That plant, which we call mallow, is actually referred to as Stockrose and belongs to another genus of the Malvaceae family. The real mallows grow in the wild. The genus of stockosis includes about 80 species, many of which are found only in garden culture.
Malvy come from central and anterior Asia, are found in the wild in the Balkans, in southern Russia. Many varieties and hybrids grown by crossing wild species are grown in culture.
Their height ranges from a very small Majorette Mixed, not growing above 80 cm, to a giant Powder Puffs Mixed, whose height is 2 m. All mallows have erect stems, pubescent at first, and then bare, one shrub can produce up to 15 shoots. Characterized by mallow and large regular leaves with long petioles also pubescent. Their shape is varied and can be roundly heart-shaped or have up to 7 lobes. In the axils of the leaves flowers are formed from 1 to 5. They have an intergrown base and a split top. The diameter of the flower ranges from 5 to 15 cm. There are many interesting forms with double flowers. The color scheme of the Mallow is very diverse and includes almost all colors and shades. Flowers are usually collected in a brush, they can be up to 150 pieces.
For the most part mallow - perennials or biennials. Annual plants among them are much smaller.Important! Mallow is a medicinal plant and is used in traditional medicine as an expectorant.
In nature, there are the following types of this charming flower:
- Malva pink or stockyrosis (Álcea rósea). Despite the name, it has flowers of various colors: from white to dark cherry, almost black. Flowers are large, bell-shaped, simple to 12 cm in diameter. The plant is tall, can grow up to 2 m. By its nature - perennial. Flowering occurs in the second year. It may be stored at the landing site for several years, but it also runs wild.
- Malva wrinkled (Alcea rugosa). In the wild form is found in the south of the Black Earth, where it forms large thickets. It can grow in height from 80 cm to 120 cm. It blooms only in yellow flowers, their diameter is about 3 cm. It is rare in culture. Perennial.
- Mallow musk or nutmeg (Málva móschata). Low - up to 80 cm perennial, cultivated as a biennial. It blooms in the second year after sowing very abundantly with white or pink fragrant flowers with a diameter of about 3 cm. It is unpretentious, it can grow in partial shade, it reproduces well by self-sowing.
- Malva forest (Malva sylvestris). Low plant - up to 1 m. Widely distributed in the wild. It can be both an annual, a biennial and a perennial. Small flowers, up to 3 cm in diameter in all shades of pink or lilac. There is a garden form of forest mallow - zebrina. So it is named for the characteristic dark streaks on the flowers. Not all plants of this species are frost resistant, so they are most often grown in annual crops.
Close relatives of the mallow are highly ornamental lavaters, cidalceus and malopa. Mallow seeds propagate by seed, some terry varieties can be propagated by cutting, rooting green cuttings. This plant is prone to self-seeding.
What does mallow seed look like?
Bolls are flat, have a rounded shape, formed in the recess of the sepals, their color is grayish-brown. Here's what the mallow seeds look like in the photo.
At the beginning of ripening, the sepals turn yellow. The seed pods are torn off and dispensed indoors for a month. Fully ripened, they break up into individual seeds.
Their germination persists for about 3 years, some growers have noticed that the lodged seeds have a higher germination. Mallow of different colors, growing next to each other, is usually pereopylyatsya, so their seeds do not repeat the parental signs, but the flowers themselves may be more decorative and have an original color. Terry flower when sowing seeds is not saved.
This is the easiest and most common way to grow this beautiful flower. The sowing time depends only on whether the gardener is ready to wait for the whole mallow season or wants to please herself with flowers already in the sowing year.
Sowing in open ground
When sown in open ground in the first year, the plant builds up a rosette of leaves, flowering is possible only in annual species.
Choosing a place to land
Mallow seeds are sown immediately to a permanent place, so you need to approach it carefully. Most species are tall. So that the wind does not break the stalks of plants, it is better to plant them near the support: at the fence or a specially made pergola. For the same reason, the place should not be blown heavily by the wind.Attention! All mallows have a long taproot, so a painless transplant for a plant is possible only at a young age.
For a comfortable growth Mallow need a well-lit place, only some species do not weaken its flowering with partial shading. But to the fertility of the soil the flower is not very demanding - a long root allows you to receive food from the lower layers of the soil.Tip! When sown in nutrient soil with sufficient moisture content, the result will be much better.
What requirements must meet the soil for planting mallow:
- It should be sufficiently hydrated, but without stagnant water.
- Best for planting loamy soil with a sufficient content of humus. If it does not meet these requirements, it is improved: sand and humus are added to the clay, and humus or peat and clay to the sandy soil.
- Dig up the soil on the spade bayonet, choosing the roots of weeds.
- Under digging make humus or well-matured compost and wood ash.
Features of seed preparation
Experienced growers do not advise sowing mallow seeds immediately after harvesting, although in the flower garden it often propagates independently with fresh seeds. Having lain a half or two years, they better ascend. During this time, the seed coat dries out a little. To wake up a seed and allow it to swell, it is recommended to soak the seeds in ordinary warm water for about 12 hours.
Mallow sown at a distance of 50-70 cm from one plant to another. For low varieties, it may be less. For sowing, wells are made no deeper than 2–3 cm. 3 seeds are placed in each at a distance of about 5 cm. They are covered with a layer of earth, slightly compacted with hands, and watered. So that the seeds do not die in dry weather, before the emergence of the shoots, the soil is kept wet.Tip! You can cover each well with a small piece of covering material. It will retain moisture and accelerate the emergence of shoots.
Malva shoots have to wait from 2 to 3 weeks. If all the sown seeds have risen, you can simply pull out the extra plants or transplant them to another place.
Selection of planting dates
Mallow seeds in open ground can be sown in 2 terms - in spring and autumn. The plants of spring planting will bloom next year, as well as those sown in the fall. The time for spring sowing is chosen so that the seedlings do not fall under the spring frosts - young plants are sensitive to them and can die. This is usually the middle or end of May. Autumn planting is carried out in September.Tip! In the autumn, the beds with mallow mulch are peat so that the crops do not freeze out in winter.
When planting mallow seeds on seedlings
Sowing seeds on seedlings is carried out if they want to get flowering plants of two-year species in the year of sowing. Usually, mallow is sown in February or March in order to plant grown seedlings in a flower garden in late May or early June. You can grow mallow in peat tablets, and suitable peat pots filled with soil of the following composition:
- on one part of sand and humus;
- 2 pieces of garden land.
In each tank, 2 seeds are sown to a depth of about 2 cm. The containers are covered with foil. For seed germination is sufficient to maintain a temperature of 20 degrees.
In the photo shoots of mallow sown on seedlings.
Extra plants need to be removed or transplanted into separate pots.
Mallow seedlings do not impose special requirements, care for it is not difficult.
- The main thing - the maximum amount of light. Without it, the plants are drawn out and weakened. In February and early March, they will need additional illumination with phytolamps.
- The temperature is about 20 degrees Celsius.
- Watering if necessary. Plant nutrition is not required.
In the photo grown mallow seedlings, ready to transplant.
Planted plants in a pre-prepared place, without damaging the earthen room.
The easiest way to breed
Usually flower growers remove mallow inflorescences when it has faded. If you do not want to engage in sowing in the ground or growing seedlings, you can leave a few flower stalks to seed sown. In spring, only the strongest plants will grow. They also can be used, having replaced on the necessary place as soon as at them the second real sheet is formed. Such plants will bloom in the year of planting. This method is not suitable only for double flowers. In seedlings obtained as a result of self-seeding, terryiness is usually not preserved.
Mallow - a beautiful flower, indispensable when creating a garden in landscape style. It will help to decorate unsightly areas, serve as a tapeworm in a flower bed or in a mixborder, as a background plant, and low species will decorate any flower garden with their long flowering.