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Care of the shrub Malva subovata or Sea mallow.

Care of the shrub Malva subovata or Sea mallow

The Malva genus, family Malvaceae, comprises about 30 species of herbaceous plants and shrubs distributed throughout Africa, Asia and Europe. Some species are: Malva subovata, Malva arborea, Malva canariensis, Malva sylvestris, Malva hispanica.

Common name: Sea mallow. Scientific synonym: Lavatera maritima. This species is native to the Mediterranean basin.

They are fast-growing, erect evergreen shrubs that reach 1.8 meters (5.9 feet) in height. The leaves are grayish-green in color and resemble those of the Maple. The abundant and showy white flowers have a purple center. They can bloom from spring to mid-fall.

They are used as windbreak screens, as isolated specimens and in bushy groups. They are ideal for Mediterranean coastal gardens. They attract butterflies, bees and birds.

The Malva subovata needs full sun exposure and a warm, dry climate. They resist occasional frosts down to -5 ºC (23 ºF).

The soil can be a normal well-drained garden soil with coarse sand and containing a little organic matter; they also grow on sandy or calcareous soils.

They resist drought well, so they should be watered moderately, waiting for the substrate to dry out.

Fertilize with compost every 2 years at the end of winter.

Prune after flowering to maintain a compact habit and eliminate dry branches.

They are plants resistant to the usual pests and diseases but sensitive to excess watering.

They are propagated from seeds sown in spring.

Images of the shrub Malva subovata or Sea mallow

Malva subovata
Malva subovata
Malva subovata
Malva subovata