*Lantana camara, Bush lantana, small-sized shrub
The lantana is a prolific bloomer growing two to four feet tall and wide with sprawling branches that produce dramatic color during the warm season. The foliage is green, rough, and sometimes has
prickly stems and leaves with rough hairs that emit a pungent aroma when crushed. This plant produces prolific flower clusters in an array of colors—yellow, orange, fuchsia, pink, white, and many multicolor varieties. Many hybrids are available. This nonstop bloomer produces flowers from early spring until the first frost.
The bush lantana likes full sun with plenty of reflected heat. It needs well-draining soils to look good and will respond well to applications of fertilizer. The plant is hardy to twenty-eight degrees Fahrenheit. It likes full sun with plenty of reflected heat and needs amended, well-draining soils. The lantana also responds well to applications of ammonium phosphate fertilizer in the early spring. Irrigate it during the hot summer weather. If stressed for water, the plant will wilt, indicating that it needs moisture. It often reseeds itself in areas of the landscape where water is available, and in some areas of the world it can be an invasive plant. In our Southwest deserts, however, it is a reliable, colorful shrub that provides enormous amounts color in spring, summer, and fall.
Lantana can also be used as an accent, border, and foundation or container plant for dramatic color. It works well as a transition shrub in desert gardens and around pools and water features. The bush lantana is native to Australia and South Africa, where has become an invasive plant. It also grows naturally in the Gulf Coastregion of Florida, warmer parts of Texas, and tropical areas all over the world.