Why is My Lantana Not Blooming? (The Solution)

Why is my lantana not blooming

The reason for lantana not blooming is usually because of it is planted in too much shade, there is too much moisture around the roots or because of too much fertilizer that promotes foliage growth at the expense of the lantana’s flowers.

Lantana are native to climates with warm temperatures, full sun, infrequent rainfall, and well draining soil.

To ensure lantana displays flowers it is important to replicate some of the conditions of the lantana’s native environment.

Keep reading to learn why your lantana is not flowering and how implement the solutions so it blooms…

Lantana Requires Some Stress to Flower

Lantana is a rugged flowering plant that is native to dry tropical regions in Africa and the Americas where it thrives in scrubby environments with full sun, infrequent rainfall and well draining soil with relatively low fertility.

Lantana is specifically adapted to growing and flowering in these harsh conditions and thrive on neglect.

Therefore to incentivize lantana to flower you should recreate these conditions as much as possible in your garden rather then give them too much care and attention.

Lantana actually require some stress to flower so if they are over watered, in consistently moist soil and have regular applications of fertilizer then this tends to result in a lantana with foliage but without flowers.

  • Lantana prefer scrub conditions and grow in soils with relatively low fertility so avoid using any fertilizer to promote flowers.
  • Scale back the watering. Lantana that are establish most often do not require any additional watering and attain all the moisture they require from rainfall as they prefer the soil slightly on the dry side.

The only occasions lantana should be watered are in times of extended drought, when planted in pots or whilst they are establishing after planting.

Only water pots around once per week at most as pots can dry out if they are in full sun due to the limited capacity for soil to hold moisture.

Water early in the morning to avoid damp soil overnight and always water at the base of the plant and not overhead to prevent leaf fungus.

With less frequent watering and scaling back fertilizer you can emulate the conditions which stimulate lantana to flower in their native habitat in your garden.

Not Enough Sunlight to Flower

Lantana flower to their full potential when in the most amount of sun possible with more abundant flowers and more pronounced fragrance.

The less direct sun your lantana receives the less flowers that will be on display in Summer

Lantana are native to the sunny conditions of Africa and the Americas in ‘Mediterranean’ climates where they are at the healthiest and flower the most in full sun.

The less sunshine there is the less energy the lantana has to produce flowers. Lantana requires 6 or more hours of sun to flower during the Spring and Summer months but more sun is even better.

If lantana has significantly less then 6 hours of sun per day the the plant is under stress and won’t flower and also be more vulnerable to pests and diseases.

Cut back any vegetation that may be casting shade on your lantana and depriving it of light or plant lantana on a pot so that you can move it to a sunny area such as a patio to promote flowering.

Bad Weather Prevents Lantana Blooming

The success of your lantana displaying the most flowers possible is dependent on the weather and can fluctuate significantly from year to year due to its sensitivity to certain conditions such as excess moisture, soil fertility, and hours of sunshine.

Therefore expect some naturally variability in the amount your lantana flowers from year to year.

If your lantana has not flower well this year then this may be a reaction to:

  • Too many overcast days in Spring or Summer depriving the lantana of the hours of sun it requires for flowering.
  • Weeks of rainfall which may not be typical to your climate have created moist conditions that are at odds with lantana preferred relatively dry habitat.
  • Lantana flower more in hot weather. If the temperature is unseasonably cool then this can have an impact on flowering.

The seasonal variability that affect the flowering of lantana that is difficult to mitigate against, which is true of all types of garden plants but that affect is more evident in the flowering of lantana due to it requirements for quite specific conditions of sun, heat, and relatively dry conditions.

Lantana in Pots Not Blooming

There are several reasons why a lantana may not be flowering (sunlight, over watering etc.) but there are some factors that pertain specifically to growing lantana in pots and containers that may prevent flowering.

If your potted lantana is not flowering then this usually because:

  • The pot or container is too small, so there is less soil and therefore less nutrients and capacity to hold water.
  • The pot or container does not have drainage holes in the base which results in saturated soil and a water stressed lantana that does not flower.

Lantanas do grow well in pots because of the favorable drainage conditions, however, small pots have less soil and dry out quickly as lantana require full sun and warm temperatures to flower.

Excessive drought stress from being in a small pot can potentially prevent flowering.

The solution is to transplant your lantana to water your lantana more frequently to account for the increased evaporation or, if there are any visible signs of the roots becoming pot bound you should transfer it to a larger pot.

Lanatans are not heavy feeders and prefer to lower fertility to stimulate flowering but they can exhaust the nutrients in the soil if they are kept in the same pot for many years.

A larger pot with new compost and perhaps some horticultural grit if you live in a humid or rainy climates should provide a good balance of nutrients whilst also retaining the well draining soil characteristics that lantana require to flower.

Watering lantana in pots with a generous soak once per week is enough to prevent any drought stress even in hot weather to ensure a good display of flowers.

Do not water if there has been significant rainfall in the week as damp soil is more likely to harm flowering then drought.

Always plant lantana in pots with drainage holes in the base to allow excess water to escape.

Some decorative pots do not have drainage holes in the base which causes water to pool around the roots and increases the risk of root rot which prevents flowering and can cause the plant to die back.

Lantana Not Flowering After Planting (Transplant Shock)

Lantana plants sometimes do not flower after planting because:

  • The contrast in conditions from where the lantana was cultivated to your garden. Conditions such as hours of direct sun, temperature, soil moisture and soil fertility all have a direct impact on how much a lantana flowers. If the lantana has been cultivated in somewhat different conditions to your garden (more light, warmer temperatures etc.) then it can take time for the lantana to adjust and acclimatize to the differing conditions in your garden. This period of adjustment caused by transplant shock can temporarily prevent flowering, however the lantana can flower once it has adjusted as long as it has enough light, soil conditions and your follow the best practices of care for lantana.
  • The roots require time to establish in the soil. Lantanas are drought resistant once established but vulnerable to drought after planting particularly if they are planted during the hot Summer rather then the cooler Spring. Ideally plant lantana in Spring and water frequently so that the soil is moist (but not boggy) for the first month at which point the roots should begin to establish and you can scale back the watering to periods of drought.

As long as you try to mimic the conditions of the lantanas native environment with full sun, well draining soil, infrequent watering and avoid applying fertilizer then the lantana should adjust to its new conditions and start flowering in the Summer.

Slow Draining Soils Prevents Lantana from Flowering

Lantanas are native to scrubby areas of Africa and the Americas where they grow in relatively low fertility and sometimes quite sandy soil that drains quickly.

If lantanas are grown in boggy soils or heavy clay then this recreates the same affects as over watering with too much water around the roots of your lantana causing stress which prevents flowering and even promotes fungal disease such as root rot.

If your garden has slow draining soil then it is better to grow lantana in pots, containers or raised beds for their favorable drainage characteristics.

It is also far easier to customize the soil profile to suit lantana rather then try to amend your slow draining garden soil.

When planting lantana in pots or garden boarders, amended the soil with lots of compost as this holds some moisture but has a well draining structure that allows excess water to drain away.

Add some horticultural grit, sand or perlite to further improve drainage and to replicate the soil conditions of the lantanas native range, aiming for around 2 parts compost and 1 part grit.

Well draining soil that is similar to the soil in which they grow naturally and gives lantana the best prospect of flowering in the Summer.

Lantanas not Flowering when the Berries are Set

Lantana may not flower if the berries are already set as there is less of an incentive. The berries indicate the plant has already been pollinated hence there is less purpose for the plant to produce flowers.

So if you are looking to buy a lantana for a nursery or garden center avoid any plants that already have berries as these are less likely to display flowers.

Regularly deadheading a lantana is key to increasing the longevity of the flowering period so as soon as the flowers are looking past their best snip them off to stimulate more flowering.

Deadheading redirects the energy of the plant to producing more flowers rather then seeds.

Lantana Lace Bug Impacts Flowering

The lantana lace bug is a pest that feeds on the sap of leaves and flower buds and causes white marks on the leaves which can then fall off. This affects the plants ability to display flowers and is detrimental to the plants overall health.

If you notice white marks on your leaves and evidence of insects then the best course of action is to spray the leaves with an insecticidal soap that is often derived from neem oil.

This soap is then sprayed onto the leaves and kills the lace bugs but is non toxic and should not harm other wildlife other then pests.

Insecticidal soap is available at garden centers and on Amazon for a reasonable price.

Once your lantana has been treated it has more chance of flowering, However an infestation can really impact flowering for the Summer.

Key Takeaways:

  • The reasons for a lantana not flowering is because of a lack of sun, over watering, too much fertilizer or because of lantana lace bug which can stop flowering.
  • Lantana require full sun, well draing soils and warm weather to flower. Lantana flower more in hotter and dryer years.
  • Transplant shock can prevent lantana from flowering. Replicate the conditions of the lantana home range for transplant shock and promote flowering.
  • Regular deadheading can promote more lantana flowering throughout the Summer.

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