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 - 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 Non-Natives Questions

Edibility of native and non-native wild onions
July 07, 2006 - I'd like to know if the seeds of the wild onions found in southeastern Pennsylvania (possibly called Allium ascalonicum) are edible at all- these are the seeds that grow on top of the stalk, after ...
view the full question and answer

Will cattle eat non-native Star Jasmine from Mt. Pleasant TX
July 04, 2010 - Will cattle eat Star Jasmine if planted on driveway entrance from pasture?
view the full question and answer

Reblooming Potted Iris
June 12, 2014 - I have a pot of iris bulbs that are giving me just a bunch of leaves this year. Last year I had wonderful big blooms. Any suggestions about what I could do to get some flowers?
view the full question and answer

Alternatives for non-native, invasive Dianthus spp.
July 02, 2006 - We're landscaping our 1963 ranch house in Austin, and we're trying to balance low water and wildscape concerns. Being just across the street from Shoal Creek means we're staying away from anything ...
view the full question and answer

Problem with acanthus in Vancouver BC
May 16, 2010 - My girlfriend's Mom just planted an Acanthus in her garden. In the morning, it apparently stands up tall, but in the evening it bends over until the the leaves are lying in the dirt. She's concerned...
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center