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Loving Lavatera

dean alexdean alex Posts: 30

Hello everyone, Im a huge lavatera/hollyhock and hibiscus fan and currently have 2 lavatera in my garden one is Barnsley and the other hasn't got a label. I planted them both this year. My Dad use to have an entire wall of giant lavatera's growing along our garden boundary, they where the typical rose pink colour and attracted lots of insects but this was when I was a child and he can't remeber what type they were.

Can anyone tell me which types of shrubby lavatera are the hardiest in the uk? I have tried to grow coastal tree mallow L.Arborea for the last 4 years and havnt managed to get them to flower before the frost comes, I even saved them inside over winter and they just got massive this year and looked as though they would flower but didnt, I grow them in well drained full sun as which they apparently love! The frost will however stop them and turn them to mush again, would wrapping them in bubblewrap help? image




  • Lupin 1Lupin 1 Posts: 8,916

    Dean, I've only grown Barnsley. I garden on clay. It was in full sun and flowered readily from first year. It was hardy in Yorkshire and received no winter protection. I did find that it was a short lived plant, about 6yrs I think. Maybe that was just mine.

  • Can't remember what type i've had either but have had them about 3 times and every time they only last for 5 to7 yrs  I live in sussex and have tried them in different parts of the garden. But maybe there is something on the internet to advise.  Hope you can find the type you want, they are so pretty aren't they.

  • izzy8izzy8 Posts: 147

    I have 2 of these and both are in free drained areaswith all day sun. I only give them a once yearly feed in spring after pruning and then leave them.

  • GillyLGillyL Posts: 1,077

    Would.nt advise bubble wrap,plant needs to breathe,if you want to cover use fleece.I only have Barnsley,I cut it back after flowering to prevent it getting too woody,and have never covered it at all.

  • punkdocpunkdoc Posts: 14,932

    Lavatera is a very hardy shrub but as has been mentioned comparatively short lived. I think the profusion of flowers burns it out after afew years.

    Hibiscus are less hardy and in more northerly areas needs some protection.

    How can you lie there and think of England
    When you don't even know who's in the team

    S.Yorkshire/Derbyshire border
  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 17,570

     The shrubs only last a few years, but are easy to propagate from  semi ripe cuttings.

     Rosea , Burgundy wine, Candyfloss, and Barnsley  can all be increased this way.

  • Zoomer44Zoomer44 Posts: 3,267

    fidgetbones - I've a lavatera and thought it would last forever, that's my bubble burst image when is it best to propogate and...silly Q...but what do you mean by semi ripe cuttings.

  • Yes I read that lavatera are short lived, they can also just not re-leaf after a bad winter. I want to get some of the variety my dad grew, possibly called "Lavatera-Kew rose" from google searching. Im wondering how hardy it might be though image

    Thanks to everyone for there advice image


  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 17,570

    A semi ripe cutting is about late may or early june, depending on weather/season/climate.  A soft cutting will bend easily and droop fast. Hardwood cuttings are taken in winter, when the new wood has hardened so it will not bend easily. A semi ripe cutting, is new wood that has started to harden. Its a bit trial and error until you have the experience.  I also root buddlejas the same way.

    if you learn how to propagate from cuttings, you can grow lots of shrubs for free. Most people will let you have a bit off of theirs, especially if you have some for swaps. Rule of thumb. If you take one cutting it will die. If you take six, you will have five excess to swap/ give away.

  • Zoomer44Zoomer44 Posts: 3,267

    figetbones - will give it a try next year. The GW's calender should arrive at the end of this month so it will go on as a job to do in May. The link has been added to my favouritesimage.

    I've managed to get hard wood cutting to take, went round the garden last year taking cutting from plants and was suprised at what did root. 

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