Lavatera maritima, Tree Mallow . Lavatera maritima 'Bicolor'
Lavatera maritima 'Bicolor'

Lavatera maritima

Tree Mallow
Family: Malvaceae
Origin: Mediterranean region
USDA Zone: 6-8?
USDA Plant Hardiness MapLarge shrub 5-10 ft tallSemi-shadeModerate waterPink flowersSubtropical or temperate zone plant. Mature plant cold hardy at least to 30s F for a short time

The plant is as tough and adaptive as it is lovely. Found in wild only in the Mediterranean region, Lavatera maritima hort does prefer full sun, but tolerates part or even full shade. As for water, the plant does best with moderate watering or occasional watering and not letting it dry out. It is highly tolerant of dry soil and mildly alkaline soils. It cannot, however, tolerate boggy or standing water notably well. In the US, the ideal growing conditions are Zones 6-8 where it is hardy to cold temperatures at least down to the 30s F, if only for a short period. It makes an excellent border or accent plant; its mature size can reach 5-10 feet tall with a spread of 4-7 feet.

When growing Lavatera in colder regions, the plant should be potted and overwintered indoors in a greenhouse. During growing months, the best way to ensure that the plant has sufficient nutrients is to feed it with a balanced liquid fertilizer suitable for flowering shrubs every few weeks. The soil should remain slightly moist, but should not be allowed to become waterlogged. In order to maximize flowering the plant should be pruned lightly after flowering.

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