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Lantanas suffer varying degrees of cold damage

Question: This winter, I had a low temperature of 25 degrees Fahrenheit at my house. So far, I have a couple of sprigs coming out of two cut-back lantana and four with no sign of life. What’s lantana’s low- temperature tolerance?

It is not simply a matter of what the low temperature was. Plant losses due to freezing temperatures involve how low the temperature dropped, the time of year the temperatures occurred and for how long or how many hours. Relatively mild freezing temperatures can cause considerable damage if they occur early in the fall or late in the spring. 

Also, 25 degrees Fahrenheit can be much more damaging if it lasts for one hour vs. lasting for 15 minutes just before sunrise. On top of this, freezing temperatures accompanied by strong winds would be much more devastating.

You should have seen some new growth coming from the base of the plants by now. If not, you will have to replace them. This winter was hard on lantana, and in some locations, they did freeze out or severely die back.

In the future, you should be able to cut them back to 2 to 3 inches in height and they will come back nicely. Don’t forget to use a quality fertilizer that encourages flowering, such as a rose fertilizer, a tomato fertilizer or a fruit tree fertilizer.

Bob Morris is an associate professor with the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension. He can be reached at morrisr@unce.unr.edu or 257-5555.

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