Welcome to this guide on how to grow tree mallow seeds! Tree mallow, also known as Lavatera arborea, is a fast-growing shrub that produces showy pink or white flowers throughout the summer months. It is a hardy plant that can tolerate a wide range of growing conditions, making it an excellent choice for both novice and experienced gardeners.
Growing tree mallow from seed can be a rewarding experience, as it allows you to watch the plant grow from a tiny seedling into a mature shrub. Additionally, growing your own tree mallow plants can save you money compared to purchasing established plants from a nursery.
In this guide, we will cover everything you need to know to successfully grow tree mallow seeds, from obtaining the seeds to caring for the seedlings and transplanting them into your garden.
Let’s get started!
Obtaining Tree Mallow Seeds
When growing your own Mallow seeds, the first step is to obtain the seeds. Here are some tips on how to obtain and collect tree mallow seeds:
You can purchase tree mallow seeds online or from a garden center. Look for a reputable supplier that offers high-quality seeds.
Collect seeds from existing plants:
If you have tree mallow plants in your garden or nearby, you can collect seeds from the dried seed pods. Wait until the seed pods have turned brown and the seeds rattle inside when shaken. Then, cut off the seed pods and place them in a paper bag. Hang the bag upside down in a dry, warm place until the pods open and release the seeds.
Collect seeds in the wild:
If you live in an area where tree mallow grows wild, you may be able to collect seeds from the plants in the fall. Look for dry, brown seed pods on the plants, and follow the same procedure as described above.
Remember to only collect seeds from healthy, disease-free plants, and to collect them at the right time. This will ensure that you have the best chance of successfully growing your own tree mallow plants from seed.
Preparing The Soil
So, once you have obtained your tree mallow seeds, the next step is to prepare the soil. Tree mallow grows best in well-drained, fertile soil that is slightly acidic. Here are some tips on how to prepare the soil for planting:
Choose the right location: Tree mallow prefers full sun to partial shade, so choose a location that receives at least six hours of sunlight per day. It also prefers sheltered locations that are protected from strong winds.
Clear the area:
Clear the area of any weeds, rocks, or debris that could interfere with seed germination and growth.
Amend the soil:
If your soil is heavy or clay-like, amend it with organic matter such as compost or well-rotted manure. This will improve drainage and help to provide essential nutrients to the plant.
Tree mallow benefits from regular fertilization throughout the growing season. Before planting, add a slow-release fertilizer to the soil to provide a steady supply of nutrients over time.
Test the soil:
Test the soil pH to ensure that it is within the range of 6.0 to 7.5. If the pH is outside this range, adjust it accordingly using soil amendments or lime.
These are some ideal growing conditions for your mallow seeds and help to ensure that they grow into healthy, vigorous plants.
Planting Tree Mallow Seeds
Once you have prepared the soil, it’s time to plant your tree mallow seeds. Here are some tips on how to plant tree mallow seeds:
Choose the right time:
The best time to plant tree mallow seeds is in the early spring after the danger of frost has passed. This will give the seeds plenty of time to germinate and establish before the summer heat sets in.
Soak the seeds:
Tree mallow seeds have a hard outer shell that can be difficult to penetrate. To help the seeds germinate more quickly, soak them in warm water for 24 hours before planting.
Plant the seeds:
Sow the seeds directly into the soil, or start them indoors in seed trays or pots. Plant the seeds at a depth of 1/4 inch, and space them 12-18 inches apart.
Water the seeds:
Water the seeds thoroughly after planting, and keep the soil moist but not waterlogged. Avoid letting the soil dry out completely, as this can interfere with germination.
Tree mallow seeds require plenty of sunlight to germinate, so choose a location that receives full sun or partial shade.
Caring For Tree Mallow Seedlings
Once your tree mallow seeds have germinated and started to grow, it’s important to provide them with proper care to ensure that they continue to thrive. Here are some tips on how to care for tree mallow seedlings:
Tree mallow seedlings require regular watering, especially during hot, dry weather. Water deeply once or twice a week, depending on the weather and soil conditions.
Fertilize your tree mallow seedlings every 4-6 weeks with a balanced fertilizer to provide essential nutrients for growth and flowering.
Mulch around the seedlings:
Apply a layer of organic mulch, such as shredded bark or leaves, around the base of the seedlings to help retain moisture and suppress weeds.
Prune as necessary:
As your tree mallow seedlings grow, you may need to prune them to maintain their shape and promote bushier growth. Prune in the spring before new growth begins.
Protect from pests and diseases:
Keep an eye out for pests and diseases that can damage or kill your tree mallow seedlings. Treat any problems promptly using organic or chemical methods, as appropriate.
Transplanting Tree Mallow Seedlings
After a few months, your tree mallow seedlings may outgrow their pots or become too crowded if sown directly in the ground. This is when it’s time to transplant them to a larger container or a permanent location in your garden. Here are some tips on how to transplant tree mallow seedlings:
Choose the right time:
The best time to transplant tree mallow seedlings is in the spring or fall, when the weather is mild and there is less stress on the plants.
Choose the right location:
Choose a sunny, sheltered location in your garden with well-drained soil that is slightly acidic. Avoid areas with strong winds or heavy foot traffic.
Prepare the soil:
Prepare the soil as you would for planting seeds, amending it with compost or well-rotted manure if necessary.
Dig the hole:
Dig a hole that is slightly larger than the root ball of the seedling. Gently remove the seedling from its pot, and place it in the hole, making sure the top of the root ball is level with the soil surface.
Backfill and water:
Backfill the hole with soil, gently firming it around the seedling. Water the plant thoroughly to help settle the soil and reduce transplant shock.
If your tree mallow seedling is tall and spindly, or if it’s planted in an area with strong winds, you may need to provide support in the form of a stake or trellis.
Mulch around the base:
Apply a layer of organic mulch around the base of the tree mallow seedling to help retain moisture and suppress weeds.
Growing tree mallow seeds is a fun and rewarding gardening project that can result in beautiful, showy blooms in your garden. So once again by preparing the soil, planting the seeds, caring for the seedlings, and transplanting them to a permanent location, you can successfully grow tree mallow plants that will bring color and beauty to your garden for many years to come.
Remember to provide your tree mallow plants with plenty of sunlight, water, and nutrients, and protect them from pests and diseases. With a little patience and care, you can enjoy the unique beauty and charm of tree mallow plants in your garden.
Here are some references for further reading on how to grow tree mallow seeds:
- “Growing Tree Mallow: How To Plant Tree Mallow Seeds” by Bonnie L. Grant. Gardening Know How. https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/shrubs/tree-mallow/growing-tree-mallow.htm
- “Lavatera trimestris – Tree Mallow” by National Gardening Association. Garden.org. https://garden.org/plants/view/1214/Tree-Mallow-Lavatera-trimestris/
- “Tree Mallow (Lavatera trimestris) – A Complete Guide” by Epic Gardening. https://www.epicgardening.com/tree-mallow/
These resources provide more detailed information on how to grow, care for, and enjoy tree mallow plants in your garden.