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The Palmer's mallow is native to the dry foothill slopes and desert washes of California and Arizona where it grows with variable amounts of winter rainfall and long periods of drought. Its pale gray-green foliage helps reflect hot sun and reduce moisture stress. It commonly grows into a mounding shrub approximately 4 ft. tall and 4-5 ft. wide. Bright lemon-yellow flowers occur in late spring and can occur intermittently throughout the year. Seeds from these plants easily germinate in ornamental gardens.

Palmer's mallow is widely adapted to garden and landscape conditions throughout the Inland Empire. It thrives in full sun and with low amounts of supplemental water in the summer. As a California native, it has proven to be one of the easiest to grow and is highly tolerant of summer water. Plants receiving more water will grow faster and larger; it responds well to pruning in late fall through winter to manage its size. It combines well with other plants of the Southwest and many California native perennial species.

Water Needs

The Indian mallow is highly adaptable to varying moisture and irrigation practices in ornamental gardens. The chart shown below provides a recommended baseline guide to the monthly irrigation schedule and volume of supplemental water needed to maintain healthy growth throughout the average year. It should be noted there are several months indicated by an asterisk (*) when winter rains can provide sufficient moisture and irrigation is not needed. The high and low range of moisture indicates it can grow with varying amounts of water; more supplemental water commonly results in a longer growing season and larger sizes.

Irrigation Schedule and Graph

Low Water Use Plants

Irrigation Schedule 2

  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
Runs per Month 0x to 2x 0x to 2x 0x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 0x to 2x 0x to 2x
Inches per Run 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1"
Inches per Month 0" to 2" 0" to 2" 0" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 0" to 2" 0" to 2"

Range of supplemental summer water: 7"-14"
Range of supplemental winter water: 0"-10"

  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
For more information on how to use this Irrigation Schedule and Graph, follow this link.

For information how to calculate your irrigation system’s schedule and precipitation rate, please follow this link.

Plant Properties

Plant Type: Shrub, Native
Foliage Character: Evergreen
Habit: Mounding
Growth Rate: Moderate
Height: 4 ft. - 5 ft.
Width: 4 ft. - 5 ft.
Water Needs: Low 2
Foliage Color: Blue green, Silvery white
Flower Color: Yellow
Flower Season: Spring
Soil Adaptations: Well-draining soil, Clay
Exposure Adaptations: All day sun
Function: Residential spaces, Foliage accent plant, California native, Borders, Background plant


Prune dead flower heads, if desired, after spring bloom (D). Indian Mallow can be pruned to shape, if desired, in late fall or winter (4).



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