LANTANA CAMARA . THAT BUSH THAT YOU HAVE SEEN SO MANY TIMES AND DID NOT KNOW WHAT IT WAS
Today in Gardenprue we are going to talk about a bushy plant that we have sincerely learned of its name rather recently. We have seen it thousands of times but we have never noticed it until today. The floral grouping is very distinctive and is found in many places such as public gardens, green walls etc. Let’s discover the two faces of Lantana camara or Spanish flag.
GOOD RESISTANCE AND GOOD ORNAMENTAL
Surely, you have noticed more than one and more than two times in this bush. The main reason is because it has been widely used in gardens, medians, hedges, green walls on farm boundaries … Its main reason is not just one, there are several. Resistant to suffocating heat, possibility of placing it in coastal environments without problems of salinity of the soil or the environment, it is hardly affected by diseases or pests .
But let’s not just talk about its physiological virtues. The fact is that it also has ornamental virtues. It is the most striking thing about the plant. Its flowering in umbel with small flowers of varied colors. Initially it has been called the Spanish flag or Spanish flag because of the red and yellow colors arranged representing said common name. Today, apart from red and yellow, there are hybrids to bore with dozens of color ranges to choose from.
BEAUTIFUL AND RESISTANT, BUT BE CAREFUL … LANTANA CAMARA IS INVASIVE
It is very possible that this resistance to pests and diseases, its rusticity in terms of soil and resistance to heat, have made Lantana camara a plant that turns out to be invasive . If you remember the list of invasive species in Spain, you will not find it within the category. We have a climate in a large part of the peninsula that limits its development, basically due to climate. It is more tropical although it could adapt without too much difficulty to temperate climates, as long as the winters are mild.
However, it does not take much googling to realize that it is a real problem in other countries and may even make other native species disappear . Therefore, we must see very well, before deciding to plant anything, if this plant can be invasive in our territory. At the moment in Spain it is not considered as you can see in the following link
BESIDES BEING INVASIVE, IT IS TOXIC.
Not everything could be good. Lantana camara berries have some toxicity and many birds are affected. This is one of those articles in which one begins thinking: “Look how good, a plant with easy care, bushy, leafy, fast growing, without soil requirements and also with a very striking flowering….” and we end up realizing a couple of buts that will make us doubt whether to include it in our garden.
In any case, before you bury this option, we will tell you a little more in detail what this plant needs, although it is not too much.
CLIMATE AND EXPOSURE
Coming from tropical and subtropical climates, we can already get an idea of the basic growing conditions. It is a frost sensitive plant that prefers hot climates with mild winters. It can withstand temperate climates but frosts are its weak point so that will be our reference when it comes to locating the plant according to the climate. What’s more, it is able to withstand intense heat, not to say extreme (that would be saying a lot) and close to the coast.
SUBSTRATE AND SUBSCRIBER
As we have commented at the beginning of the post, the fame of this plant has been given by several factors, including its ability to withstand all types of soil . It grows on nutrient-poor rocky ground where other plants would succumb in a matter of days. The fact of putting fertilizer in the title is a mere tagline because it will not need a dose of fertilizer at all in this wonderful plant.
IRRIGATION AND PRUNING
It will be the only limiting factor although we should not go overboard either. A moderate watering, sinning more by default than by excess, will be more than enough to keep Lantana camara in good condition.
By seed or by cutting. Although the seed is always a respectable option, if we only want to reproduce the same plant, cutting, whenever the plant allows it, is the star method due to its ease and probability of success. Even so, reproduction by seed, deliberately forcing crosses, can provide us with varied colors in its flowering. This already if we want to play with the genetics of the flowers.