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?


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
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - December 18, 2008

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Shrubs
Title: Lantanas with brown leaves
Answered by: Nan Hampton


I have several lantana plants here in Austin, TX. They did extremely well all summer long up until our first freeze. It looks like they have all died. Are they just dormant or are they dead? Their leaves are brown and the branches break easily.


If the temperature at your house has already dropped below freezing this fall—and many areas in Austin have—this is why your lantanas' leaves have turned brown and the stems have become brittle—your lantanas aren't dead, they're only "sleeping". All of our native Texas lantanas (Lantana urticoides (West Indian shrubverbena), Lantana canescens (hammock shrubverbena), Lantana achyranthifolia (brushland shrubverbena) and Lantana velutina (velvet shrubverbena) are perennials—they go dormant during the winter and regrow in the spring. Prune them back hard (6 to 12 inches from the ground) in late winter before they begin their new growth

You can read more about care of lantanas in the answer to a previous question.

Lantana urticoides

Lantana canescens

Lantana achyranthifolia

Lantana velutina



More Shrubs Questions

Buffaloberry from Grandma
June 25, 2008 - I have a "BUFFALO BERRY" that my Grandma brought back from South Dakota.It is approx.8yrs.old.All was well until this spring.It was budding out when we had a very hard freeze and got 3" of snow.Now...
view the full question and answer

Small shrubs for roof garden in Washington DC
February 01, 2009 - I am looking for a hardy evergreen shrub for a roof garden in DC. Needs to be 3-4 feet tall, evergreen, dense, survive the extreme wind, cold and heat.
view the full question and answer

Failure to bloom of Texas Mountain Laurel
April 15, 2008 - My +/- 4 yr old Tx. Mountain Laurel, has never bloomed. It is in full sun. I sometimes (minimal) fertilize it. I've pretty much planted it and let it grow. Its been pruned back last year when som...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification of shrub with thorns and purple flowers
July 05, 2011 - I have a small tree or shrub, it has very small or thin thorns on the branches. It blooms in April / May. The flowers are purple. My mother-in-law said that it has been around for over 100 years, b...
view the full question and answer

Exotic plant/shrubs for Marietta, GA.
April 01, 2010 - Hi. I live in Marietta GA. and i am looking to add some curb appeal to my front lawn (around the border of the house). I would like evergreen plants and shrubs. I love the tropical/exotic look. do you...
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.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center