Select Lucky Lantanas for landscape beauty

Published 6:03 pm Tuesday, May 23, 2023

By Eddie Smith
MSU Extension Service

One of my favorite flowering landscape plants is lantana, and Lucky lantana is no exception.

The Lucky series of lantanas have brightly colored flower clusters that cover compact mounds of dark-green foliage. The foliage contrasts beautifully with bright flower colors and attracts butterflies, bees, hummingbirds and other pollinators.

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In many cases, there’s a tie-dye effect on the flower heads, which come is a variety of colors. The flowers generally start as a light color and then darken with age.

I believe Lucky lantanas are fine choices for the garden, but they are also good selections for planting in outdoor containers and hanging baskets.

The plants get 12-16 inches high and 12-14 inches wide. They are often used as a filler selection in the spiller-thriller-filler formula for container combinations. These beautiful plants provide a mass of flowers against which the thriller plants stand out.

Lantanas are cold hardy to 32 degrees, so in most of Mississippi, these plants act as annuals if planted in the ground. Don’t let that discourage you from getting some for your landscape, as they are significant contributors to summertime landscapes.

Lantanas do best in full sun to partial shade. They are very adaptable to both dry and moist growing conditions, but they do not tolerate standing water. The plants are considered drought tolerant and make an ideal choice for a low-water garden or xeriscape application.

Lantanas grown in outdoor containers and baskets usually require more frequent waterings than those grown in the yard or garden. Make sure you check to see if those in containers need water at least once or twice a week.

Lucky Flame is one of my favorites. It has blended tones of orange flower clusters that start in the center as a yellow orange and deepen in color to a fiery red orange.

Another one of my favorites is Lucky Pot of Gold. This selection catches your eye and does not disappoint with its deep-yellow flower clusters that shine like the sun.

Lucky lantanas are great for planting in Mississippi because they stand up well to heat, humidity and other stressful conditions.

The plants are easy to grow and do not require much fertilizer, making it seem as though they thrive on neglect. Keep them watered while they get established, and they will reward you with months of color all summer long.

You can’t go wrong with lantanas, so go out to your local nursery or garden center and pick up some for your patio or landscape.

Dr. Eddie Smith is a gardening specialist and Pearl River County coordinator with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. He is also host of the popular Southern Gardening television programs. Locate Southern Gardening products online at]