Growing Tips: Lavatera

Quick Reference:

Annual, a plant that completes it’s life cycle in one season. Cover seed with 1/8 inch fine soil spaced ¾ to 1 inch apart. Germination: 15 to 20 days. Ideal spacing in the garden is 15 to 20 inches. Plant height: 3 ½ to 3 ½ feet.

When and where to plant:

In the warm interior areas of Alaska, lavatera may be planted directly in the garden after the last frost. Lavatera prefers to be planted where it will grow all summer, it has tender roots and must be transplanted with care. Lavatera likes warm soil and sunny weather and in the cooler areas, should be started indoors 6 to 8 weeks before the last frost because the plants require a long season to reach their peak bloom. Fill individual plastic pots that have drainage holes with sterilized potting soil, plant 2 or 3 seeds per pot, firm soil over seed, water well, keep moist until seedlings emerge. When seedlings show their first green leaves water with a liquid solution of plant food and place pots in full sun. When the seedlings are 1 to 1 ½ inches tall thin by clipping off all but the largest one, allow soil to dry out between each watering, water with a liquid solution of plant food every two weeks and grow indoors until the garden is ready. Choose an area in the garden with full sun and in average, well-drained soil. After the last frost, make a hole in the garden for a seedling, fill it with water, carefully slide the moist root ball out of the plastic pot, transplant it in the hole making sure the roots are not injured and press the soil around the root ball. Immediately water well to help reduce transplant shock.

Care:

Water when the soil becomes dry. Feed with a complete plant food twice during the summer. Lavatera does not grow well in cool, wet weather.