En Español

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

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
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 Diseases and Disorders Questions

Spots on just-emerging Zexmenia in Austin
April 02, 2010 - My zexmenia is just coming up from the ground after a cold winter in Austin. The leaves are all spotted with tiny holes as if something is munching on them before they even leave the ground or just as...
view the full question and answer

Problems with Strawberry Hedgehog cactus from Temple TX
June 03, 2012 - I had purchased a Strawberry hedgehog Cactus (echinocereus stramineus) a few years ago from the Wildflower Center's annual plant sale and planted it then. It has now started to brown from bottom to t...
view the full question and answer

Distressed Red Oak tree in Pflugerville, TX.
July 22, 2012 - I have a large (40 ft) Red Oak tree in my yard that is distressed. It started with yellowing leaves, with darker veins. Then small brown spots appeared, followed by browning arount the leaves edges. N...
view the full question and answer

Growing Loblolly Pines Outside Native Range
April 03, 2014 - I would like a stand of pines on my property but do not know if they will grow in my area. Do you know if the soil in Waelder, Texas will support pines?
view the full question and answer

Loss of leaves on yaupon in Austin
August 05, 2008 - Last winter I planted a Pride of Houston yaupon. Currently, the leaves at the tips of its stems are green and healthy, but the leaves along the stems are turning dark brown and falling off. Does...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center