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
1 rating

Tuesday - February 12, 2013

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


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?


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 Pruning Questions

Should black-eyed susan (Rudbeckia hirta) plants be cut back
May 02, 2007 - I have black-eyed susan plants that were beautiful last year and flowered for a long time. Do they need to be cut back and if so, how much?
view the full question and answer

Pruning Spruce Pine (Prunus glabra)
September 02, 2015 - I have a Pinus glabra/spruce pine that is approx. 7' tall. It's limbs are few and some have been broken. Will trimming back the longer limbs to give it a Christmas shape harm this tree?
view the full question and answer

Care for lantana in Katy TX
December 04, 2010 - Hello. I live in Katy TX and have a number of Lantana shrubs. How and when should they be cut back?
view the full question and answer

Pruning Saucer Magnolia in Eatontown, NJ.
January 12, 2013 - Adult Saucer Magnolia (tulip tree). Branches were getting heavy to where they were ready to break. I pruned them back leaving 1 to 3 inch diameter cuts on many branches. Should I put something on th...
view the full question and answer

Trimming back Agave havardiana
June 05, 2008 - Hi.. thanks for all the great information on Agaves. We have a number of Agave Havardiana (blue) that love where we planted them. Several have gotten HUGE. So much so that they are starting to ge...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center