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

Thursday - October 04, 2012

From: Tampa, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Non-Natives, Shade Tolerant, Shrubs
Title: Lantana failing to bloom from Tampa FL
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I reside in central Florida. I have planted several lantana the orange,red,yellow type. I don't have proper species name. They have been in the ground 3 weeks with 2" of potting soil around root base watering every 2-3 days. 3 hrs of side sun am, 3-4 hrs of side sun in pm mid day mostly shady. What to do - no flowers. Desire not to relocate them.

ANSWER:

Before we answer your question, we are a little puzzled about your remark about 2" of potting soil around roots. Did you mean you have them in a pot with 2" of potting soil, or that you included the potting soil in the hole dug for them? We are sure you mean the soil is in the hole in the ground, because you would know that 2" in a pot would not be enough for a shrub. There is nothing wrong with putting the potting soil in the hole, but it probably won't do much good, either. Compost mixed in with the native soil and put back in the hole as the shrub was being planted would have probably been better, but it doesn't make much difference either way.

We are thinking that what you probably have is one of the many different selections of Lantana camara, which is non-native to North America. From the website Botanical, here is a picture of that plant, sounds like what you have. We know it is widely sold and grown in Florida, and is considered invasive. From the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Control, here is more information.

There is also a lantana native to Texas and Florida that looks similar - Lantana urticoides (Texas lantana), see pictures from our Native Plant Images below. Follow that plant link to our webpage on the plant, where you will learn that it requires full sun, has low water requirements, needs good drainage and can do well in poor soils. We think the telling information there is that it needs full sun, which we consider to be 6 or more hours of direct sun a day. Most flowering plants require quite a bit of sun to bloom well.

However, if the plant has only been in the ground 3 weeks, we predict it will be at least a year before it begins to bloom. We are using the information on the native plant since we have no such information on non-natives. The native lantana blooms from April to October, and all woody plants are susceptible to transplant shock, which means it needs to settle in before it even thinks about flowering. It will  try, because all plants need to propagate themselves. Whether your plant is native or non-native, patience and perhaps access to more sun are the key.

 

From the Image Gallery


Texas lantana
Lantana urticoides

Texas lantana
Lantana urticoides

Texas lantana
Lantana urticoides

More Shade Tolerant Questions

Shady Perennial Groundcover Suggestions for Indiana
April 21, 2013 - Could you please recommend perennial groundcovers for Indiana that are low and leafy, self-spreading, non-invasive, deer resistant, and moisture tolerant; and that are good for erosion control on a sh...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen shrub for part shade in Austin
September 21, 2010 - I am planning a pocket prairie on the north side of my house. Where I am struggling is finding an evergreen shrub that will grow about 6-8', be native and provide semi-privacy in front of a bedroom ...
view the full question and answer

Plants for under live oak in Houston
July 09, 2011 - Hi, We have a live oak in our back garden in Houston and would like to plant a combination of some native shrubs and flowers near it (preferably perennial). The garden bed is about 4 metres from the...
view the full question and answer

Low-growing plants for a slope in the shade
July 08, 2013 - Hello, I'm looking for native plants to put in the shade (within the drip-line) of a well-established American Holly. The area gets deep shade; it is also on a very gentle north-exposure slope. We ...
view the full question and answer

Native turkscap failing to thrive in Shiro TX
March 19, 2013 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, Two years ago I transplanted several native (not cultivars) Drummond's turkscaps in the proximity of water oaks in the front yard. All get shade and some sun. They seemed to ...
view the full question and answer

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