Position – Full sun
Soil – Moist, well-drained
Flowering Period – Summer and autumn
Hardiness – Fully hardy
Malva are annuals, biennials or perennials, closely related to the Hollyhock and native to South east Europe and Turkey. They are also more commonly known as Musk Mallow. It is said that these plants were used during the ancient period up until the 16th century to sooth ailments and injuries. Stunning saucer-shaped blooms smother an abundance of lush green foliage throughout the summer with some varieties lasting into early autumn. Malva are best suited to flower beds and borders within cottage, informal and wildflower meadows. You should expect to see Malva grow to an approximate height of 1.5m (5’) and a spread of 60-70cm (24-28”).
Malva are best planted in moist, well-drained soil of chalk, clay, sand and loam within an acidic, alkaline or neutral PH balance. Each Malva plant should be spaced 30cm (12”) apart and to a depth and width that is the same as the root ball in a position of full sun. Ensure that the soil is well-draining but kept moist throughout active growth. If planted in an exposed area, Malva may need staking and extra protection from strong winds.
Pinch back the tips of new growth if you wish to produce a more compact plant. Once they are fully established, Malva will tolerate drought but will thrive if they are watered regularly. When in active growth, Malva require a monthly feed with an all-purpose fertiliser. Remove any spent flowers to encourage additional blooms or cut back your plant by a third after the initial flush of blooms – this may allow for self-seeding.
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