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Description

Sea mallow is native to the coastal areas and Mediterranean climate zones of southern France, that develops into a large mounding shrub, 6-10 ft. high, 8-12 ft. wide. Foliage is comprised of palmately lobed pale gray-green leaves, growing 2-3 in. across. Showy 2-3 in. dia. lavender-white flowers have rose-purple centers and purple veins. Flowers on this species face outward, are more visible and occur over a very long flowering season, from early spring into late fall in coastal regions.

Similar to other shrub-type mallows, this species is fast growing, has flexible branches and stems and is adaptable to many landscape and garden conditions found in the Inland Empire. It is best adapted to full sun or light shade and with regular supplemental water during summer. It has become a popular flowering shrub that is grown as a flowering accent plant in background areas, for screening and for foliage contrast. It is easy to shape and size with simple pruning. It is sometimes available in nurseries as a patio tree in courtyard spaces.

Water Needs

Sea mallow grows best in sunny garden locations on well drained soils and with moderate amounts of supplemental water during summer. 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 moisture during spring helps achieve a more robust and longer flowering cycle.

Irrigation Schedule and Graph

Moderate Water Use Plants

Irrigation Schedule 4

  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
Runs per Month 0x to 3x 0x to 3x 0x to 3x 2x to 3x 2x to 3x 3x to 4x 3x to 4x 3x to 4x 2x to 3x 2x to 3x 0x to 3x 0x to 3x
Inches per Run 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1"
 
Inches per Month 0" to 3" 0" to 3" 0" to 3" 2" to 3" 2" to 3" 3" to 4" 3" to 4" 3" to 4" 2" to 3" 2" to 3" 0" to 3" 0" to 3"

Range of supplemental summer water: 17"-24"
Range of supplemental winter water: 0"-15"

 
0"-3"
0"-3"
0"-3"
2"-3"
2"-3"
3"-4"
3"-4"
3"-4"
2"-3"
2"-3"
0"-3"
0"-3"
  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
For more information on how to use this Irrigation Schedule and Graph, click here.

Plant Properties

Plant Type: Shrub
Foliage Character: Evergreen, Drought deciduous
Habit: Mounding
Growth Rate: Fast
Height: 6 ft. - 10 ft.
Width: 8 ft. - 12 ft.
Water Needs: Moderate 4
Foliage Color: Pale green, Gray green
Flower Color: Lavender, Magenta
Flower Season: Summer, Spring, Fall
Soil Adaptations: Well-draining soil, Sand
Exposure Adaptations: Wind, Morning sun, Heat, Drought, Coastal salt air, All day sun
Function: Slopes, Screening, Residential spaces, Parks and open space, Flowering accent plant, Espalier, Banks, Background plant

Maintenance

Cut back as hard as necessary to keep a compact, bushy plant (5). Pruning is best done in late winter or early spring before flowering (D).

References

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