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Lantana camara is one of the most popular tub plants. Due to the lack of winter hardiness, it is rarely found as a bedding plant and is mainly kept in pots. This plant is very sensitive to frost and should therefore be brought indoors in good time to ensure a frost-free winter. The respective wintering room is just as important as the right care in winter. The requirements for care differ slightly depending on the accommodation.
Lantana is not hardy
Given its original home in the tropical and subtropical regions of Africa and South America, where a mild climate prevails all year round, Lantana camara is not hardy enough in our latitudes to be planted in the garden or to be kept outdoors permanently. If the temperatures fall below 5 degrees Celsius at night, this can really affect this plant. Therefore, they should not stay outside for too long and in any case move to their winter quarters before the first frosts.
Prepare to hibernate
Prepare for wintering
The hibernation period begins around mid/late October, provided the nights are still frost-free up to that point. Precautions must now be taken to ensure that this ornamental tree survives the winter without major damage.
- before clearing, a slight pruning is recommended
- cut off everything withered and faded
- in addition, shorten the shoots that grew in summer by about half
- Cut back the crown of tall stems so that it forms a compact ball
- so it takes up much less space
- it also evaporates less moisture due to the lower leaf mass
Depending on whether the plant winters warmly or coolly, it often loses a large part of its leaves anyway and can sometimes even become completely bare. But that doesn't matter at all, because if the conditions during the winter are appropriate, it will reliably sprout again in the spring. Don't forget gloves when cutting, because this plant is highly poisonous.
Since Lantana camara can hibernate both cold and warm, a classic cold house (unheated greenhouse), a bright basement, a barely heated conservatory, but also the living room are suitable places to hibernate. However, the lantana does not really hibernate in warm quarters.
It continues to thrive and is now producing new flowers. However, the plants are then much more susceptible to pests. Another disadvantage of this type of hibernation is the formation of so-called Geiltriebe, which often form. These are very long, thin and weak shoots that do not produce flowers. They should be removed as regularly as possible.
A bright, airy and, above all, cool quarters is always preferable to a warm living room, provided you have the choice. Bright means that the room, such as a basement, has a window or other source of daylight, or at least one bright light source. If the plant has already lost most of its leaves, it can easily be darker. The temperatures should be around 10 degrees and should not exceed 20 degrees in the living room. Strong temperature fluctuations should be avoided. If the living room is the only alternative, maintenance is a bit more complex than, for example, in a cold house.
care in winter
- the requirements for care depend on the respective location
- if the plant is cold and has hardly any leaves left, care is limited to watering
- it is watered only occasionally and sparingly
- regardless of whether the winter is warm or cold, the substrate should never dry out completely
- it is best to water as soon as the top layer of substrate has dried a few centimeters deep
- water more frequently in warm, heated rooms
- Fertilize once a month in warm quarters, even in winter
- Apply fertilizer only in half concentration
In the warm living room, the plants should be checked regularly for pest infestation and this should be removed immediately.
Prepare for the outdoor season
From February, Lantana camara will slowly be prepared again for the outdoor season. First you make it warmer and pour a little more again. The later you take it out of hibernation, the later the first flowers appear. Now is also the best time for a grooming cut, which can also be a little stronger.
It serves to achieve or maintain a harmonious shape. To do this, cut off dead, crossing, transverse and protruding shoots. In addition, all remaining shoots are cut back by a third or half. Without this cut in the spring, the formation of flowers decreases relatively quickly.
Around the end of April, the watering amounts are increased again and fertilized with a liquid fertilizer for the first time, again at half the concentration. This should activate the metabolism of the plant and stimulate it to sprout again and form buds. The winter break for the lantana ends in early or mid-April in most regions of Germany. In particularly cold locations, this point in time may be somewhat delayed, so that the hibernation period lasts until May.
When you can finally put the lantana outside again depends on the weather conditions. This is usually the case from mid or late May. Daytime temperatures should not drop below 5 - 10 degrees at night and should range between 15 and 20 degrees during the day. Now Lantana camara can slowly get used to the changed conditions again, because the young leaves are still very sensitive to direct sunlight.
Consequently, they are first placed in a sheltered place for 1-2 weeks and only then in their final location. Even if this plant has certain demands when it comes to overwintering, it is worth every effort and thanks you year after year with strong growth and colorful flowers.