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
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - December 28, 2010

From: Pulaski, VA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Indoor Lantana Care from VA
Answered by: Brigid & Larry Larson

QUESTION:

I have a Lantana plant. When I moved it inside, it was fine. Then I watered it too much. Is it possible to replant( to dryer dirt) in the winter time. Is has been in the 30's here, but inside 68. The leaves are falling off and I watered it again because leaves felt dry. Please help. Thank you, Helen

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants has a good database showing six native Lantana species; these can be reviewed by searching the “Plant Database” using Lantana as a keyword.  Pretty much all of those are native to the southern states [farther South than Virginia!], so I’m guessing your Lantana is likely a commercial cultivar like discussed here. There is a shrub, Viburnum lantanoides (hobblebush), sometimes referred to in retail trade as a Viburnum Lantana, that is native near to your area of VA.  These and several previous answers [which I've included in this discussion] have a good amount of information helpful in differentiating Lantana varieties and their care. 

All this advice can be summarized pretty easily.  All Lantanas are deciduous and drop their leaves in the winter.   The behavior you describe, especially as you brought it indoors kind of late in the season – is typical of a deciduous plant going dormant preparing for the winter [Just like the trees outside!].  Here is another reference discussing Lantanas in the winter.

Dormant plants don’t need much water, nor do inside plants.  Repotting a dormant plant is not a good idea; they don’t have the strength to recover well and it is a very good idea to let it dry out. Checking the leaves to see if the plant is dry is also misleading; the leaves naturally dry out as the plant heads towards dormancy.  Instead, the best method is to check the soil by using the "finger" method. Stick your finger into the soil in the pot. If the soil feels dry, to the depth of about 2-3 inches when you insert your finger in the soil, then it needs watering. Remember however that this is winter time, so let the soil dry out thoroughly before watering. It’ll be fine when it is that dry, but won’t really come back strong until the spring. Always err on the side of the plant being a little dried out, rather than overwatering and drowning the plant.  Here’s a question and reply addressing several plants, including Lantana, as potted plants spending a winter indoors.

 

More Wildflowers Questions

Seeds native to New Jersey from Glendora NJ
April 16, 2012 - My sister is getting married and would like to send out native wildflower seeds to the guests in her save the dates. We want these seeds to be NJ native seeds, but we are actually having some trouble ...
view the full question and answer

Wildflowers blooming in Austin in October
June 10, 2008 - Does the Austin area have any flowers that grow/bloom in October? I'm getting married in Austin in October and want the entire event to be as earth-friendly as possible..hence native flowers.
view the full question and answer

Milkweed Seedlings Source for Austin, Texas
March 18, 2013 - Where can I find seedlings or four inch pots of common milkweed? I have a backyard garden that is mostly filtered sunlight and space for them.
view the full question and answer

More on bluebonnets
April 05, 2007 - I live in Hereford, Texas, near Amarillo. What would be the closest area for us to see fields of bluebonnets and when? Is it Wichita Falls?
view the full question and answer

Growing bluebonnets in pot in Flower Mound TX
November 01, 2011 - We received a package of bluebonnet seeds along with the DVD Wildflowers: Seeds of History as a gift. In the film, Andrea DeLong mentions that bluebonnets did not grow well in a rich organic soil. W...
view the full question and answer

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