Southern Gardening: Lantana thrives in summer heat
If you’re looking for a way to keep your flowerbeds pretty after your pansies have worn out, consider using lantanas as your transition. They will provide fantastic color through the hottest temperatures.
Lantana has been selected twice as a Mississippi Medallion winner. The very first medallion plant in 1996 was New Gold lantana, and its bright, golden-yellow flowers are outstanding. The second Medallion win came in 2003 to Sonset lantana, whose flowers start as yellow and transition through orange, red, magenta and purple.
Many older lantana selections are big plants. New Gold is 2-3 feet tall, and Sonset can be up to 4 feet tall. Be sure to space these lantanas 2-4 feet apart.
These lantana varieties can still be found at garden centers, but lantana breeders are making exciting progress. They are working on non-stop blooming varieties, as well as smaller lantanas. This opens up a whole new market for lantanas to be used in place of bedding plants.