This very showy tender perennial has flowers reminiscent of hibiscus. Lavatera is also known as annual mallow or rose mallow. Beautiful hibiscus-like blooms up to 7 cm (3″) across cover these bushy, multi-branched plants all summer long and well into fall! Prefers full sun but will tolerate partial shade and makes its best growth in cooler weather. Hot temperatures speed the blooming cycle so in regions with very hot summers, we suggest successive sowings every two weeks to help maintain continuous blooming. Avoid transplanting after establishment as Lavatera roots form extensive tangled networks. Lavatera will sometimes overwinter in Zone 6 but is grown as an annual in most of Canada.
How to Grow
115 seed/gram. Sow seed directly in the garden in early to mid-May about 3 mm (1/8″) deep. Thin seedlings to at least 30 cm (1′) apart. For a jump on the season, seed can also be started indoors in a soil-less mix 6 weeks before planting out. Seed will germinate in approximately 7 days at 21 C (70 F) – grow on under lights at a cooler temperature of 15 C (60 F), then harden-off and transplant out in late May. Plants can grow to 60 cm (2’) tall with an equal spread. If you are fortunate to live in Zone 6 or warmer, there is a chance that Lavatera will overwinter.