Q. What is the best fertilizer to use on Lantana? I have yellow and purple and the yellow just never seems to keep the flowers long in the summertime, they come and go and do no not look very vibrant. Is there such a thing a mild fertilizer to use?
A. Lantana are not particularly fussy about fertilizers but all plants benefit from improved soil “health”. Fertilizers only replenish some of the minerals in the soil that plant roots remove. Focusing your efforts on improved soil “health” make plants more lush and vibrant.
Plants growing in desert soils covered in rock improve if organic materials are applied to the soil rather than only fertilizer. Ideally, organic materials should be mixed with the soil at the time of planting but these disappear in a couple of seasons and need to be replenished with surface applications on a regular basis.
|Biosolid free compost|
The ideal organic application is 100% compost applied to the soil surface, not a soil mixture containing compost. Soil mixes commonly contain a large percentage of sand which adds volume to the landscape when applied. Compost on the other hand doesn’t add volume because it “dissolves” into the soil.
Pure compost, 100% compost, can be difficult to find in stores. However, 100% compost can be purchased from composting facilities such as A1 Organics or a compost supplier like Viragrow in North Las Vegas.
|Lantana in bloom|
Applying compost is simple. It is applied to a soil surface, or rock mulch, and simply watered in with a hose. Compost “dissolves” into the soil giving the plants nutrients and improves soil “health”. Improved soil health, along with the nutrients it contains, makes new growth darker green, with larger leaves, and larger, more vibrant flowers.