Mallow (mallow) is considered a popular garden plant and is in high demand among summer residents and landscape designers. The popularity of the flower is due to its high decorative effect, disease resistance and ease of care.
Malva (from Lat. Malva) is a herbaceous plant, belongs to the Malvov family (from Lat. Malvaceae), the genus has more than 25 species. In the wild, the flower grows in temperate, subtropical and tropical zones of Europe, America and Asia, it can be an annual, biennial and perennial plant. The stem is from 30 to 120 cm in height, it is naked or slightly pubescent, the leaves are round-heart-shaped and consist of 5-7 lobes. The flowers are bell-shaped in shape and can reach 8-12 cm in diameter.
Depending on the type of mallow, they can be white, pink, purple, purple, yellow, red and even black, located in the leaf axils of 1-5 pieces and only occasionally form brushes. Mallow begins to bloom in mid-June and ends at the end of August.
The roots of the plant are quite long and well branched. The seed capsule is rounded and slightly flattened, and consists of five sepals. The seeds resemble irregularly shaped discs and have a double toothed frame. Their diameter ranges from 5 to 7 mm and depends on the type and variety of mallow.7 pictures
The description of mallow would be incomplete without a story about its beneficial properties, the first mention of which dates back to the time of Hippocrates. For example, an infusion of flowers is used to treat cough and hoarseness, and mixtures for hot baths are prepared from the ground part of the plant for spleen tumors. Decoctions of the leaves help with intestinal disorders, and with the help of compresses and lotions made from flowers, they cure wounds, dermatitis and skin inflammations.
In addition to traditional medicine, mallow leaves are used to make salads and vegetable stews, and are also added to spring vitamin dishes. The plant is often called cheese and yard grass, as well as field, wild and roadside mallow.
Types and varieties
Mallow impresses with a variety of colors and shapes, which is why it is very loved by summer residents. Below are the most popular species and varieties that are found in flower beds, in mixborders and flower arrangements.
- Unnoticed mallow , also known as neglected mallow (from Latin Malva neglecta), grows in the wild in North America and Eurasia, prefers soils with a high nitrogen content. The plant belongs to annuals and differs in unpretentiousness to the conditions of detention. It can often be seen along roads as a weed, as well as in gardens and pastures. The flower is rather short and does not grow taller than 40 cm.
An erect or ascending stem branches well, rounded leaves have 5-7 lobes and are planted on long petioles. The leaf blade is pubescent on the underside, the stipules are ovoid. Pink-white flowers are located in the axils of the leaves, flowering continues from May to early September.
- Curly mallow, known as curly mallow (from Lat.Malva crispa L.) and Malva verticulata (from Lat.Malva verticillata L), is an annual medicinal, fodder and ornamental plant, reaching a height of 40 to 120 cm. Large, beautiful leaves consist of five lobes and bordered at the edges with fringed shuttlecocks. It is for the leaves that the flower is classified as an ornamental species and is widely used in landscaping areas.
During flowering, which lasts from July until the first frost, the plant is covered with small white-pink flowers, collected in bunches in the leaf axils. The fruits ripen in September and resemble kalachiki. Curly mallow leaves have a slightly sweetish taste, which is why they are used for making salads and are used as livestock feed.
- Low mallow (from Lat. Malva pusilla), known as stocky mallow, small mallow and round-leaved mallow, is a one- or two-year-old herb, reaching 15-50 cm in height. The flower has straight, thin, ascending or creeping stems, a thin tap-type root and five-, rarely seven-lobed leaves on long petioles. Flowers are arranged in axillary whorls of 3-4 pieces.
The species is widespread in Siberia and the Far East, as well as in Central Asia and the Caucasus, where it grows in fields, gardens, parks, on mountain slopes and in gorges, as well as near roads, in dumps and along rivers with a rocky channel.
- Forest mallow (from Latin Malva sylvestris), also known as forest mallow, is an annual plant and grows up to 120 cm. The species is highly drought-resistant and tolerates cold well. The flower grows in the forests of the Crimea, the Caucasus, Western Europe, North Africa and Northwest India, often found in parks as a weed. The plant has a branchy pubescent stem, leaves on long petioles with crenate-toothed edges and beautiful flowers of a light pink color.
The most popular varieties of the species are Zebrina and Black Pearl. The first is distinguished by large flowers, on the petals of which there are longitudinal stripes. The second is characterized by beautiful red-violet flowers with black stripes, reaching a diameter of 7 cm.
How to plant?
Before you start planting mallow, you need to decide on a place, taking into account that the plant belongs to the category of light-loving and blooms very poorly in shaded areas. The flower loves loose, fertile soils and should ideally be planted on light loams with a neutral pH level and a large proportion of humus. If depleted soils prevail on the site, then they are fertilized with rotted manure or compost at the rate of 10 kg / m2 of area.
With the predominance of heavy loams, peat and sand are introduced into the ground, but if, on the contrary, sand predominates, then peat and clay are introduced. In addition, you should be aware that mallow is not planted in lowlands where there is stagnant water, as well as in places with a close occurrence of groundwater.
The mallow root system does not tolerate high humidity and may start to rot.
For planting mallow, two methods are used - seed and seedling. The first is more preferable in regions with a warm climate, in which there is no threat of return frost, and the soil warms up rather quickly. The seedling method is used in temperate and sharply continental climates, when planting seeds in open ground is ineffective and unjustified.
Mallow seeds are purchased in specialized stores or harvested independently. The collection is performed at a time when the boxes acquire a brownish tint, but do not fully open. They are carefully torn off the bushes and placed in a warm, dry place at temperatures above 25 degrees. After a few days, the bolls will ripen and open, and the seed will spill out.
Then the seeds are dried for several days at room temperature, after which they are poured into paper bags and stored in a dry place. Seeds remain viable for three years, but the best germination is shown by those harvested a year ago. When self-harvesting seed, you should be aware that young plants may not inherit all the characteristics of the mother, which is why the best option would be to use purchased seeds.
Mallow seeds are planted in two ways: directly in open ground or in seedling boxes. The optimal time for sowing mallow seeds in a street flower bed is the end of April-beginning of May - the main thing is that the soil warms up to 10 degrees, and the nights are not too cold. In the southern regions, sowing before winter is often practiced, which is performed in early October. Seeds are placed on a flower bed, sprinkled with earth mixture, covered with fallen leaves, peat or sawdust and left until spring.
Spring sowing of seeds looks like this: the soil in the flower bed is well dug to a depth of 25 cm, leveled with a rake, moistened and allowed to absorb water. Then the seeds, pre-soaked for 10 hours in warm water, are laid out on the surface of the earth and sprinkled on top with a nutritious substrate. The distance between two low-growing species should be 45 cm, between tall ones - 50-70 cm.In order to obtain the maximum percentage of seed germination, it is recommended to plant three instead of one seed, laying them out in the shape of a triangle at a distance of five centimeters from each other.
Next, the planting is carefully watered and covered with agrofibre. In order to prevent the soil from overheating, the shelter is removed daily for 15 minutes and the bed is ventilated. Moistening is performed as needed, trying to prevent the substrate from drying out.
After 2-3 weeks, the mallow seeds begin to germinate, after which the agrofibre is removed, not forgetting to regularly water the flower bed.
If the mallow has sprung up too thickly, then it must be thinned out, carefully replanting excess shoots to a neighboring flower bed, trying not to damage the delicate roots. When planting mallow in open ground, remember that only annuals will bloom in the current season. Two-year-old species in the first summer are engaged in building up a leaf outlet and are able to bloom only the next year.
Mallow seeds are planted in seedling boxes at the end of February. The nutrient substrate for this is purchased in the store or prepared independently. To do this, the garden soil, sand and humus are mixed in a 2: 1: 1 ratio and placed in an oven preheated to 220 degrees for 20 minutes. If the stove was not nearby, then the soil mixture is spilled with boiling water or a pink solution of potassium permanganate.
The decontamination procedure will help prevent the occurrence of dangerous infections, including blackleg. A container for sowing mallow must necessarily have a perforated bottom, which does not allow liquid stagnation in the root zone.
The best option would be peat pots, which are planted in the flowerbed with the plant, thereby preserving the integrity of the delicate roots.
Planting seeds in seedling containers is no different from sowing in open ground. Seeds are laid out on a moistened substrate at a distance of 4-5 cm from each other, sprinkled with earth on top and sprayed with a spray bottle. Then the planting is covered with glass or transparent film, placed in a bright, warm place, not forgetting to remove the glass every day and ventilate the soil.
Irrigation of the substrate is carried out as needed, preventing the soil from drying out. Two seeds are planted in peat pots, and a glass jar is used instead of glass. After 10-12 days, the mallow begins to germinate, after which the shelter is removed and the young plants are transferred to a general care regimen.
Before transplanting into open ground, pots or boxes with seedlings are taken out into fresh air, each day increasing the time they spend outside. Mallow is transplanted to a flower bed at the end of May, when the soil and air are sufficiently warmed up. The mallow should be transplanted very carefully, being careful not to damage the delicate roots. Seedlings growing in peat pots are placed in the holes along with the container, and the specimens from the seedling boxes are slightly moistened and dug out together with an earthen lump.
The bushes are planted at a distance of 45 to 70 cm from each other, depending on the height of the variety. The soil near the sprout is carefully tamped and watered. If the root system was not damaged during transplantation, then the mallow takes root quite well.
The main thing is to follow the rules of agricultural technology and provide the plant with proper care.
How to properly care for?
Most varieties of mallow can be confidently attributed to unpretentious plants, the care of which boils down to performing elementary procedures: watering, fertilizing, building a support for tall species and preparing for winter.
- Mallow should not be watered too often - a couple of times a week in normal weather and every 2 days in dry heat. Watering is carried out in the evening hours after sunset to avoid burns of the ground part of the flower.
- Annual mallows generally do not need additional feeding, especially if they grow on fertile soil. A perennial on depleted soil can be watered monthly with a weak potassium-phosphorus solution, peat or humus can be added at the rate of 3 kg / m2 and occasionally watered with a solution of wood ash. Closer to autumn, when the plant finishes blooming, organic matter is introduced into the soil, and in the spring - azophoska.
- If the mallow grows far from a fence or other structure, and its growth exceeds 60-80 cm, then care should be taken to build a support that will prevent the stem from breaking under strong gusts of wind. Low-growing species do not need additional supports and can be planted in open places.
- After the mallow has faded, the shoots are cut to ground level and the root circle is mulched. To do this, use compost or humus, spending up to 4 kg of mulching material for each square meter of surface. For the winter, the roots are additionally covered with straw, spruce branches or dry foliage.
Mallow propagates in several ways - by seeds, cuttings and seedlings. How to plant a plant with seeds and seedlings is described above, but cuttings should be considered separately. Unlike the seed method, the propagation of mallow by cuttings allows preserving all the generic characteristics of the parent individual, and therefore is especially often used by specialists in breeding varietal forms.
Before proceeding with the grafting procedure, it is necessary to prepare a sharpened knife, charcoal and containers with a fertile substrate. If the reproduction process is carried out in the spring, then root cuttings are cut from the bush and the places of the cuts are sprinkled with charcoal. If grafting is performed in the summer, then the cuttings are cut from the stem, not forgetting to treat the wounds with crushed coal. Next, the cuttings are stuck into the substrate and watered well. For better rooting, the stalk is covered with a glass jar or a cut plastic bottle and placed in a warm, bright place.
Every day the planting is aired for 10-15 minutes and, if necessary, moistened. As soon as the first leaves appear on the handle, the jar is removed, and the plant is transferred to a general care regimen. After the mallow grows up a little, it is transplanted into open ground.
Using this method of propagation, you should know that not all cuttings take root and many of them will dry out and die. Therefore, you should take much more planting material than you plan to get flowers.
Diseases and pests
In general, mallow is in good health and is prone to rust mainly. The disease is contagious and cannot be treated, so diseased specimens are dug up and destroyed. A little less often, the mallow is affected by powdery mildew. At the first signs of the disease, diseased parts of the plant are removed and the bush is treated with any antifungal drug, such as colloidal sulfur, Bordeaux liquid or Trichodermin.
As for pests, mallow is susceptible to attacks by spider mites. Initially, white dots appear on the leaves, and with more severe damage, the leaves turn yellow and dry. At the first signs of an attack, the plant must be treated with soapy water, and in advanced cases, it is necessary to fight pests with the help of insecticidal agents such as Fitoverm, Kinmiks and Fufanon.
Mallow is also often annoyed by slugs. With a small amount, they are harvested by hand, and with a large number, quicklime is scattered around the flowers. Setting traps gives a good result. For this, beer is poured into plates and placed under the flowers. A day later, the traps are checked and the slugs gathered in them are removed.
Use in landscape design
Due to its unpretentiousness and high decorative characteristics, mallow is very often used to decorate borders and flower beds. Low-growing varieties are planted in beautiful flowerpots, which decorate the entrance to the house or the alley leading to the garden. The plant goes especially well with simple flowers such as lupins, phloxes, chamomile, calendula and delphinium, and also perfectly harmonizes in general compositions with tree shrubs and wild greens.
Mallow in a summer cottage looks very natural.
The mallet against the background of rich greenery looks gentle and aesthetically pleasing.
The Zebrina variety will noticeably revive the landscape and fill it with bright colors.
Musk mallow harmoniously combines with wild greens and simple flowers.
Forest mallow on the shore of the pond.
For the intricacies of planting mallow and caring for it, see below.