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Lantana camara is a very popular container plant thanks to its flowers that change color during the flowering period. The older the plant is, the more imposing and attractive it usually becomes. However, this requires optimal care. Overwintering is an important part of care. Even if the lantana can withstand temperatures of down to minus three degrees, it should not be exposed to frost. Wintering can be light or dark.

Overwinter indoors

Lantana don't overwinter outdoors

Lantana camara originally comes from South America, where mild temperatures prevail all year round. There, this plant never had to adapt to frosty temperatures, so it is very sensitive to cold and not hardy in our latitudes. As a result, it is almost exclusively cultivated in pots or tubs in this country and only rarely as a bedding plant.

Even if this shrub or standard tree tolerates a minimum of minus temperatures, it should be brought indoors before the first frost, ideally as soon as the outside temperature falls below 5 degrees Celsius. If you wait too long, the plant can be damaged very quickly and, in the worst case, even die. If necessary, a slight pruning before wintering can be useful. If it is then overwintered according to its needs, you can enjoy this beautiful plant for the next few years.

Cut before overwintering

Cut back before clearing

  • a pruning makes it easier for the lantana to overwinter
  • it ensures that significantly less space is required over the course of the winter
  • With this easy topiary, first remove all withered flowers
  • further pruning measures depend on the way in which it is overwintered
  • if the winter quarters are bright and cold, shorten all shoots by a third or half
  • if the room is dark, the plant can also be cut back to a hand's width
  • at the same time it should be checked for possible pest infestation
  • If there is an infestation, it should be removed immediately

Tip: As this pretty flowering shrub is highly poisonous, especially the species Lantana camara, it is advisable to wear gloves when doing any pruning.

Winter warm or cold?

There are several ways to get this plant through the winter without major damage. So the lantana can spend the winter in a classic cold house (unheated greenhouse), a garage, a cellar with a window, a weakly heated conservatory, but also in the apartment waiting for spring.

Lantana camara is an evergreen plant, which is why a bright, well-ventilated winter quarters would be ideal. As a rule, however, it loses most of its leaves after it has been cleared, which is due to the changeover, so that the room in question can also be a bit darker. The temperatures should be at least 8 - 10 degrees Celsius and not fall below 5 degrees Celsius. In rather warm rooms, such as the living room, this plant usually does not go into a dormant phase.

With appropriate care, it will also form new flowers in winter and must therefore continue to be watered and fertilized. However, in the warm living room there is a risk that the plants will be attacked by pests, among other things due to insufficient humidity. If you check them regularly for an infestation, you can counteract this very effectively.

care in winter

  • Depending on the housing, Lantana camara can lose some of its foliage in winter
  • this automatically reduces the evaporation surface
  • as a result, significantly less watering is required
  • Basically, the darker and cooler the location is in winter, the less water is poured
  • however, the substrate should never dry out completely
  • if this ornamental plant is overwintered in a cooler and less bright place, it is not fertilized
  • in the warm living room must be watered sufficiently
  • Fertilize monthly in warm rooms, even in winter
  • Remove any flowers and leaves regularly
  • Plants are more susceptible to pest infestation during warm winters
  • If an infestation occurs, eliminate it as soon as possible
  • in this way, spreading and major damage to plants can be avoided

Tip: Lantana camara does not necessarily shed its leaves. If Lantana camara is to be overwintered bright and cool, it is possible that a large part of the leaves will remain on the plant. If this is the case, it can evaporate a relatively large amount of moisture via the remaining leaves. To reduce evaporation, you can cut them back before putting them away and then loosely tie the shoots together.

When to go outside again?

When can you put it out?

If you have brought the lantana well over the winter, it is a matter of getting it fit again for the outdoor stay. Before it can go outside again, it is first placed in a warmer and brighter place from February and slowly watered a little more. This activates the plant's metabolism and stimulates the formation of new shoots. February is also the best time to repot the plant if necessary.

If you didn't cut it back before winter, you can do it now. All dry shoots and leaves are cut off. This is a very good way to prevent the colonization of fungi and plant diseases. When shortening the shoots, you should always cut above a bud or an eye and leave as much of the fresh green on the plant as possible.

In order to optimally prepare this floriferous shrub for moving outdoors, the watering amounts are increased again from around the end of April and a liquid fertilizer is administered at half the concentration. This not only stimulates budding, but also bud formation. From around mid-May, i.e. after the ice saints, the plant can slowly go outside again after a short period of acclimatization. The night temperatures should not fall below five degrees at this time. As long as night frosts are announced, this fascinating plant should only be taken out during the day and brought back in in the evening.

Since the young leaves are still relatively sensitive, they should not be exposed to direct sunlight immediately. It is best to initially place the plant in a sheltered spot so that it can get used to the new conditions. After about two weeks, the attractive sun-worshiper can then move to its final location and soak up the sun again for many hours in order to be able to produce lush flowers again.

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