Herbaceous, perennial or annual, the lavatera has a bushy appearance and belongs to the Malvaceae species. The lavatera is made up of long, thick stems and pendulums, with many pentalobed leaves of an intense green color. In larger varieties, the stems exceed one meter in height. The flowers produced by the lavatera are very similar to those of the hibiscus, that is, in the shape of a bell, with different colors depending on the species of belonging: red, pink, white or multicolored in more particular species. Flowering occurs in the period between July and October. This plant with a romantic design is grown in the garden thanks to its beautiful and long flowering. The lavatera trimestris is an annual plant, which grows in the form of large bushes, ideal for creating beautiful flowery borders, but also to create a bouquet of flowers receding them with skill. Flowers reach a maximum width of 10cm. The species of arboreal lavatera, however, can reach a height of 3 meters, is ideal to grow in the gardens to the sea: its flowering is from May to August and the flowers produced are smaller than the other species, only 5 cm, gathered in minute pyramidal panicles.
The lavatera loves to be positioned in areas with strong lighting and sunny, but sheltered from the winds, I would be disappointed for its health. It is advisable to use a mixed soil combined with expanded clay, in order to ensure proper drainage and a suitable fertility. The lavatera resists very well to long periods of drought, it must be watered only when the soil is completely dry, paying attention not to wet the leaves. If the annual lavatera is cultivated, the fertilizer must be used once every three weeks, diluting it in the water used to water. The perennial, however, with granular slow release fertilizer, with a cadence of 3-4 months. The multiplication occurs by planting seeds in new soils and rarely by cuttings; sowing in the land for perennials takes place between May and June; on the other hand, for the annuals it is passed in September, or in April if it is planted in pots in an apartment. When the new seedlings are well developed, it is possible to transplant them with all the earthen bread and the roots in the new chosen point.
Diseases and cures
Lavatera is prone to fungal diseases such as oidium, which is caused by an extremely hot-humid climate; as far as the pests are concerned, he is very afraid of the attacks of the aphids. To prevent both these potential dangers, you can carry out antiparasitic and antifungal treatments, you can also use a bio-fungal aficida always to prevent any problems.
The lavatera are planted individually or in groups, they can easily be combined with other colored shrubs, in such a way as to create splendid associations of colors. The huge summer flowering that is followed by a drastic pruning in spring, allows to create beautiful flower beds with perennial plants creating volume. In the presence of bad soil and not optimal for the lavatera, that is rich in nitrogen, the part of the stem of the plant, the green, will lengthen to excess, ruining the classic beauty of the plant.
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