Lantana montevidensis

The trailing lantana is a majestic flowering evergreen that reaches two feet and spreads six to ten feet with dark green, oval, and coarsely toothed foliage. It has sprawling stems covered with fuzzy growth. The plants emit an aroma when crushed and can be a skin irritant or produce an allergic reaction. Clusters of small, funnel-shaped blooms appear in lavender, white, and purple, depending on the variety. Flowers attract hummingbirds and butterflies. The fruit is a small, fleshy, dark blue berry that is very toxic if eaten. There are hundreds of subspecies of lantana and all are fast-growing and easy to grow. The plant can freeze back in temperatures below thirty degrees Fahrenheit, but recovers quickly in the spring. Lantana likes to be planted in full sun to enhance its blooms. The trailing lantana needs less water when humidity levels are high. Its leaves may yellow between the veins (called chlorosis) when trailing lantana is over-watered. It likes moderate irrigation to look its best and prefers well-draining soils. The trailing lantana benefits from yearly pruning to keep its shape. Prune frost-damaged foliage when the weather warms up in early spring. Fertilize it in spring with ammonium phosphate fertilizer to promote blooms. The plant is deer-resistant and the foliage can be toxic to livestock. Use it as a groundcover in lush gardens, for transitional landscapes, in planter beds, as a border, as a groundcover, in hanging baskets, or cascading over a large container. It can also be mixed with other plants for an amazing accent. The trailing lantana will grow near hot pavements, parking lots, and driveways, in medians, on slopes, and as erosion control on banks. It is native to Argentina, South America, and Uruguay.

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