The Best Of The Hardy Lantana For The South

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This article provides a list of the most hardy lantana varieties for growing in the South
by Brent Wilson · Zone 7A · 0° to 5° F to Zone 11 · Above 40° F · Perennial Plants · 0 Comments · January 19, 2013 · 2,499 views

I absolutely love lantana! Why? Because they are one of the most floriferous plants on the planet, are exceptionally drought tolerant and easy to grow, and because butterflies and hummingbirds love them too!

There are hundreds of varieties of lantana available in a wide range of flower colors and forms. Some varieties are perennial, meaning they will return year after year, and some are annual. If you live above USDA Zone 7 all lantana will be annual, but still worth planting and enjoying seasonally!

Over the past 20 years I have trialed many, many varieties of Lantana to come on the market. Here's a list of my top favorites that have demonstrated themselves to be hardy perennials in my own gardens in USDA Zone 8a.

Special Tip: Prune hardy lantana one time a year after new growth begins to emerge in spring. Fall pruning almost always ensures death of the plant.


'Sonset'

Hardy in USDA Zones 7a and south

If you're looking for a smaller growing alternative to 'Miss Huff' Lantana, Sonset Lantana is your choice! This super hardy lantana grows in a mound to about 3 to 4 feet in height with an equal spread.

In my garden here in zone 8 of mid-Georgia, Sonset is the first of all lantana to emerge from dormancy, sometimes emerging as as early as late March.

What's really special about Sonset Lantana are it's flowers. About every time you turn around to look at the plant its flowers have changed color. The flowers start out in the morning as bicolor light yellow and orange, then turn to red and golden-yellow during the afternoon. By evening, they've turned to a deep rose and fuchsia color!

As with all other lantana, this one is a butterfly magnet. Hummingbirds love it too...more so than any other lantana in my garden!

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'Miss Huff'

Hardy in USDA Zones 7a and south

If you're looking for the a large growing super-hardy lantana that will bloom all season, fill in large spaces, and attract flocks of butterflies, look no further - Miss Huff Hardy Lantana is your choice!

Miss Huff Lantana was originally discovered back in the 1980s by the folks at Goodness Grows Nursery near Athens, Georgia. It had been growing and returning year after year for over 10 years in Miss Huff's backyard. I have a specimen growing in my landscape in Zone 8a of mid-georgia that has been there now for over 20 years!

Miss Huff is the largest growing lantana I know of. She grows to about 5 to 6 feet in height with a spread at least twice that much. The tricolor flower clusters of yellow, pink and orange begin appearing in late spring and persist through the first heavy frost in late fall or early winter. The flowers are irresistible to butterflies and hummingbirds love them too!

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'Chapel Hill Yellow'

Hardy in USDA Zones 7a and south

A definite improvement over 'New Gold' Lantana, Chapel Hill Yellow is an outstanding new introduction to the family of hardy Lantanas. It is exceptionally cold hardy as for north as USDA Zone 7A and established plants have survived temepratures of 0 Fahrenheit.

Chapel Hill Yellow is a Dr. Mike Dirr creation that is a cross between 'Miss Huff' (the most cold hardy of all Lantana) from which it gets its superior cold hardiness, and 'New Gold' Hardy Lantana from whence it gets its bright yellow flowers and low and spreading growth habit of 16 inches tall by 2 to 3 feet wide. It is fast growing and quick to flower so gardeners in colder climates can enjoy it as an annual.

The dense, lemon yellow flower heads of Chapel Hill Yellow are numerous florets that sit atop leathery, dark green ovate leaves and they are irresistible to butterflies and hummingbirds. The plant flowers continuously from spring until the frost!

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'Mozelle'

Hardy in USDA Zones 8a and south

Mozelle is a very hardy variety of Lantana that will return year after year in gardens as far north as USDA Zone 7B.

Mozelle is a mid-size deciduous perennial shrub that in my gardens here in Zone 8 of mid-Georgia has grown to about 4 feet tall by about 5 to 6 feet wide. It produces an abundance of bicolor pink and yellow flower clusters that butterflies and hummingbirds will flock to!

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'Trailing Lavender'

Hardy in USDA Zones 8a and south

At the nursery I work at in mid-Georgia we sold Trailing Lavender Lantana as an annual for years. I would rip them out of the ground every fall when they stopped blooming. Then about 5 years ago I accidentally left 5 of them in the ground in my landscape. The next spring I was pleasantly surprised when all 5 of these plants returned, and they've been coming back ever since. That's why they made my list!

Trailing Lavender Lantana produces an abundance of pretty lavender flower clusters that nearly cover the foliage. Their low height (10-12") and their spreading and trailing habit makes them the perfect choice for spilling over walls and the edges of containers or as a border in gardens.

I listed Trailing Lavender as hardy to USDA Zone 8a. If you garden in a zone further north and Trailing Lavender has demonstrated itself to be hardy in your zone, please let me know and I'll update this article!

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'Sunny Side Up'

Hardy in USDA Zones 7a and south

'Sunny Side Up' is a new stunning bicolor lantana that blooms from late spring until frost. The flowers emerge yellow and age to white with a yellow eye. The plant has a densely branched, mounding habit and lustrous dark green foliage that grows to about 15-18 inches in height with a spread of about 3 feet. As with other lantana the flowers are irresistible to butterflies and hummingbirds.

I listed Trailing Lavender as hardy to USDA Zone 8a. If you garden in a zone further north and Sunny Side Up has demonstrated itself to be hardy in your zone, please let me know and I'll update this article!

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Brent Wilson

Meet The Author

Brent Wilson - Brent Wilson is an avid gardener and one of the co-founders of Gardenality. He is also co-owner of Wilson Bros Nursery & Garden Center in McDonoguh


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Keywords

Hardy, Lantana, Varieties, Type, Cultivars




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