How to Grow Annual Mallow (Lavatera Trimestris)

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Like a hollyhock on steroids, this beautiful plant has big, lush flowers and rich colors that visitors will notice right away. It's also known as bush mallow. Annual mallow comes in a variety of colors, including rich pinks and reds, as well as striking whites; many have a lovely veined pattern. It grows 2 to 3 feet high.

Things You'll Need

  • Fertilizers
  • Garden Stakes
  • Seeds
  • Watering Cans
  • Twine
  • Look for seedlings at your local nursery in the spring - starting with seedling is the easiest way to plant mallow.

  • Consider starting mallow from seed as an alternative. It's fairly easy, even for beginners.

  • Plant seedlings 10 to 12 inches apart in dry soil that's only moderately rich; plant after your region's last frost date.

  • Start seeds in peat pots indoors six to eight weeks before the last frost date. Transplant seedlings into garden after last frost.

  • Water only when soil becomes very dry.

  • Stake plants if they show signs of toppling. Simply take a wooden stake, drive it into the ground near the plant, and tie the plant to the stake with soft twine or plastic strips.

  • Pull plants out of the garden after the first frost.

Tips & Warnings

  • Annual mallow looks best planted in masses of 15 plants or more together.
  • Unlike some other forms of mallow, which are perennial and return year after year, annual mallow dies after just one year. However, annual mallow blooms for a longer stretch of the summer than perennial types.
  • Fertilizing should be done sparingly if at all; it can encourage too much foliar growth and less flowering.

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