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How to Grow Malva Moschata – Musk Mallow
General information and description
Malva moschata, or musk mallow, as it is more commonly known because of the basal leaves which have a slightly musky scent, is probably one of the most beautiful native wildflowers in Britain.
A deciduous, hardy perennial in most parts of the UK with rounded leaves, it is delicate and almost fern-like. Musk Mallow blooms from mid-summer to early autumn with a succession of the most beautiful, fairly large saucer-shaped flowers in the softest pale pink, a beautiful sight in any herbaceous border.
Easy to grow and low-maintenance, musk mallow is bushy and will grow in most moist but well-drained soils, although rich soils are prone to rotting.
Plants are available from most good garden centers with the variety ‘Rosea’ probably the prettiest of all with its deep pink flowers, while f. alba is a beautiful albino variety. Seeds can also be bought from garden centers for those who would like to try growing them themselves.
Bee-attractive musk mallow is ideal for beds and borders, wildlife and wild flower gardens or low maintenance, informal and cottage gardens.
How to grow and plant Malva moschata
Suitable for planting in most moist but well-drained garden soils, avoid rich toes to prevent the plant from falling over. They prefer and feel best in full sun in a sheltered or exposed position.
How to grow Malva moschata from seed
Indoor sowing is best done in a cool frame from February to June or September to October. The seeds should be sown in pots or trays on the surface of compost that has been previously soaked and drained. Cover the seeds with a light dusting of compost and then place in a cold frame, making sure the compost is moist but not waterlogged. Germination is quite rapid and usually takes from seven to twenty-one days.
As soon as the seedling is large enough, transplant into 3-inch grow pots, making sure to hold the seedling by the leaves, not the stem. Plant in early summer in their final growing positions with about twenty inches between each plant.
Musk mallow can also be sown directly outdoors, where it should grow between April and May. Prepare the soil well first, rake it into a fine wound and then sow the seeds. Lightly rake, firm well and water the area well, but be careful not to overwater and drown the seed. Remove any competing weeds as they appear, and as soon as the seedlings are large enough to handle, thin them to about eighteen inches apart, discarding any weak ones.
How to care for Malva moschata
It requires very little maintenance, deadhead as needed and clean up old foliage and stems by cutting back to the base foliage in spring.
How to propagate Malva moschata
Propagation is possible either by basal cuttings or by seeds, which can be collected in late summer.
Pests and diseases
Musk mallow is generally pest and disease free, although it can be subject to leaf spot and rust disease
Toe: The most moist and well-draining soil, although rich soil is best avoided
Location: Full sun in a sheltered or exposed position
Height and Width: 36 x 24 inches
Flowering period: from June to September
If you live in Kingston, Richmond, Barnes, Putney, Wandsworth, Morden, Mortlak, East Sheen and surrounding areas, you can buy Malva moschata ‘Rosea’ direct from Wyevale Garden Centers in Lower Morden, SM4, Syon Park, TW8 and Osterley, TW7. see the link below.
Wyevale Garden Centers are also located in various other parts of the country, simply use their postcode search box to find a center near you.
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