There is a mallow plant available for nearly every garden design. Mallows come in both annual and perennial varieties and they all produce flowers in a variety of forms. There are edible mallows, such as okra, and exotic mallows like the Chinese lantern plant. The Lavatera mallows are grown primarily for their colorful blooms. Most are short-lived perennials, lasting about five years before requiring replacement. Proper care allows the Lavatera to live and bloom healthily for as long as possible.
Plant mallow in areas that receive the amount of sunlight required by the specific variety while also providing proper soil conditions. Grow Lavatera in full-sun areas with well-drained soils.
Water Lavatera mallow once a week as needed when it is actively growing from spring until fall. Moisten the soil around it to a 6-inch depth. Established mallows only need additional irrigation when there is less than 1 inch of natural precipitation in a week.
Spread a 2-inch layer of mulch around Lavatera mallow each spring. Mulch preserves soil moisture and helps prevent weed growth. Use organic mulches, such as pine bark or straw.
Spread a 2- to 4-inch layer of compost around perennial mallow varieties in fall or apply the compost in spring for newly planted annual mallows. Compost breaks down and leaches nutrients into the soil for the mallow plants.
Deadhead Lavatera mallow regularly during the flowering season. Cut off the flower heads as soon as the petals begin to wilt to prevent seed set and encourage further blooming.