Lantana urticoides (lan-TAN-a ur-tih-KOY-deez) is a plant member of the Verbena (Verbenaceae) household.
It has many names, and chances are you’ll hear it known as:
- Lantana horrida var. latibracteata
- Lantana urticoides var. hispidula
- Lantana hispida
- Lantana horrida
- Lantana scorta
- Lantana notha
The vegetation’ frequent names are Texas Lantana or Calico Bush. Though most members of this plant household are tropical, Calico Bush is a Texas native. It additionally grows wild in Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, Arizona, and Mexico.
This perennial, compact (2’ to six’ toes excessive and broad) spreading shrub grows naturally in woodlands and brushy areas. Nevertheless, this extremely adaptable plant can develop fortunately alongside roadsides, gravelly settings, open fields, thickets, and swamps.
Texas Lantana’s squarish stems and twigs are coated with flaky grayish-brown bark. Older vegetation develop thorns.
The vegetation’ leaves and younger stems are fragrant and a bit furry, and like its a number of verbena cousins, this plant produces plentiful aromatic clusters of tiny flowers in shades of yellow, orange, and purple.
The bloom time is mid-spring by mid-autumn. Blooms transition into clusters of darkish bluish-black berries within the fall.
How Do You Develop Lantana Urticoides?
Texas Lantana is simple to develop, and in contrast to a lot of its family members, it doesn’t pose a menace by way of invasive conduct.
This rugged, cheery plant thrives in all kinds of soil varieties however prefers gravelly, sandy, poor soil.
Because of this, it is a wonderful selection for areas in danger for erosion. It may also be used as a border plant, a focus in a pollinator backyard, a container plant, and rather more.
Refer to those 5 ideas when rising Lantana urticoides:
1. Present Tons Of Heat And Solar.
The calico plant is winter hardy in USDA hardiness zones 8 and above. It grows enthusiastically in shiny, scorching, full solar or gentle shade.
The plant grows effectively all 12 months spherical in desert and tropical areas that by no means freeze. Nevertheless, it dies within the winter and fortunately returns within the springtime in settings with cooler winters.
2. Encourage Progress And Blooms With Good Pruning.
It’s a good suggestion to assist the plant by chopping the branches again after the primary frost. You may additionally want to prune periodically all through the rising season to manage dimension and development, present form and encourage blooms.
Flowers type on new wooden. The blooms are very engaging to butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds and supply a supply of nectar.
Put on gloves when dealing with and pruning this plant as a result of its sap could cause a pores and skin rash. Wash up completely after you end pruning.
Pruning and deadheading will even assist stop flowers from transitioning into berries. Though the berries of this plant are edible to birds, they’re poisonous to different wildlife, pets, livestock, and youngsters (as are the vegetation’ leaves and stems.)
Stopping berry formation can scale back the danger of unintended poisoning and unintentional unfold of the plant. Birds are likely to distribute the berries extensively.
Though birds and pollinators are drawn to this plant, deer, rabbits, and different potential backyard nibblers dislike it. Sadly, it additionally tends to repel backyard insect pests.
3. Water As A Wildflower.
This plant has minimal water necessities and can do effectively when watered deeply after which left to its personal gadgets till the soil is almost dry.
4. Present Wonderful Drainage.
Whether or not you plant your Calico Bushes in containers, raised beds, or immediately into the panorama, be certain the soil is gentle and well-draining. Containers ought to have ample drainage holes.
5. Feed Sparingly Or Not At All.
These vegetation do splendidly in poor soil, so fertilizing is just not mandatory. If you put together your soil earlier than planting, amend it with natural matter, corresponding to compost. Add some wonderful gravel or coarse sand for drainage.
In areas with chilly winter temperatures, present a layer of mulch or unfinished compost while you prune the plant for winter. This may shield the plant’s roots and supply nourishment because it breaks down by the winter and springtime.
Propagation Of Texas Lantana Is Straightforward
This plant spreads by itself by merely producing and dropping seeds. Nevertheless, as talked about, birds distribute seeds far and broad.
In the event you want to go to the difficulty, you’ll be able to permit the plant to go to seed, collect the seeds, dry them and save them to plant; nonetheless, propagation by division is less complicated and gives higher management.
To propagate Lantana urticoides by division:
- Wait till after you could have carried out your fall pruning.
- Divide and relocate giant clumps right now.
- Give your new transplants a mulch overlaying to guard them by the winter.