Malva sylvestris 'Zebrina'
We bought a few of these long ago, in our garden's first year. Ever since, we've been resupplied by volunteer seedlings. They don't all have the exact same coloration - some, like the one pictured, are darker and richer in color, on others the lighter bands have more of a silvery appearance. But they all have the striking stripes, which earns them their place in our garden, even if it means weeding out the majority of the volunteers every spring. The picture at right was taken in late October one year, when this mallow was among the few things left proudly blooming in a garden ready to give up for the season.
||ordinary garden soil
||self-seeds prolifically in our garden
This plant used to grow in our garden, but it slipped away...
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Visitors to this page have left the following comments
|Rox Ann Myers||Jun 21, 2005||I've got one of these but mine is light purple w/dark stripes. If you want i'll email you a picture.|
Thanks RoxAnn. Most of mine are like that too - the photo above is more of an anomaly.
|Susan Shuff||Apr 08, 2006||Since the weather has finally started to warm up in Central Illinois, I have started doing a survey of my flower beds, cutting back dead leaves left over from last year, etc. I had 3 of these Malva that all but took over the southwest corner last year. They died off over the winter, so I cut the dead growth back to the ground. But unlike the rest of my perennials, I don't see any new growth starting to come up yet. Should I have left the old growth alone? Will they come up later in the early summer? Or should I assume that they have died off completely? Any ideas or comments? Thanks!|
These malvas aren't reliably perennial for me - whether because of cold hardiness or general short-livedness, I do not know. However, I find they self-seed rather prolifically, and bloom that same summer - so they are effectively perennial in our garden.
|DebbieKosal||May 20, 2006||this was my favorite flowering perineal last year. I am a novice planter. I have many very small seedlings this year in a 4 foot by 4 foot area. What should I do to produce a show like I had last year in the same section that I had originally planted two small plants. Any info would be greatly appreciated. I live in a zone 5 area.|
For me, this is either an annual or a short-lived perennial. Seedlings will grow fairly quickly and bloom the same year. I've only ever bought one cellpack of plants of these, years ago, and they're still happily inhabiting the same colony in my garden.
|Trish||Jun 25, 2008||I had three of these in my garden, in different locations. I recently put up a fence to keep the rabbits out, but to my surprise the Malva have been eaten down to the ground! The only other plants in the garden that were disturbed were some stargazer lilies (stems gone but leaves on the ground). Any idea what type of critter would do that? |
|Judy C||Jun 24, 2010||Trish - are you sure you didn't fence a rabbit into the yard? Other ideas of what could be eating... deer, voles, squirrels (when the growth is tender I have had gray squirrels eat the stems or bit them off and leave them to lay - currently they are eating my grape vines), chipmunks, and slugs or snails, and even Mountain Beaver (not the water type Beaver). It's a war zone out there for the plants in our yard as I have all of the above. I use Liquid Fence to keep the deer from eating things but haven't found much that works for the squirrels.|
|Irene||Aug 08, 2010||Malva sylvestris is a great edible plant. You use the LEAVES for salad or green puree and the flowers for decoration!|
|firstname.lastname@example.org||Nov 12, 2010||Please help, could anyone let me know if Malvaplants keep snakes away from your home. i heard that malvaplants keep them away.|
Never heard of that - I wish our garden had snakes, but it doesn't. I'd be kind of surprised if malvas would have that effect, especially on different species of snakes, but that's just a hunch.
|Carolyn Perry||Jul 05, 2011||I have a Malva Zebrina which had lots of flowers for a short time now just has a few. Should the stalks be cut during the season when there isn't very many flowers on them?|
At this stage, it's up to you - if the plant no longer looks attractive, cut it way back.
|Tami||Jul 15, 2011||I find if the malva sylvestirs zebrina has grown tall and most of the flowers have bloomed that if I cut it down half ways it will send out side shoots and grow and bloom again|
|Carole||May 25, 2012||I bought 2 malva plants, one purple , one was more pink, 5 years ago. These plants are extremely prolific once started they will reseed everywhere. and keep good color. I cringe when I see them for sale at greenhouses for $8- $10 each and are called perennials. I have thousands growing in my garden besides the ones I tilled up. I love them but they can almost be considered a weed because they take over and grow 5-6 ft. tall each and get 3-4 ft. wide. If you don't want them to reseed they need to be cut back before seeds are dry on stems. Also the stalk can get very thick and is hard to cut off in Fall. I keep them in one place if I can contain them. They also topple over easily from winds and height and can become a tangled mess but I still keep some because they are striking. They are not a perennial in Minnesota. I have enough seeds in my soil to enjoy them for years. |
|jackie||Aug 17, 2012||my mallow zebrina has only one stalk what do I do to make it bushy?|
The thing to do would be to cut it back hard in late spring. By this late in the season, it's pretty much decided its form.
|Kathy||Nov 25, 2015||The information on Malva Sylvestris was very helpful. I purchased one late summer. I left it in the pot since it bloomed beautifully all fall. With the information I read I doubt it will make it through our cold and long winters so I'm going to over winter in a cool bedroom and set out in the spring! super site with just the info I was looking for.|
|Katrina||Apr 30, 2016||I bought 2 Malva Zebrina last year ~ I didn't know anything about the plant except I love the color and the flower. Now this Spring ~ the old plant is dead and I see a lot of little starts around the plant. Question is, do I pull up the dead plant?|
Yes - these are short-lived plants, although not necessarily annuals. Remove mom, and let the kids thrive.
|Donna||Nov 19, 2016||Asking here, I grew malva from seed last year planted in the ground bunnies and raccoons loved it.
This year I planted some Inground in a protected area and some in large pots. Both have been amazing to watch this year and are still blooming in our extended fall season. Can I just throw the pots in the garage for the winter and expect regrowth in the spring or do I grab seed heads and start again next year?|
Some plants may survive, or they may self-seed in place, but to be safe, make sure to collect and start some seed.
|mona||Jun 15, 2017||How to protect this plant in winter season and makes it ready to the next year?|
I guess it depends on where you garden, but in general these mallows are best grown as annuals, starting fresh every year. They may survive in a mild winter, but likely will be leggy and less exuberant in their second year.
|Iva||Jun 18, 2019||Yesterday my Malva Zebrinas were beautiful. Today one is down to the stems
and the other is half eaten. I have chipmunks and rabbits in the yard. But I thought it was a rabbit resistant plant. What should I do? Is it too late to save what's left?|
They may recover, but then again, they may continue to be appetizing to whatever dined on them.
|Rachel||Jun 27, 2019||I just bought one and its beautiful. The flowers are all spent - I have lots of what looks like seeds.
Do I need to deadhead to encourage new flowers?|
Yep, that would be a good idea. Best to do that before seed sets.
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October 22, 2012