Lavatera

 

lavatera Lavatera 'Barnsley' lavatera 'kew rose' 

 

How to grow Lavatera  common name mallow     

Garden Mallow, latin name Malva are related to Lavatera and Alcea (Hollyhock)

 Lavatera is an easy to grow, upright shrub which bears large attractive flowers from mid summer on wards. It will grow up to  around 2m which means Lavatera is a good sized medium shrub to plant mid to  back of a border, or where there is plenty of space. Lavatera is not reliably hardy in all areas and tends to short lived but makes a great addition to a border with saucer like blooms in pinks, white and purple with the added benefit that the flowers are long lasting. Dead heading will prolong flowering.

There are annual mallows, perennials and Shrubby Mallows, which is the Lavatera commonly grown in gardens. The Lavatera generally lasts longer that the perennial mallow and there are some good varieties with RHS award worth seeking out if you want to plant one in your garden. 

Image top right is Lavatera  'Kew Rose' **and centre is "Barnsley"*** amongst the most popular and both with RHS garden merit award. Lavatera are tolerant of salt and so suitable for a coastal garden     With most Lavatera they are trouble free and will grow on most soils including poor, dry soil with a preference for good drainage.

As Lavatera can be damages by frost this can be overcome by the fact that Lavatera respond well to a hard prune hard in the spring down to the ground. In cold areas they are best against a wall to provide some protection. In March, when the new shoots can be seen at the base of the plant cut back all the old wood and let the plant re grow on which will form the summer's blooms

The further image bottom right  is the lovely, but short lived Lavatera  trimestris 'Silver cup'  which is an annual although it may survive the winter in a very sheltered spot. In northern or exposed areas it would be necessary to bring under cover for the winter. 

As Lavatera is short lived it can be propagated from softwood cuttings in spring or summer.

Unfussy, easy to grow summer flowering shrub. green wheelbarrow easy to grow

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