The tree mallow is a beautiful perennial that blooms generously for a long time.

Summary of top tree mallow facts

Name – Lavatera
Family – Malvaceae (mallow family)
Type – annual or perennial
Height – 20 to 55 inches (50 to 140 cm)
Exposure – full sun
Soil – ordinary
Foliage – deciduous
Flowering – July to October

Easy to care for, it is perfectly suited to balconies, terraces and to the garden.

Planting tree mallow

Tree mallow is best planted in spring but it can also be planted in fall, especially in areas where the winter climate is mild.

  • Choose a sunny and wind-protected spot.
  • Tree mallow loves well drained soil.
  • Keep a planting distance of 32 inches (80 cm) to 3 feet (1 meter) between tree mallow plants in order for them to have the space they need to develop well.
  • Water regularly after planting, especially if planting in spring.

Propagating tree mallow

This is easy and it is even recommended to multiply your tree mallow so that the base of the plant can be regenerated over the years.

  • Propagate very easily through cuttings in April.

Sowing tree mallow

For annuals, sow in the vegetable patch directly in April and water on a regular basis.

Tree mallow on a terrace or balcony

Tree mallow adapts perfectly to being grown in pots or garden boxes. Very hardy, it resists low temperatures down to down to 5°F (-15°C).

  • In summer, water as soon as the soil is dry.
  • Add flower plant fertilizer during the year.

Trimming and caring for tree mallow

Watering tree mallow

Although this plant doesn’t require a lot of water, it is important to water it over the 1st year after planting so that roots can develop and the plant can settle in.

Trimming tree mallow

Remove wilted flowers during the blooming regularly in order to boost flower-bearing.

It is important to prune back short at the beginning of spring to give the plant vigor and avoid it growing too large.

  • Avoid pruning in the fall because this could lead the stump to rot.

All there is to know about tree mallow

A plant with abundant blooming, tree mallow also has the advantage of growing and spreading very fast.

Its flowers tend to bloom repeatedly from the month of June up until the first frost spells.

With its balanced shrubby silhouette, this annual or perennial plant will fit right in among other perennials or shrubs in a flower bed.

Tree mallow grows in the wild in the Mediterranean are, usually on rather poor and rocky ground.

Tree mallow diseases

  • Rust: Brown or tan blisters on the underside of leaves and yellow spots on the topside.

Smart tip about tree mallow

Water this perennial in summer in case of prolonged dry spells or strong heat wave.
Best to water in the evening so that water isn’t lost through evaporation.

Plant Profile: Tree Mallow ( Lavatera martima aka L. bicolor)

Tree mallow is a semi-deciduous shrub probably from the western Mediterranean where it inhabits dry rocky places often along the coast. It is a large loose shrub with an abundance of showy flowers over a long bloom time beginning in spring in warm climates and continuing into summer and fall. Plants bloom continuously in some areas. Each flower is about three inches across and consists of five lavender pink petals each with a dark lavender pink central blotch and veins. The green calyx visible at the base of the pedals adds a subtle accent. The gray-green maple-like leaves are circular in outline with palmate lobes and a covering of dense matted hairs on both sides. The plant grows very rapidly and needs to be tip pruned regularly throughout the growing season to encourage woody growth and avoid floppiness. A regular fertilization program throughout the growing season will help encourage luxurious growth of both leaves and flowers. Plants are relatively short lived and have a life span of about five years.

Type: Semi-deciduous flowering shrub

Outstanding Features: Flowers

Form: Loose mound

Growth Rate: Rapid

Bloom: Flowers 3” across, 5 lavender pink petals with dark lavender blotch and veins; in summer

Size: 3-6’ H x 3-6’ W

Light: Full sun but tolerates some shade

Soil: Fertile, dry to moist, well-drained; drought tolerant once established

Hardiness: Zones 8-10

Care: Tip prune throughout growing season; fertilize with high nitrogen fertilizer throughout the growing season

Pests and Diseases: None of significance

Propagation: Seed, half-ripe cuttings

Comments: Short lived (five years).

Tree Mallow

This useful and fast-growing semi-woody evergreen shrub makes a quick-growing long-flowering windbreak. It has gorgeous large tropical-looking flowers of a rich, luscious maroon, with large, flexible bright- green leaves.The flowers are produced over a long period of time, spring through summer. Endemic to the Channel Islands off the coast of Santa Barbara, it grows surprisingly easily and quickly in many other locations, especially along the coast, where it is not bothered a bit by wind and salt-spray. Germinating readily from seed, it can become 5′ tall in a year, topping off at about 8′.

It thrives in sun to light shade and is adaptable as to soil, but it looks better in fairly lean, well-drained areas. Pruning helps it stay manageable, but it’s best in informal gardens and near tidier plants to provide consistent privacy or barriers. Relatively short-lived, it reseeds well on its own, so replacement plants are quickly grown.Deer like it so it usually needs to be on the protected side of the fence.

Easily grown in the home nursery, tree mallow is a good plant to grow from seed with children. The young “peas,” the immature seeds, before they ripen and mature, are delicious eaten raw or cooked.

Malva arborea – (Lavatera arborea) – Tree Mallow

Tree-mallow is a striking, costal biennial growing up to 3m tall. With a spike of large, deep pink flowers with darker pink veins and ivy shaped, velvety leaves it is unlikely to be mistaken for any other native plant. NB Until recently this species was know by the old botanical name of Lavatera arborea.

Type Seeds per gram Origin Ordering
Grassland Perennial 85 Cornwall Order this species

Habitat Information
Tree mallow is a tall, native, biennial. Because it is killed by severe frost it is rarely found more than 100 m from the sea (although it grows readily as a garden plant) where it finds protection in the mild micro-climate found there. Tree mallow grows best in shallow, nutrient-enriched soils and is particularly associated with sea-bird roosts. It is found around the coast of southern Britain but may have been introduced to many sites and might only be native in the milder west and southwest coasts. Outside of its natural range it can be an invasive and environmentally damaging plant. For this reason it should not be planted in wild coastal sites without first seeking advice from local experts.

The flowers, which bloom throughout June to September, are visited by bees as they offer both nectar and pollen.

Growing Information
Can be sown anytime of the year.


You can order any quantity of this species from 1g up to 1000g. Please contact us if you require more.

nb: 1kg = 1000g, 0.1kg = 100g

Prices include p&p to most mainland destinations, more on delivery charges.










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