Commonly called Mallow or Tree Mallow, Lavatera is a popular garden perennial. It grows quickly and flowers abundantly, it is also a great cut flower as it’s long lasting (6-8 days vase life) and the buds continue to develop even after the stems have been cut.
Lavatera is super easy to grow from seed, just make sure to sow directly into the ground a week or two before the last frost date and plant in full sun. Once the plant is established; water it well & deadhead often to encourage more blooms. Don’t feed it! If you feed a lavatera it will create some really nice lush foliage but you will get fewer flowers. Also avoid transplanting, it does not like to be moved!
Lavatera is great for creating an informal hedge, it grows “shrub like”, is 3-4 ft tall and 1-2 ft wide. Bonus: it will attract butterflies to your garden! The flowers look almost like a mini hollyhock and come in pink, white or heavily veined (like the picture here). Blooming season is June – September.
You’ll hear talk of keeping this plant in zones 7 & up, not true! This plant is easily and successfully grown in much colder climates. The correct climate zones for lavatera are zones 2-10, however it does prefer cool moist summers.