Lavatera is an easy to grow, upright shrub which bears large attractive flowers from mid-summer onwards. Varieties commonly grown are Lavatera x clementii , which are deciduous or semi-evergreen, and grow to between 1-2m depending on the variety. Also grown is L. trimestris cultivars, which are annuals. A pretty shrub which bears many flowers, in shades of pink and white with long summer flowering. Plant Lavatera in well drained soil in full sun, and in cold areas, Lavatera is best grown against a wall to provide protection.
Lavatera are vigorous and will put on a lot of growth each season but are short-lived. Because of their vigorous growth, Lavatera makes a great addition to fill any gaps in borders with large, saucer like blooms in pinks, white and purple. With the added benefit of long-lasting flowers which are attractive to bees. Dead heading will prolong flowering.
There are annual mallows,(L. trimestris cultivars,) perennial and Shrubby Mallows, the latter of which is the Lavatera commonly grown in gardens. There are some good varieties with RHS award of garden merit, worth seeking if you want to buy a Lavatera.
Image top left is Lavatera 'Rosea' ** and centre is L. "Barnsley"*** both of which are amongst the most popular and both with RHS garden merit award. L. barnsley is particularly pretty with its two coloured flowers. Illustrated right L. 'Kew Rose' Lavatera is tolerant of salt and so suitable for a coastal garden. Most Lavatera are trouble free and will grow on most soils, including poor, dry soil with a preference for good drainage.