Something Too Luscious To Keep Quiet

To you from my gardens of 2008

There is surely never a more transfixed time in the garden than when viewing a Monarch butterfly dining on your flowers~~~~~flowergardengirl

Luscious™ Citrus Blend™
Lantana camara
Lantana

By far , the annual that caused the most activity in the garden this year was the Luscious Citrus Blend Lantana. It grew at least 6 feet tall and wide and was covered in flaming orange, yellow, and red blooms all summer long. Lantana likes the heat and will start off a little slow in the garden during the chillier days. It does not like the cold and will be killed by any frost.

The photos in this post today are not any particular day in the garden but rather every day in the garden while this plant was thriving. Luscious Citrus Blend doesn’t have a bad day. She is delightful and happy no matter your mood. No dead heading is needed. No cutting back will be required unless you don’t want a plant covered in blooms spreading out to 6 feet or more. If that is a problem, the you will need to cut it back as needed.

When summer was at its peak and all the other annuals and perennials were going gung ho, Citrus Blend still stole the show. She attracted the butterflies by the 100s and hummingbirds hung around constantly. The Proven Winners site says you can put these in hanging baskets and I may just try that next year. The roots on this plant were huge! That hanging basket will have to be quite deep for the need of those roots or you’ll be standing over it with a watering can all day. It did take the drought and heat we experienced all summer. The leaves will droop when it gets thirsty.

The cooler days of early summer, Luscious Citrus Blend had more yellows. Autumn brought on the deep reds and by the end of the season, they were almost a deep purple red.

b9

Above are the very last blooms of the season. This remained only because it was protected. Look how deep the color turned and how very green the leaves are showing. What a delight it was to grow this plant. You felt as though it grew in your garden to give you honor and enjoyment. It appreciated everything you did for it but required nothing. It lived a full life giving all it had for the blooms. I cried when this last bloom was gone. I let it know how very much I appreciated its efforts.

Look for Luscious Citrus Blend Lantana spring 2009 in a Proven Winners nursery near you.

 

Growing Tips
According to the Humane Society of America Lantana leaves can be toxic to pets. This is means that the plants are generally identified as having the capability for producing a toxic reaction.

Lantana seed set varies considerably. If you see a lot of berries developing you may want to deadhead the plants to help with continuous blooming. If there is low berry set, deadheading shouldn’t be necessary for continuous bloom. Some varieties are self-cleaning.

Exposure
Full sun

Height
24-36″

Spacing
20-30″

Hardy Temp
25°F (-4°C)

Uses
Use in combinations, window boxes and landscapes

Features
Brilliant tones of red, orange and yellow produce a vibrant display of color; heat and drought tolerant with a light, sweet fragrance

Awards Won
2007 – Outstanding Performer
-Texas A & M – East Texas Bedding Plant Trial
2007 – Top 10
-North Carolina State
2007 – Leader of the Pack Summer
-North Carolina State
2007 – Leader of the Pack Early Season
-North Carolina State
2007 – Leader of the Pack Late Season
-North Carolina State
2007 – Top Performer
-Smithsonian Institution
2007 – Bronze Medal
-University of Illinois-Champaign County Master Gardeners
2006 – Gardeners Choice
-Smithsonian Institution
2006 – Best Varieties
-University of Maine
2006 – Excellent Rating

-Longwood Gardens

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10 comments on “Something Too Luscious To Keep Quiet

  1. Tina–you said you would be coming back this way again and I wanted to answer two of your questions.

    Yes, this lantana will be offered in Spring 2009.

    http://alphainventions.com/ is a social networking site. They offer blogs in real time. You can view them in your browser screen. Someone submitted my blog and it updates automatically or more often if the weblog creator is at his desk and gets interested in your blog. I would say that some of the material is for mature audiences and it can be a bit religious in nature. I don’t know how I got on there initially as I suppose someone liked my blog and submitted it.

    I hope that answer helps.

  2. Anna,

    That shot is beautiful! I’ve grown Lantana before, but it was years ago- and not that variety. I think it is going to have to go onto my ‘gotta get’ list this year.
    OH yes, put it on your gotta have list!

  3. The butterflies sure do love the lantanas at the nursery Anna! Even though they aren’t hardy here they’re so worth planting as annuals. Wish I had enough sun for them here!
    Yes, but you can have all those nice shady plants that fry around here. I do love the punch of lantanas and some varieties are on the invasive list. But they die back here so no problem. They are worth the money if you can swing a good sunny spot for them.

  4. Anna, I have never grown lantana but always wanted to. I will look out for a plant or two or… next year but they are not often available here. I don’t think they get very big because our summers are not as hot as yours. I have seen these in Meems garden and really, really want one!

    Best wishes Sylvia (England)
    They do love the heat and I can see where they might not grow as well in your neck of the woods. I was going over to see your guest post today but the wind keeps interrupting our cable service. If I can stay onliine long enough, I’ll surely go over there. I didn’t forget. We’ve had bad storms for quite awhile….like days and it made the ground saturated. When the winds came along….whoosh…down went the trees. Lots of them.

  5. I loved my Lantana but I planted it too late so mine did not grow to 6 feet. Next year it will be one of the first once it is safe, I loved it!
    Kathi, I responded to you and the whole reply disappeared off the face of the earth. Not just that…but this one on the lantana disappeared first, then reappeared, now the long one is gone about your loving the Spanish moss so much. So I did get that reply and it might reappear. I’m not nuts if it does.

  6. Beautiful!

    If I can just get a guarantee that this lantana won’t grow to 5×5 like most lantanas that I seem to bring home! :-)

    Great for the butterfly garden.

    On January 27th on PBS at 8:00PM there is to be a special on the Monarch Migration.

    Cameron
    Yah Cameron and that sounds good, I’ll be watching for the special. I love public TV. I am just nuts about the Queen Family who sings the bluegrass songs. I bet you know them since your hubby knows that music.

    I can’t guarantee that this lantana won’t get big. It got pretty big in my garden but not so tall…just really wide.

  7. Loved your photo of the monarch at the lantana. That’s a popular plant in Florida, too, and so many varieties now from which to choose.
    Just wanted to sow the word (sorry, lame pun, couldn’t resist) about an organization that’s trying to get monarch larval plants – milkweed — planted all over. A milkweed in every garden is the goal.
    So many people don’t like the larval plants because when the caterpillars eat ‘em up, they’re not so pretty. Just plant them behind a more attractive bush and the ugly factor disappears. They do grow right back, the flowers are pretty, and they guarantee you’ll have monarchs galore in your garden. I know, I have milkweed and monarchs.
    To get free seeds, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to Live Monarch Foundation – Seeds
    3003-C8 Yamato Road #1015
    Boca Raton, Florida 33434
    (They’d like a $2 donation, too, but not required. I don’t personally know this organization, but the web site, livemonarch.org, says it’s a registered non-profit.)

    So sorry Penny, this got stuck in my Spam box. Your information is important and I’m glad I caught it in time. What a great idea about the seeds!

  8. I grew lantana as a perennial shrub in Alabama. Mine got huge! I grow it as an annual here and as an experiment I covered three of them with a black container just to see if by chance they might come back.
    I hope it comes back for ya. I have had some success with that and the black plastic would get hot enough to keep the ground warm. I bet it did grow big in Alabama. There are a lot of different varieties for us to choose from.

  9. Hi Anna, the lantanas do not return here, but are readily available as annuals. The easy care and colorful blooms, not to mention the fact that they are butterfly magnets are more than enough reason to grow them. I will look for this variety too, thanks!
    Frances
    The Muhly grass queen stopped by….whoo hoo! Got to get some. I covet your Muhly. This is a pretty wide plant even though the tag says less. I guess you could say I gave it the best environment it can possibly grow in so it grew! At least 6 feet wide I would say.

  10. I wish we could grow Lantana year round here. I had it in my flower boxes on our front porch railing last summer and the hummingbirds loved it just as this beautiful female Monarch butterfly is enjoying yours.
    It was a Monarch and Swallowtail babe magnet;) Sometimes, I can get a lantana to hang around. I have to cut it back and cover it with a old pot plus some mulch. I think it would have worked this year since the winter is mild so far….cross my fingers. There is a lavender lantana that is hardy to zone 7 but it didn’t come back for me. I

    No matter if it does or doesn’t—-I’m getting again. Well worth the $4.50 I spent on it.

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