The lavatera genus includes numerous annual and perennial herbaceous plants, originating in Europe, America and Asia; Lavatera trimestris, also known as queen mallow is an annual species, native to Mediterranean Europe, which forms large bushes. It has large pentalobate, dark green leaves, which grow along a fleshy, erect, bright green stem, on which, in summer, beautiful bell-shaped flowers bloom, pink, white or red, with veins in contrasting color. The stem reaches 90-100 cm in height, but there are many more compact garden hybrids with small leaves. L. olbia is a variety of lavatera perennial, with pink flowers.
The mallow queen plants need a lot of sun to grow without problems and produce many flowers; does not disregard semi-shaded positions. In order to be able to have abundant blooms it is necessary to expose the plant of lavatera trimestris in places where it can receive direct sunlight for a few hours throughout the day. If it is grown in a shady place, it will have a much more contained flowering.
The queen mallow does not need too frequent watering, tolerating without problems even short periods of drought, watering then when the ground is well dry, without exceeding in the quantity. Check that water does not build up, which is unhealthy due to the development of the plant and can cause fungal diseases or root rot.
Every 15-20 days, add fertilizer for flowering plants to the irrigation water.
Lavatera trimestris plants prefer loose, very well drained soils, rich in organic matter; use balanced soil mixed with sand and expanded clay or perlite to increase drainage, which is a determining factor for the correct growth of the specimens. soils that are too compact and that allow the formation of water stagnations are not recommended since they do not allow the development of the queen mallow.
The multiplication of this kind of plant occurs by seed, using the seeds of the previous year in spring; sow in seedbed in February or March, in open ground from May to June. When planting the seedlings of lavatera trimestris, be very careful not to damage the delicate roots, leaving the earthen bread covering them intact, to prevent them from being ruined and not to take root on the new plants.
Queen mallow, Lavatera - Lavatera trimestris: Pests and diseases
Sometimes this variety is affected by aphids, which ruin the flowers and leaves. If the signs of their presence are noticed, it is good to intervene with timeliness to avoid that these parasites can provoke the onset of serious pathologies, since they go to weaken the defenses of the plant. On the market there are many specific products that can be used profitably, but it is also possible to resort to natural remedies, such as a water-based preparation in which a garlic head will be macerated, to be sprayed on plants that show signs of attack . Another natural compound can be prepared with water and Marseille soap in the quantity of a teaspoon per liter of water, always to be sprayed on the affected specimens.