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Top 5 Annuals for the West


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Lantana
Able to withstand both drought and deer, lantana is a perfect plant for the western U.S.
Able to withstand both drought and deer, lantana is a perfect plant for the western U.S.
iStockphoto.com/aimintang

Able to withstand both drought and deer, this shrub blooms in a variety of colors, welcomes butterflies and comes from­ the subtropical regions of North and South America. If you want to add a lot of color and a substantial space-filler to your yard or hedges, lantana is the plant that can handle that.

This shrub is a relative of verbena. And for a plant that can turn into a big, bushy mound of blossoms and butterflies, Lantana is a quick and easy grower with plenty of bang for your buck. With some plants reaching heights of 6 feet (1.83 m), one of Lantana's many varieties is sure to fit into your landscape quite well.

When planting this annual, choose a spot that will drain well and stay warm. And besides attracting butterflies, this broad-leafed plant is a perfect border-patrol plant that will repel deer from your yard as easily as any chemical might do [source: Borders and Beyond].

Though deer might normally "help" in the trimming of your shrubs, since they're not fond of this plant, you'll have to trim it yourself. Just like salvia, once it is cut back, lantana will grow vigorously again, and because it can grow so large, you may need to cut it back frequently. Don't worry about trimming off a lot of the plant -- it can be cut down to a third of its size and still come back rapidly.

­Lantana is a very drought resistant and strong plant, which makes it perfect for tough climates. But under certain conditions, this plant isn't without problems. One of the problems this a­nnual (and sometimes perennial) plant has when planted in shady areas is mold. This is why you need to make sure it's habitat is well drained and not over watered [source: Texas Cooperative Extension].