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

Sunday - October 05, 2008

From: Monroe, NY
Region: Northeast
Topic: Pruning, Shrubs
Title: Preservation of a Lantana Tree in New York
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have a Lantana Tree that grew beautiful over the summer, now Winter is coming and I don't know what to do with this tree, I live in Monroe, New York. Could you please help me out. Thank you.

ANSWER:

Before we get into the discussion of an actual Lantana Tree, we want you to know that there is a shrub, Viburnum lantanoides (hobblebush), that is sometimes referred to in retail trade as a Viburnum Lantana. We don't think this is what you have, but take a look at the picture when you follow the plant link above, and see. If that is what you have, it is native to New York, and will survive just fine outside this winter. It may die back a little, but can be pruned and refreshed in the Spring.

However, we're thinking you actually purchased something called a Lantana Tree. Here is a picture we found when we Googled "Lantana Tree". This is probably a cultivar or selection of the native Lantana urticoides (West Indian shrubverbena) which has been pruned and trained, in greenhouses, up into a tree form. There are many hybridized types of lantana and some non-native, although this one is native to North America. All of them, however, are tropical to sub-tropical in nature. In Texas, in all but the southern part of the state, its branches will die back in the winter and emerge again in the spring. You could, of course, try to get your lantana into a pot, and move it into the house, or the greenhouse, if you have one. We would warn you that it attracts whiteflies, which you really don't want indoors or in a greenhouse. We also want to mention that the berries of the lantana are extremely poisonous, and should not be where a child or pet might graze on them. If you don't want to go the moving indoors route, you could let it sit out there for the winter, trim it back in the spring, and see if it re-emerges. We would be surprised if it did, but it's a tough, native plant and maybe it can take the cold in New York. 


Lantana urticoides

Lantana urticoides

Lantana urticoides

Lantana urticoides

 

 

 

More Pruning Questions

Freeze damage on perennials in Austin
December 10, 2009 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, The recent hard freeze in Austin really took a toll on the plants I put in the ground in early October. The leaves of my salvia, lantana and esperanza are completely black! ...
view the full question and answer

Replacing non-native boxwood in Austin
October 03, 2011 - I have a large maze garden, possibly boxwood, originally planted in the 1950's, in Austin, Texas. About 1/3 of it has died out, probably due to drought, heat and age. Should I attempt to replant ju...
view the full question and answer

Flowers for days on end in California
March 30, 2012 - What are some plants or flowers that I can grow "all-year" in California?
view the full question and answer

Transplanting and Pruning Callicarpa
August 21, 2014 - I saw the previous question about Callicarpa from the guy in Texas and I have two questions based on the response. In SW Vermont, is late fall still the best time to transplant my Callicarpas? Also, i...
view the full question and answer

Blackfoot daisy declining in Austin
September 04, 2010 - My Blackfoot Daisies have grown large, bushy, have bloomed well over the past two summers. Now parts of the plants are drying up, dying. Will pruning out the dead parts help the plants to survive, or ...
view the full question and answer

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