rooting cuttings in pure perlite or vermiculite. Pre-remove the interfering lower leaves.
- Place the containers in the home mini-greenhouse or create “greenhouses” using plastic bottles or plastic bags. Provide a constant temperature of about 20ºС and bright diffused light for 10-12 hours a day. Regularly ventilate the plantings and spray the drying substrate from the spray gun. After a week, gradually lower the indicator to 12-15ºС.
- When the cuttings take root and start growing, remove the “greenhouse”.
- For greater compactness and “bushiness”, pinch the cuttings regularly every year, removing the growth point and 1-2 upper leaves in such a way every 2-3 months.
Rooted cuttings of lanthanum spring bloom at the end of this summer
Video: rooting lantana cuttings
Seeds are sown at any time from the New Year to the beginning of spring.
Lanthanum seeds are rare on sale, growing them at home is also not easy.
- For 2 hours, fill the seeds with hot (55-60ºС) water with the addition of an activated carbon tablet or several crystals of potassium permanganate. Then at the same time, place in the solution of any biostimulant (succinic acid, potassium humate, Epin, Kornevin).
- Wrap them in a damp cloth or gauze, moistening it as it dries.
- Fill shallow containers with a mixture of peat crumbs with perlite, vermiculite. Moisturize and smooth the substrate.
- Sow the seeds when sprouts appear. Sprinkle lightly with fine sand on top, cover with glass, plastic wrap. Provide them with a temperature of 22–25ºС and lower heating. Spray the soil as it dries.
- Seedlings appear in 10-15 days. When a pair of true leaves forms, lower the temperature to 14-16ºС. When they reach a height of 8-10 cm, plant them in separate pots filled with soil suitable for adult plants. Take care as usual. After two weeks, the transplant field is recommended to pinch and feed the plant for the first time.
Lantana seedlings need a fairly low temperature for proper development
Young lanthanums are more reminiscent of herbaceous plants than bushes or trees. They bloom longer and more plentifully than adult specimens. Therefore, many flower growers, instead of messing around with a transplant, prefer to rejuvenate the plant.
The lanthanum room can grow any size. Of course, not like on the street in hot countries, but nonetheless. If I didn’t pinch her, then she would be a “horse” and ugly, but a lush bush turned out like that. True, now he is almost bald, since lanthanum drops its leaves for the winter. Her root system is superficial. But the plant itself, growing, takes up a lot of space.
I really like lanthanum flowers, you look at them and charge yourself with positive, and they smell nice. But the plant itself is so prickly, it is difficult to work with it, this, in my opinion, is a minus.
Lantana from the seeds rose without any problems. Very fragrant foliage, and inflorescences smell like something honey. I shaped it in the shape of a tree. Very easy to shape. But growing too fast. I had to part with her. I didn’t enter anywhere.
Lanthanum seeds must be steamed in a hermetically sealed thermos for two hours at a temperature of 50-60 ° С. Then soak for a day in a stimulator, germinate for five to seven days, and only then sow in the ground under glass and film. I steamed the seeds in a thermos, after which I removed the soaked remnants of the pulp of the berry and soaked it in Zircon. Next, I put the pot with sown seeds on a hot battery. And finally, a month later the first timid sprout appeared! Of the ten seeds sown, four sprouted. The first time dived when the seedlings were four leaves. At a height of 10 cm, two babies nibbled the tops. At the second transplant, a surprise awaited me - in the pot I found three more sprouts!
Lantana is not capricious, it blooms without any problems, if only it would have more sun and water! But I even blossomed on the north window. Garbage, however, from these flowers! I shredded my mercilessly! Lantana very quickly grows new branches, if it is not cut, then the length of the shoots can be up to a meter! Where do you put it like that? Why cut a third? As a rule, two or three upper kidneys wake up in her, so it makes no sense to leave a length. It blooms with the appearance of sufficient lighting, mine already by the end of May pleased with flowers, sometimes earlier.
I sowed the seeds of lanthanum in May last year. A tree with a height of 30 cm has grown in almost a year. I'm still trying to give it the shape of a stem, but something is not working out well for me. In winter, I threw off all the leaves, but now new ones have climbed.
Last year I gave lantana to my mother. She also had nowhere to put the flower, so she planted it in the front garden. Lantana bloomed wonderful all summer, and then a terrible winter came. Mom didn’t dig it out, I don’t remember whether she sprinkled it with something or not, but this miracle started to grow from the root in the spring, and even how it bloomed in the summer. This year, too, did not dig, we will see what will happen in the spring. Mom lives in Nalchik, there last winter frosts reached -20ºС, however, the place where lanthanum grows is protected from the wind.
Lantana - a beautiful flower, appeared with me 2 years ago. This miracle grew quickly. It propagates by seeds and sprouts. I pinch off the top, plant it in the ground, and it takes root very quickly, a new independent plant is obtained. Lanthanum loves abundant watering and a bright sun, it is very heat-loving, it can grow both on the street in the garden, forming a lush bush, and in a pot, but then it must be formed, constantly pinching the top so that it grows in breadth, thereby forming a tree. After flowering, green-colored berries-beads form on the stem, which turn black over time. These berries are poisonous, they cannot be eaten. The leaves have a specific mustard smell. They look like nettle leaves. There are many colors of flowers - red-yellow, lilac-yellow, white-yellow, pure yellow. Amazingly beautiful flower. This is a kind of highlight in my collection.
Lantana is a wonderful choice for those who want to have an original and unpretentious indoor plant. The "highlight" in the form of flowers of different shades will help her not to get lost even in the most extensive collection. It is very difficult for those who purchased one option to resist further purchases - the variety of colors is literally mesmerizing.