Lavatera is a hardy annual, erect and bushy in habit, and grows to around 900mm (3ft) high with a similar spread, making it a useful structural plant in a border.
The silky rosy pink and sometimes white funnel shaped 75mm (3") diameter flowers appear from July till September.
Sow seed in pots or trays of seed compost and germinate at a temperature of 18°-20°C (64°-68°F)
Germination should take about a week.
Prick out seedlings into individual 70mm (3”) pots of potting compost.
Grow on at 14°-16°C (57°-61°F) for two to three weeks then gradually harden them off in frost free conditions until planting out time.
Plant out 500mm (18”) apart a sunny and sheltered site.
Avoid over rich soils as this can encourage excessive leaf growth.
Pests & Disease
Lavatera can suffer from the Mallow disease.
Once this fungus appears in a garden, it may become impossible to flower the plant at all.
The signs of this disease are a yellowing and drooping of the leaves, and black patches on the stems, which rapidly decay.
There is no known cure!
Good hygene is the only measure that can be taken to prevent it establishing itself in the garden.
Remove all affected plants from the garden (do not compost them)