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Mr. Smarty Plants - Preservation of a Lantana Tree in New York

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Sunday - October 05, 2008

From: Monroe, NY
Region: Northeast
Topic: Pruning, Shrubs
Title: Preservation of a Lantana Tree in New York
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have a Lantana Tree that grew beautiful over the summer, now Winter is coming and I don't know what to do with this tree, I live in Monroe, New York. Could you please help me out. Thank you.

ANSWER:

Before we get into the discussion of an actual Lantana Tree, we want you to know that there is a shrub, Viburnum lantanoides (hobblebush), that is sometimes referred to in retail trade as a Viburnum Lantana. We don't think this is what you have, but take a look at the picture when you follow the plant link above, and see. If that is what you have, it is native to New York, and will survive just fine outside this winter. It may die back a little, but can be pruned and refreshed in the Spring.

However, we're thinking you actually purchased something called a Lantana Tree. Here is a picture we found when we Googled "Lantana Tree". This is probably a cultivar or selection of the native Lantana urticoides (West Indian shrubverbena) which has been pruned and trained, in greenhouses, up into a tree form. There are many hybridized types of lantana and some non-native, although this one is native to North America. All of them, however, are tropical to sub-tropical in nature. In Texas, in all but the southern part of the state, its branches will die back in the winter and emerge again in the spring. You could, of course, try to get your lantana into a pot, and move it into the house, or the greenhouse, if you have one. We would warn you that it attracts whiteflies, which you really don't want indoors or in a greenhouse. We also want to mention that the berries of the lantana are extremely poisonous, and should not be where a child or pet might graze on them. If you don't want to go the moving indoors route, you could let it sit out there for the winter, trim it back in the spring, and see if it re-emerges. We would be surprised if it did, but it's a tough, native plant and maybe it can take the cold in New York. 


Lantana urticoides

Lantana urticoides

Lantana urticoides

Lantana urticoides

 

 

 

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