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

Wednesday - June 23, 2010

From: Dover, PA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Non-Natives, Diseases and Disorders
Title: Lantana in hanging basket not blooming in Dover PA
Answered by: Barbara Medford


We have a lantana Bandana trailing gold in a hanging planter in full sun. It hardly blooms. Any suggestions?


Lantana 'Bandana" is apparently a selection of Lantana camara, a tropical species of Lantana. The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service regards it as "introduced," or non-native to North America, while another source said it is "indigenous to the Lower Rio Grande Valley." It is not, however, in our range of expertise, nor included in our Native Plant Database. In York County, Pennsylvania, USDA Hardiness Zone 6a, you are surely growing it as an annual, because this plant is only hardy from Zones 8 to 11.  We did, however, try to find some reasons why it is not blooming. We read in this Floridata article on Lantana camara that it should be deadheaded regularly in order to keep it blooming. We also know that coming in contact with the plant and flowers without gloves, you will find it is a major irritant.   Another thing we learned about all lantanas is that too much water and fertilizer will reduce blooms. You are kind of in a Catch-22 situation there; hanging plants dry out very quickly because there is not much soil around the roots and it's hanging up in the air, so you water it pretty frequently. In terms of the fertilizer, you probably  bought the lantana in a hanging basket or transferred it to that basket in a potting soil which already had fertilizer in it. Any blooming plant that is over-fertilized will revert to more green leaves and less blooms. 


More Non-Natives Questions

Water for non-native Sub-Zero ivy in El Paso
March 25, 2011 - Sub-Zero Ivy: Do they require lots of water - I live El Paso, TX - dry climate. Are they dangerous to dogs? Will they do well as ground cover around a brick patio? - Thanks!
view the full question and answer

Pruning non-native Japanese maple
June 03, 2008 - Can you tell me how to properly prune a Japanese maple?
view the full question and answer

Pruning smoketree in New Jersey
May 29, 2009 - How far from ground level do I prune a relatively young Smoke tree to get the bush effect?
view the full question and answer

Non-native Indian Hawthorn and Abelia resistance to deer from Ackerman MS
January 16, 2010 - I recently landscaped my yard. I have a large variety of bushes and trees. They have been planted for about a month. Yesterday, while out in the yard, I noticed that about half of my Indian hawthorn...
view the full question and answer

Non-native bougainvillea from Austin
June 25, 2012 - Bougainvillea isn't a native, but since they are so prevalent here, I hope you can help. I have three, one established in-the-ground, which is pruned almost to the ground every winter; two new this y...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center