Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
1 rating

Saturday - June 05, 2010

From: Smoaks, SC
Region: Southeast
Topic: Non-Natives, Shrubs
Title: Problems with yellow lantana in Smoaks SC
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

My yellow lantanas are about five years old - big and beautiful, but beginning last year, the blooms are small and part of the tiny petals are brown or black. Can you tell me what I can do about this problem? I live in coastal South Carolina.

ANSWER:

Lantana is so extensively hybridized that it is almost impossible to diagnose what plant will grow well where. We looked at the 5 species of Lantana that are native to North America: Lantana achyranthifolia (brushland shrubverbena), Lantana involucrata (buttonsage), Lantana urticoides (West Indian shrubverbena), Lantana velutina (velvet shrubverbena) and Lantana canescens (hammock shrubverbena). Of these, only Lantana urticoides (West Indian shrubverbena) is listed as being native to South Carolina; furthermore, none of the five has yellow blooms. It is more likely that what you have is Lantana camara, a tropical native to Mexico, Central and South America. At the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center we are dedicated to the growth, protection and propagation of plants native not only to North America but also to the area in which they are growing. 

We looked at the  USDA Plant Profile for this plant, and found that it is growing in at least one coastal county of South Carolina, in the southeastern portion of the state. Just as an opinion, since we really don't know anything about the plant itself, the problems your plant is having could be a deficiency in the soil, possibly iron. A judicial addition of a soil amendment featuring iron is worth a try. Our second thought is that it may be the victim of a herbicide spraying, possibly not even on your property, but a drift from somewhere else in the neighborhood. Two other websites that we found that could give you some clues are  Floridata Lantana camara and  Dave's Garden forum Lantana camara. 

Pictures of Lantana camara from Google

Pictures of Lantana involucrata (buttonsage) from Google

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:


Lantana achyranthifolia

Lantana urticoides

Lantana velutina

Lantana canescens

 

 

 

More Shrubs Questions

Identification of shrub in South Carolina
December 12, 2011 - First, I'm in Iraq but trying to write a book and have a question on a plant that grows in South Carolina. All I can do is describe it. The bush is normally green but turns red, has large leaves, kin...
view the full question and answer

Preventing weeds in kinnikinnick in Richland WA
May 29, 2011 - We planted our kinnickinick last Nov. and we live in Richland, WA, where it gets hot in the summer. We planted almost 500 of them on a hillside. Weeding is taking over our lives, to say the least. ...
view the full question and answer

Using a brush hog on acreage on Bear Creek in Austin, TX.
July 25, 2012 - We have 8 acres off 1826 situated on Bear Creek. It has open areas with scattered large trees (cedar elm, live oak, white oak). Cedars or junipers only along the the lot lines. We've been told we...
view the full question and answer

Low maintenance replacement garden in Ashburn , VA
April 30, 2009 - We live in Ashburn, VA (Northern VA). Our house is 10 years old and the contractor grade plants have died. We are planning on digging everything up and re-doing the landscaping in our front yard - r...
view the full question and answer

Growing Sophora gypsophila from seed
April 23, 2008 - Sophora gypsophila B.L. Turner & Powell Do you have any information on growing this small tree from seed? I have a few seeds and would like to try. What conditions break seed dormancy? I have grown ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.