Lantana and Mesquite Pruning Information

Drought-tolerant and pest-free butterfly attractor.

  • Exposure: Full sun. Prone to mildew in the shade
  • Water: Moderate
  • Soil: Desert soil
  • Propagation: Seed, cuttings
  • Maintenance: Prune hard in spring to remove dead wood. Heavy fertilizing and over watering will reduce the amount of flowers.

  • Lantana is happiest in full sun but it will tolerate filtered afternoon sun. Lantana and its hybrids typically grow from 10 to 36 inches high and wide, but specimens larger than five feet have been seen. Trailing varieties include "Gold Mound" and "New Gold," which are both yellow.

  • A bush form of lantana comes in a large variety of colors, including "Confetti," a mix of yellow, pink and purple, and "Radiation," which combines red and orange for a bright summer show.


Pruning Lantana



Lantana Question and Answer Sheet
Arizona Plant Climate Zones
Lantana New Gold

New Gold Lantana
New Gold Lantana
Grows 2 to 3 feet tall and 3 to 4 feet wide

We had record cold in Tucson this winter 2011
Did my Lantana die?

Lantana in the winter
NO. It will come back as beautiful as ever.
Do not prune until after March 15th in the Southwest
then cut back to almost ground.

Here is the same Lantana in June 2011
after pruning back to about 12" or less from ground.

Lantana came back to health after 2011 winter freeze

Pruning Mesquite Trees

Mesquites need thinning to reduce chances of wind damage.

Needs early support with stakes. New growth becomes pendulous.

Trim back one third to encourage more vertical growth.

Chilean Mesquite

Thin small crossing branches inside of head and prune drooping branches to head height during summer growing period to relieve foliage density stress during heavy wind.

Argentine Mesquite

Vigorous growth. Substantial tree in 5 to 6 years. Develops a crown rapidly. Thin inside growth in windy areas to allow wind to sift.


Chilean Mesquite tend to make the best shade trees with a wide dense canopy, fast growth to 25 ft. tall by 25 ft. wide. However, if they are overwatered and/or improperly staked and pruned they may grow too fast, become top-heavy and blow over.

Thin small crossing branches inside of head and prune drooping branches to head height during summer growing period to relieve foliage density stress during heavy wind.

In times of adequate rainfall, native stands of mesquite, palo verde and others are able to grow sufficient leaves to provide a canopy of shade for branches and trunks. Not so in times of drought. Leaves are sparse, allowing too much direct sunlight to contact the branch wood. When this happens, a condition known as "sun-scorch" occurs. The sun's rays heat the wood to such an extent that the cambium, or sapwood layer under the bark is burnt and dies. This is much the same process as when we are overexposed to the sun and our skin becomes sun burnt. But unlike people, damaged tissue doesn't just peal away and replace itself with new skin or cambium. The damage is permanent!

Trees suffering from sun-scorch have branches that become cracked, with patches of pealing bark. Long patches of gray bark develop and are usually surrounded by a small crack. This is where the dead tissue has pulled away from the living bark.

Sun-scorch occurs mainly on the tops of branches, where exposure to sunlight is most direct and intense. It also is most common on branches that grow horizontally. Such branches are exposed to the strongest sunlight, beating down from directly overhead.

Secondary infections frequently develop on sun-damaged wood. The most common is a fungus disease called sooty canker. Spores of the fungus which happen to land on cracked and damaged bark can germinate and begin to grow. As the disease develops, a black sooty substance is formed under pealing bark. The black, soot-like substance is actually a mass of fungal spores.

Bark beetles and wood boring insects may also attack sun-damaged wood. The larvae of wood boring beetles tunnel under the damaged outer bark, and can move into health surrounding wood. There feeding further destroys the wood cambium.

Branches which have been sun-scorched usually die. As a result, there are even fewer leaves to protect the remaining branches, and so the process continues.

Sun-damaged limbs should be pruned out, back to healthy wood. To determine where the sun damage ends and healthy begins, scrape the bark with a sharp knife. If the sapwood underneath is brown and dry, that part of the branch is dead. If the sapwood underneath is green and moist, it's alive. Prune the branch back to the main trunk or to a healthy branch.

Reflective paint can be applied to branches that are in a position to be exposed to strong sunlight. If pruning out of dead or damaged limbs has further exposed healthy wood to strong sunlight, these limbs can be painted with a solution of white latex paint to reflect the sun's rays. Mixing one part white latex paint with nine parts water will create a white wash that can be applied to the exposed wood. Although a temporary detraction to the appearance of the tree, the white wash wares off in time.

To prevent future sun-scorch injury, encourage new leafy growth by watering effected trees thoroughly. If you have valuable trees, especially those near your home, not currently on drip irrigation, consider watering them. One deep soaking every 2 months, from early spring to early fall will stimulate abundant leafy growth. Watering can be skipped in the summer, if monsoon rains are adequate.

A light spring fertilization along with a deep watering will further encourage a leafy tree canopy. Spread ammonium sulfate (21-0-0) evenly under the branches, at the rate of one-half pound for every 100 square feet. For instance, a mesquite tree with a 20 feet branching spread from side to side would cover approximately 300 square feet. This area then would require the application of 1.5 pounds of ammonium sulfate or similar analysis fertilizer. Ammonium sulfate is available at most area garden centers.

more info here......

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