Do you ever hear the name Marvin without first thinking messy? What about Nellie? We have a cat named Nellie - named precisely because she's so nervous!
But what about Lantana? What comes to mind when you hear that name?
Yes, I have some Lovely Lantanas. My purple and white lantanas are luscious. They thrive in the heat. The butterflies love them. They spread over the ground, forming a beautiful groundcover. There are also bush type lantanas as well, some growing as tall as 6 ft! Personally, I think I like the low types the best.
Lantanas are also latecomers. I think they are just lazy! Every spring I have to remind myself not to pull them up. I consider them lucky that I remember they may look dead, but really aren't. They are the last plant to show signs of life in my garden, and I always rejoice when I finally see a bit of green among the brown. The wait is well worth it when July and August comes around.
Lovely, late, lazy, and lucky. All good nicknames for lantanas.
But lantanas are not always lovely, like Marvins are not always messy, and Nellies are not always nervous. I also have a lantana I've nicknamed lousy. It's quite loathsome. This lousy lantana always looks terrible.
And it never blooms until late Septemer! I've threatened for a couple of years that I was going to dig this one up and throw it out.
Lantanas can get powdery mildew if grown in shade, and I think that's what plagues my lantana. Lantanas can also be affected by the lantana lace bug. So lantanas are not infallible.
Maybe next year I'll dig up these lantanas in the spring, when they are still brown, and late in greening up.
They won't be lucky then. But maybe I will. Maybe, finally, all my lantanas will be nicknamed lovely.