En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
1 rating

Saturday - October 06, 2007

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Lantanas failing to bloom, turning brown
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

The lantana in my front yard does not bloom, is not overwatered but does get watered, leaves turned brown and plants generally have not grown. The lantana in the rest of the yard are in bloom and look great. I'm wondering what potential disease they might have. These plants have bloomed in the past but not the way they should. Any advice?

ANSWER:

Lantana urticoides (West Indian shrubverbena) and Lantana camara (lantana) are the native forms that are most likely to be growing in this area. However, it is more likely that what you have in your garden is a commercially named cultivar, hybridized for bloom type or color. Hybridizing will often change the basic nature of the plant to the extent that it no longer has some of the qualities of the true native, such as resistance to disease or adaptability to poor soils. That is why we at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center urge the use of native plants in our landscaping.

However, we can tell you some of the problems that lantanas can encounter, and perhaps one of them will answer your question. Poor blooming in the lantana is usually due to too much shade or excessive fertilization. You live in the Austin area and have experienced the same cool, wet two months of the summer as we have, but if your other lantanas are blooming all right, the weather probably isn't the problem. If, however, this particular plant is too shaded by a building or other plants, that could cause a number of different problems. Powdery mildew often occurs on lantanas grown in too much shade. If the plant is in an area poorly drained or watered too frequently it can develop root rot. Excessive fertilization may reduce flowering and make plants more susceptible to disease.

Now, how about varmints? Lantana lace bugs can cause leaves to appear stippled or to brown and drop. Sooty mold, causing a blackish discoloration on the leaves, is usually caused by an infestation of whiteflies.

If it turns out the location, shade, drainage, etc. are the causes of your plant's woes, it probably should be removed. It wouldn't be advisable to transplant it to some other location where mildew or insects might move to healthy plants. If you want to try to give it another chance where it is, and if there is enough sun there, remember that during the bloom period the lantana needs a thorough watering once a week if it hasn't rained an inch or so that week. Try to avoid watering from overhead, as with a sprinkler, as this can also contribute to the mold problems. You might also try trimming it back as much as a third; water and fertilize the newly cut back plant and, hopefully, it will return to bloom quickly.

 


Lantana urticoides

Lantana camara

 

 

More Diseases and Disorders Questions

Black Sooty Mold on Bay Tree
February 25, 2013 - I have a large bay tree and all the leaves are covered with a black mold-like substance on the top part of the leaf. Under each leaf are some black/brown spots. I have washed the leaves with soap and ...
view the full question and answer

White specks on unknown houseplant from Ridgeway SC
June 20, 2013 - I have an unknown houseplant that seems to have some sort of pest or disease on it. It has white snowy specks atop its leaf. I bought this purple fuzzy leafed houseplant from Walmart in Winnsboro, SC ...
view the full question and answer

Adventitious sprouts from Live Oak in Dallas
February 26, 2011 - How do I kill Holly growing in my yard? I have a Live Oak tree growing in my Bermuda grass lawn. The holly grows under the tree from the trunk extending out about 12-15 ft. It grows right in with the ...
view the full question and answer

Dying non-native St. Augustine grass from Austin
May 02, 2013 - Although we all know St. Augustine grass is not a good thing, I am stuck with it and am trying to save areas that appear to have take-all fungus. I have done much reading online and have tried peat m...
view the full question and answer

Sap oozing from non-native Chinese pistache in San Antonio
September 07, 2011 - I live in San Antonio, and my chinese pistache is exuding copious amounts of a sticky sap from old trim sites and from the trunk itself. The tree is about 12 years old and has been healthy up until no...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center