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Hello everyone, Im a huge lavatera/hollyhock and hibiscus fan and currently have 2 lavatera in my garden one is Barnsley and the other hasn't got a label. I planted them both this year. My Dad use to have an entire wall of giant lavatera's growing along our garden boundary, they where the typical rose pink colour and attracted lots of insects but this was when I was a child and he can't remeber what type they were.

Can anyone tell me which types of shrubby lavatera are the hardiest in the uk? I have tried to grow coastal tree mallow L.Arborea for the last 4 years and havnt managed to get them to flower before the frost comes, I even saved them inside over winter and they just got massive this year and looked as though they would flower but didnt, I grow them in well drained full sun as which they apparently love! The frost will however stop them and turn them to mush again, would wrapping them in bubblewrap help?



Dean, I've only grown Barnsley. I garden on clay. It was in full sun and flowered readily from first year. It was hardy in Yorkshire and received no winter protection. I did find that it was a short lived plant, about 6yrs I think. Maybe that was just mine.

star gaze lily

Can't remember what type i've had either but have had them about 3 times and every time they only last for 5 to7 yrs  I live in sussex and have tried them in different parts of the garden. But maybe there is something on the internet to advise.  Hope you can find the type you want, they are so pretty aren't they.

I have 2 of these and both are in free drained areaswith all day sun. I only give them a once yearly feed in spring after pruning and then leave them.


Would.nt advise bubble wrap,plant needs to breathe,if you want to cover use fleece.I only have Barnsley,I cut it back after flowering to prevent it getting too woody,and have never covered it at all.



Lavatera is a very hardy shrub but as has been mentioned comparatively short lived. I think the profusion of flowers burns it out after afew years.

Hibiscus are less hardy and in more northerly areas needs some protection.


 The shrubs only last a few years, but are easy to propagate from  semi ripe cuttings.

 Rosea , Burgundy wine, Candyfloss, and Barnsley  can all be increased this way.

fidgetbones - I've a lavatera and thought it would last forever, that's my bubble burst  when is it best to propogate and...silly Q...but what do you mean by semi ripe cuttings.

Yes I read that lavatera are short lived, they can also just not re-leaf after a bad winter. I want to get some of the variety my dad grew, possibly called "Lavatera-Kew rose" from google searching. Im wondering how hardy it might be though

Thanks to everyone for there advice



A semi ripe cutting is about late may or early june, depending on weather/season/climate.  A soft cutting will bend easily and droop fast. Hardwood cuttings are taken in winter, when the new wood has hardened so it will not bend easily. A semi ripe cutting, is new wood that has started to harden. Its a bit trial and error until you have the experience.  I also root buddlejas the same way.

if you learn how to propagate from cuttings, you can grow lots of shrubs for free. Most people will let you have a bit off of theirs, especially if you have some for swaps. Rule of thumb. If you take one cutting it will die. If you take six, you will have five excess to swap/ give away.

figetbones - will give it a try next year. The GW's calender should arrive at the end of this month so it will go on as a job to do in May. The link has been added to my favourites.

I've managed to get hard wood cutting to take, went round the garden last year taking cutting from plants and was suprised at what did root. 

Dean Alex, hi.

Have you tried malva?  Shorter cousins in the mallow family.  Flowerimg all summer at a height of 3' or so.  Album is lovely white ...hardy here. Pink and blue varieties too

Hey Verdun, Yes I grow Malva, trimestris is it? The annual mallow, in white and various shades of pink. They did very well this year actually, lots of seed for next year

I was thinking of's short lived perennial. 

I have wanted to try moschata actually, Im working my way through the mallow family. Ive got marsh mallow, tree mallow, annual, shrub, hibiscus's, hollyhocks, sidalcea's Its such an underated family I feel, Hardy ever see them on gardens world much!


Tree mallows seed well down here on the Towans etc.  Yes, prob are underrated.

Highland Jeannie

I'm keen on mallows, too - as you say Sara, very easy to propagate.  I particularly like the sidalceas - used to like hollyhocks but didn't like the rust.

There are several mallows out just now all with tiny deep pinky purple flowers.

Highland Jeannie, try growing hollyhock antwerp mix, there alcea ficifolia which basically means fig leaved, the leaves are more of an interesting shape and the entire plant has great resistance to hollyhock rust.  Sidalcea's are awesome too

Highland Jeannie

That's a thought dean, only problem is that garden we have now is somewhat windy & I'm not a good "staker." (Until too late )!!

Haha you arnt the only one!! I really would try them if you feel the desire sometime though. When you plant them in there final positions, put a bamboo cane next to them so you dont forget! Ive had awful luck with Double hollyhocks and mixed luck with single hollyhocks, but the Antwerps were rust free this year which was my first year of growing them!