If you want to master how to gather lantana seeds, you’ll be pleased that it only takes two steps. More than knowing how to plant lantana seeds, it will also be helpful to understand how to collect them. This way, you can make use of your mature lantana flowers for year-round productivity.
This article will also discuss how to grow this plant successfully. Remember that even though lantana is resistant to some challenging conditions, it would be advantageous to know how to avoid drawbacks in their health and growth. You can also consider starting in the polytunnel to guarantee the germination of lantana seeds.
How To Collect Lantana Seeds
Step #1. Collection
The first step in gathering lantana seeds is collecting the pods themselves. Much like with other plants, you can expect your lantana plants to produce seeds throughout the growing season. Since lantanas bloom from summer to autumn, you can always check your plants for fading flowers to collect the pods later on.
These seedpods start green at less than an inch long. You want to collect them when they have ripened and turned purple to black with wrinkled skin. Let the seed pods mature in the plant, then pick them carefully while wearing gloves as a safety precaution since lantana berries can be poisonous.
Step #2. Drying
The next step after collecting the seeds is storing them for planting. You can place the seed pods in a paper bag and into a cool and dry place to allow them to dry up. This way, you can quickly gather the seeds from the pods for sowing.
After some time, you can shake the paper bag, and you don’t need to crush the pods to extract the seeds. Otherwise, you don’t need special tools to open the berries because you can crack them with your fingers. You should be ready for planting next spring using the seeds you gathered.
How To Grow Lantana From Seeds
Step #1. Germination
The best way to grow lantana from seeds is by starting the plants indoors. This way, you can grow vigorous seedlings that are ready for transplanting quickly. You can begin to lantana seeds in the polytunnel three months before the last frost in spring for optimal productivity for the growing season.
However, remember to soak your lantana seeds in warm water for at least a day to ensure germination. This way, their hulls will soften, and they will sprout much easier. You can also use this time to prepare their pots in the greenhouse.
A moist-seed starting compost in well-draining pots would be ideal for germinating lantana seeds. The moist environment but good drainage will provide enough water to encourage development, but it’s still not soggy to damage the seeds. And since it’s not highly likely to sprout all seeds, sow three seeds per pot to have enough seedlings later on.
Step #2. Maintenance
You can plant the seeds at almost an inch deep before applying some moist compost over them. Choose an area in the polytunnel that is bright but out of direct sunlight to encourage growth. Furthermore, maintain soil moisture and keep the temperatures between 70 to 75°F, and you can expect the lantana seeds to germinate in one to two months.
Once you have the seedlings, you can select the stronger ones and grow them under lights. Wait for the young lantana plants to grow mature leaves and then transplant them in the UK garden after the danger of frost has passed. However, remember to acclimate them gently before transplanting permanently somewhere with moist and well-draining soil under full sun.
The great thing about lantana plants is that they can thrive amidst challenging conditions like drought once established. However, they will still benefit from consistent moisture, so consider amending the soil with mulch. More so, you can fertilise them lightly to boost flowering and then prune the stems to maintain their size and shape.
Can You Grow Lantana From Cuttings?
Are there some other ways to grow lantana? You can also use cuttings from mature plants and root them in the greenhouse. Select four-inch sections from healthy parent plants in spring and remove all the lower leaves before planting.
Dip the end in rooting hormone and then place the cutting in a pot with a moist mix of peat moss and perlite. Stabilise the cutting into place and cover the pot with a plastic bag to keep the environment wet. The cutting should grow roots after four weeks, which is when you can also remove this cover.
Place the cuttings somewhere bright and provide proper watering intervals until they are ready for outdoor transplanting.
Did you know that it’s relatively easy to propagate lantana from seeds? If you know how to gather lantana seeds, you can even maintain a productive UK garden after your flowers faded. Check for the green pods to turn purple-black and then place them in a paper bag for storage.
Let the seed pods dry in a cool dry place, and you should be able to collect the seeds by simply shaking the bag. Then, soak the seeds in warm water for 24 hours before sowing in the greenhouse. Remember that it’s advantageous to start lantana seeds in the polytunnel before transplanting the young plants outdoors after the danger of frost has passed.