We often see Lantana in containers or pots, making a beautiful colorful ground cover for the garden beds.
If you want to grow this tree for your landscape beds, there are a few notes that you need to know, such as: What do Lantana seeds look like? How to grow them from seeds? And how to harvest them?
Let’s discuss more details about this beautiful plant in my article below.
What Is Lantana?
Native Growing Region
The native growing region of the flower is the Southern and tropical regions of the USA. It usually grows as a perennial shrub in tropical areas where the weather is warm yearly.
In the native area, you can easily see this tree in the form of an invasive woody shrub-like plant growing on the roadsides or woody areas. The tree grows quite fast and can reseed itself.
It can withstand heat and drought and requires little to no nutrients. Hot weather and poor soils are enough for the tree to thrive.
Thus, growing Lantana from seed, it’s quite easy and does not require much effort.
It is an annual flower growing about 2 feet or even more. Its mature leaves are deep green and quite prickly.
Their flower clusters are round and small. Its range of colors includes yellow, pink, and orange. These beautiful flowers are the favorite destination for bees and other insects to pollinate.
The seed parts will look like small dark berries when the blooming season ends. It is the condition for the flower to reseed itself and the possibility for Lantana seed harvest.
Cultivation And History
The tree is considered to have first originated in South America. In the 1800s, people started to bring it to Hawaii.
It then became very popular throughout the islands and has become one of the popular trees in garden centers or nurseries.
Due to its rapid spreading and takeover ability, the tree is considered an invasive plant in northern states. It is a popular ornamental plant for most landscape beds.
The versions grown in most gardens today are modified from the native ones, which are bright and colorful.
In the region where the tree is perennial, you can find more varieties similar to their native ones.
How Big Can It Grow?
The height and width of the tree are several feet. Meanwhile, its seed pods are only around 1 or 2 inches in diameter and look like spherical berries.
According to what I know, you should not worry about its small size as it does not determine the seeds’ quality. The tiny marble-like seed pods can produce many healthy seeds.
What Do Lantana Seeds Look Like?
The shape of Lantana seeds is rounded, small (around 0.5 to 1 inch), and generally smooth, depending on the variants. Their colors are also various. You can see them green (when small) and brown or purple-black (when matured).
Lantana flowers usually have vibrant colors like pink, yellow, and orange. Meanwhile, the seed pods change color during their lifetime, from green to yellow to orange and deep purple-black.
Depending on the species and planting conditions, this process will take weeks or months.
As mentioned above, the plant will produce small and round berries containing seeds for breeding new trees after blooming.
Its surface is less rough or textured than other seed pods. It’s smooth, except for a little bump, making it easier to harvest and store.
Lantana has different variants; some have stronger scents than others. However, in general, they are quite fragrant. You can feel its aromatic smell best in its foliage.
This foliage protects the tree from becoming the food of rabbits and deer.
How To Grow Lantana From Seed?
Can you grow Lantana from seed? Yes, you can do so by following my instruction below:
You should plant Lantana seeds for 6 to 8 weeks indoors before moving outdoors so you have healthy seedlings to transplant.
The planting process can be started in the greenhouse 3 months before the spring finishes.
One trick for growing is to use warm water to soak the Lantana seeds for about 24 hours. Therefore, the hulls will be softer and shoot easier, so you can optimize their germination rate.
During the time of soaking, you can prepare the pots. I suggest you use well-draining pots and add a moist seed-starting composite.
The well-draining, fertile soil and humid environment are ideal conditions. It is not soggy but not too dry, giving enough water for the seeds to develop.
And I highly recommend you sow 3 seeds in one pot to increase the possibility of sprouting.
For maintenance, you should choose a bright place but not under direct sunlight in the greenhouse. The soil moisture should be maintained at a good level, and the temperature should be between 70 to 75F.
Put the seeds an inch deep before you use any moist compost in your garden. The germination process should last for about 1 to 2 months.
When you see the seedlings, you can choose the healthier ones and place them in a sunny location (on a sunny windowsill).
Meanwhile, you should wait for the young tree leaves to grow mature and then transplant the tree to the outdoor garden after the danger of frost has gone.
Though Lantana is a strong plant and can grow quickly under unfavorable conditions such as drought, it is still better to give them consistent moisture and add mulch to the soil.
You can consider using coconut mulch. Besides, you also can use fertilization to improve the colorful flower blooming. In addition, pruning the stems is recommended to keep their shape and size.
How To Harvest Lantana Seeds?
Here’s my guideline on how to get Lantana seeds:
Step 1: The time to conduct harvesting is when the berries become purple or black. You can do it by carefully removing the seat parts from the plants and taking them inside the house.
Step 2: Open the parts softly and take out the seeds. I highly advise you to place a piece of white paper underneath, so you can easily see them because they are small and can disappear anytime.
Step 3: Keep the seeds dry and keep them in an envelope. In my experience, you can also store them in a cold place such as a fridge until you want to use them. However, note that the seeds should be dry for a few days to avoid mold.
How to Grow Lantana From Cuttings?
Propagating plants from cuttings is a popular method for different plants, such as fruit trees. Like when you grow oak leaf hydrangeas from cuttings, the process of propagating Lantana from cuttings includes:
Step 1: In the spring, you should choose a healthy parent plant, use a pair of scissors to cut 4-inch sections from it, and remove all leaves on the lower part.
Step 2: Add perlite and peat moss to create moisture in a pot. Place the end of the cutting in the rooting hormone and place it inside the pot.
Step 3: Keep the cuttings stable in their places, and then use a plastic bag to close the pot, so you can retain the environment moist.
Step 4. Remove the cover after 4 weeks of growing roots.
Step 5: Put the cuttings in a bright place, water them properly, and wait until you can transplant them outdoors.
The Bottom Lines
What do Lantana seeds look like? Now you know they are small and spherical, and their color can change from green to dark brown or black, depending on the growing periods.
The trees can thrive under direct sunlight and warm weather. Although they are easy to grow, you need to pay more attention to the process before transplanting outdoors.
It doesn’t matter if you grow Lantana from seed or cuttings; you should do it carefully so it will benefit your future plants.