Lavatera × clementii 'Rosea'
tree mallow (syn. L. olbia 'Rosea')
- Position: full sun
- Soil: light, moderately-fertile, well-drained soil
- Rate of growth: fast-growing
- Flowering period: June to September
- Hardiness: fully hardy
This popular tree or shrub is grown for the masses of dark pink, hollyhock-like flowers up to 7cm across that smother its branches from June to September. Deeply lobed, and bright green, its leaves are attractive too. Extremely long-flowering, this vigorous tree mallow will thrive in a well-drained shrub or mixed border, but needs plenty of space to spread itself out as its puts on tremendous growth in just one season. In cold areas of the country it is best grown against a warm wall to minimise wind and frost damage.
- Garden care: To prevent shrub from getting straggly, cut back hard to within 30cm (12in) of ground level in spring, after all risk of severe frosts has passed. After pruning apply a generous 5-7cm mulch of well-rotted garden compost or manure round the base of the plant. In exposed areas shorten branches by up to one half in autumn to minimise the risk of wind damage.
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