Do you enjoy butterflies?
(American Painted Lady)
I certainly do. Especially when I see them fluttering around my garden. Usually I see them feeding from the flowers on my Lantana.
I must confess that Lantana is one of my favorite plants.
Lantana are one of the most colorful plants in the garden. Each ‘flower’ is actually made up of florets. Depending on the Lantana variety, the florets are all the same color, or can be different like the ‘Desert Sunset’ Lantana above.
(This Swallowtail is enjoying feasting on the flowers of this Bush Lantana variety ‘Confetti’)
Butterflies of all kinds seem to share my affinity for Lantana as well. Giant Swallowtail, Monarch, Pipevine, Swallowtail, Queen, Red-Spotted Purple, Zebra Longwing, Spicebush Swallowtail, Julia Heliconian, Checkered White, Cloudless Sulfur, Gulf Fritillary, Great Southern White and many more are attracted to Lantana.
What I love about Lantana is that by adding it to my garden, I not only add beauty – I attract butterflies as well.
Lantana comes in many different colors….yellow, purple, white, red as well as multi-hued varieties. There are two main forms of Lantana – bush and trailing. The bush varieties can reach an average size of 3 – 6 ft high and widel while the trailing varieties reach 2 ft. tall.
I have Gold Trailing Lantana along both sides of my front entry way. (I realize it is a bit overgrown
The colorful flowers of my Radiation Lantana ‘Desert Sunset’ make it a huge favorite.
Lantana are incredibly easy to grow. They aren’t fussy, need minimal fertilizer and pruning once or twice a year. Lantana grow in most zones, but are frost-tender, tropical plants. In zones 9 through 11, Lantana can be grown outdoors all year. Any frost damage they suffer if simply pruned away in spring.
But for those of you who live in colder zones – you can plant and enjoy Lantana too!
All Lantana, like the Purple Trailing variety above, do great when treated as annuals in colder climates. Simply plant in spring, once the threat of frost has passed. The Lantana will grow quickly.
Another option for growing Lantana in colder zones is to overwinter them indoors in a warm, sunny spot.
(The bright orange Julia Heliconian butterflies gather around the Lantana the Desert Botanical Butterfly Pavilion.)
Bush Lantana species (Lantana camara species) as well as Trailing Lantana (Lantana montevidensis) look great when planted in the ground. But, they can also make fabulous container plants, which is nice when you are growing them annuals.
So, if you want to add a beautiful plant to your garden and enjoy the butterflies that they will attract, plant some Lantana for yourself!
**Learn more about other types of plants that attract butterflies and how to grow them in containers in this great article “Small Space Butterfly Gardens”.