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
2 ratings

Tuesday - February 12, 2013

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Pruning, Shrubs
Title: Winter pruning of lantana from Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I live in north Austin. Due to our mild winter, my lantana has not died off this season as it usually does after a freeze - and so I have not cut it back yet this year which I typically do about right now. As a matter of fact, it is blooming nicely due to the January rains - and the butterflies are loving it. Is it ok not to cut it back this year? Will it get too scraggly?

ANSWER:

From a previous Smarty Plants answer:

The lantana native to Texas is Lantana urticoides (Texas lantana). Some of the non-natives and hybrids that are more tropical in nature might not be so forgiving of cold weather, but we think pruning suggestions should be about the same for both.

From The Georgia Gardener, here is an article on pruning lantana. Although Austin is marginal, you should probably not be too worried about your plants freezing back and dying; in fact, they should be semi-evergreen with long periods of bloom. However, we always liked to prune them down to about 6 inches from the ground when they got scraggly in mid-winter. If they are not scraggly, and the butterflies are enjoying them, we would say let them be. Even during the summer, you may find it advisable to prune them back lightly if they try to take over your garden and get too big.

 

From the Image Gallery


Texas lantana
Lantana urticoides

Texas lantana
Lantana urticoides

Texas lantana
Lantana urticoides

More Shrubs Questions

Need some help with my Mexican Bush Sage in Rockport, TX.
July 07, 2011 - My Mexican bush sage looks leggy,ratty and sparse. It's planted in full sun and was cut back to the ground in early spring. My soil is sand and I've watered it sparingly as we've had no rain. I'm...
view the full question and answer

Looking for shrubs to plant in Southern Illinois.
July 03, 2013 - Hi. I am in Southern Illinois. I'm needing small shrubs for a south facing area. It's a 14ft. long by 2ft. wide area. Although it's facing south, it's not real sunny. A huge tree and swing is...
view the full question and answer

Need suggestions for cold resistant, hardy hedge plant in Jonathan, NC.
June 28, 2011 - I'm looking for a Full sun, cold resistant, hardy, non-invasive plant to be used for a property line hedge for North Carolina. Preferably NOT slow growing. What can you suggest?
view the full question and answer

Native perennials for Ft. Worth TX
March 17, 2013 - Mr. Smarty Pants, I have two large planters around the back side of my saltwater pool where there is no decking. (sloped landscape) 8'long x 3' wide. I need low growing perennial plants that will ...
view the full question and answer

Opinion of 5 best native garden plants in Oklahoma from Burneyville OK
September 07, 2013 - What would you say are the 3 to 5 BEST native garden plants for south central Oklahoma?
view the full question and answer

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