Type of Plant: Annual for zones 8 and below, perennial in zone 9 and above.
Why I love this: Lantana has a special place in my heart because it was the first plant that anyone ever gave me as a gift. I’d had an operation when I was a freshman in high school and my mother brought me a Lantana plant to the hospital as I was recovering. I’d never owned a plant of my own before, and I was charmed. To this day I love the smell of Lantana foliage.
If you want flowering plants that can take strong sun while attracting butterflies and hummingbirds, you’ll be charmed by Lantana too. This is a great annual to tuck into window boxes and containers at this time of year to refresh them or to replace plants such as Osteospermum or Violas that have petered out in the heat. It’s also a great annual for those hot-pots by the driveway, or those tending to go dry slopes and gardens by the mailbox.
A Word to the Wise: Lantana doesn’t want to be hit frequently with water so avoid those places that the lawn sprinklers might hit every other day.