Lavatera Trimestris, Tree Mallow: Hollyhocks on Steroids

lavatera trimestris

Photo Compliments of Tatters

Lavatera trimestris, or tree mallow is an upright annual that grows in a shrubby form; it can reach a height of 2 to 4 feet. Its popularity comes from its summer to early fall bloom of saucer-shaped, white to pink flowers (2 to 3 inches across) that appear singly in the upper leaf axils.

Tree mallow produces rounded, medium green leaves (about 3 inches in length) and have a heart-shaped base with 3 to 7 shallow lobes.

How To Make Lavatera Trimestris, Tree Mallow Thrive

This annual is best grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun. You will improve your results with some light afternoon shade in hot summer climates.
Taller plants may need staking or support; deadheading spent flowers will extend bloom period. This plant may self-seed in some areas.

General Lavatera Trimestris, Tree Mallow Information

Pests and Diseases

No serious insect or disease problems. Root rot and leaf spots may occur when this plant is stressed. Japanese beetles may chew on foliage and flowers.


Sow seeds directly in the garden in spring two weeks before the last frost date. For earlier bloom, start seeds indoors 6 to 8 weeks before the last frost date. Set your plants out after last frost date.

Garden Uses

Annual bedding plant, it is also a great choice for containers.

Quick Facts

  • Family: Malvaceae
  • Common Name: Tree mallow
  • Plant Type: Annual
  • Height: 24 to 48 inches
  • Spread-Width: 24 to 36 inches
  • Bloom Time: July to September
  • Bloom Description: White to pink
  • Sun: Full sun
  • Water: Medium
  • Maintenance: Low
  • Flower: Showy, Good Cut

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  1. I adore this plant; it gives much needed color to my garden in the depth of summer when other plants, hating the heat, have retreated into greenness (and sometimes the brittle ashen state that signifies death). It is true that it does better out of the harsh afternoon sun.

    By the way I loved the Miracles video!
    debsgarden recently posted..Best of the Rest, 2015My Profile

  2. So pretty in pink!

  3. Of course I’m going to love this plant… it has Holly in the name 😉
    I’d have to fight off the Japanese Beetles tho. Those little &×@€¤○#&!!!!
    Ilex recently posted..Resting BeeMy Profile

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