Lavatera, Mallow, are found in parts of America, Asia, Australia and the Mediterranean and are a genus of annual, biennial and perennial flowering gardening plants.
There are around twenty five species within this genus.
Leaves are palmate, grayish green and three to five lobed with fine hairs and grow on long stalks.
Attractive flowers are white or a light rose colour with darker veins and similar to hollyhock in shape, or they are open funnels and are borne in clusters.
These are long flowering gardening plants from summer right through to the end of autumn, fall.
Mallow can be short lived but they are extremely fast growing producing new shoots daily.
They are hardy and are more suited to dry and warm conditions, however there are species that will grow in many different types of climates.
Common Names: Mallow.
Classification: Hardy annual.
Height: From around 90cm (36inches).
Flowering: From summer to early autumn.
Where to Grow ?
Mallow are one of those must have gardening plants with pretty leaves, attractive flowers and have either a compact bushy habit or are upright long stemmed.
Where : Ideal in herbaceous beds and borders.
Site: Mallow prefer a position in full sun, they thrive in it!
Soil: They prefer a soil which is free draining.
So add plenty of home made well rotted garden compost to your soil before planting to improve its drainage.
Propagation by seed : March to May.
Sowing Time: Outdoors March to May.
*USE ONLY CLEAN EQUIPMENT *(BY DOING THIS IT WILL INCREASE YOUR PROPAGATION SUCCESS RATE)
Silver sand (if you are marking out the sowing area).
Empty and dry used plastic water/lemonade bottle (to use for holding the silver sand if you are marking out the sowing area).
AS WITH ANY TOOLS – CARE SHOULD BE TAKEN WITH THEIR USE – BE SAFE!
Sowing Your Seeds Outdoors
The area where you intend sowing your Mallow seeds should have been previously prepared. (Dug over and lightly fertilised at the end of the last season).
Make sure you remove all weeds and large stones.
Rake over the surface of the soil until you have a nice fine tilth.
Now you can scatter sow or sow your Mallow seeds in individual areas.
For scatter sowing just scatter your Mallow seeds where you want them to grow. Sow the seeds thinly and lightly cover them with soil using your rake.
For individual area sowing mark out the sowing area with you silver sand, from the plastic bottle, and thinly sow your Mallow seeds within the marked area.
All you have to do then is lightly cover your Lavatera seeds with soil using your rake.
Whether scatter sowing or area sowing after lightly covering your seeds with soil make sure you label the area with plant type and sowing date.
And of course don’t forget to carefully water the seeds in.
Use your watering can with a *fine rose, turned upside down, and gently water the areas you have sown. Do not flood the area or have the watering can too high, or your seeds will be washed away and uncovered.
Take care with your watering, by doing this correctly you will greatly increase your chance of success).
Thin the your Lavatera seedlings if grouped sown to allow about 10cm (4inch) between each plant.