Tree mallow Lavatera arborea

☠ Toxic to humans
🐾 Toxic to pets
🌸 Not blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Hard-care
Tree mallow


Lavatera arborea is a deciduous shrub that grows from 6 - 12 feet (72 - 144 in) tall. It is characterized by its bright green, ovate leaves, which have lobed edges and measure 3 - 5 inches (36 - 60 in) in length. The leaves are covered with small, soft, hairlike hairs and are arranged alternately along the stems. The stems of Lavatera arborea are reddish brown in color and can be either smooth or slightly fuzzy, depending on the variety. The bark is also generally reddish brown in color and can be divided into 5 - 10 fairly distinct, roundish reddish brown ridges. The most distinguishing feature of the plant is its large, showy flowers, which bloom during the summer months. The flowers are made up of five pink or purple petals, measuring up to 6 inches (72 in) in diameter, each with a deep red center. Overall, Lavatera arborea is an attractive deciduous shrub with light green, ovate leaves and showy, pink to purple flowers with red centers. It is capable of reaching heights of 6 - 12 feet (72 - 144 in) and is an attractive addition to any landscape.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    of each 1. Aesthetic Appeal: Lavatera arborea is a beautiful ornamental plant, featuring bright green foliage and vibrant mauve flowers. 2. Shelter for Animals: Its dense foliage provides a safe shelter for a variety of birds, mammals, and insects, making it an excellent addition to a garden. 3. Pollinator Attractant: Lavatera arborea is an important source of nectar for honeybees and other pollinators, providing a vital resource to nearby gardens and crops. 4. Medicinal Properties: Its leaves are known to have antiseptic properties, and can be used to treat skin ailments and insect bites. 5. Erosion Control: Its dense, fibrous root system can help to stabilize soil on slopes and in banks, making it an effective choice for erosion control. 6. Privacy Buffering: Lavatera arborea can provide quick, dense coverage for outdoor living spaces, helping to maintain privacy.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    . 1. Diuretic: Lavatera arborea is known to have a diuretic effect, which can be used to aid kidney and bladder functions. 2. Anti-inflammatory: Lavatera arborea has anti-inflammatory properties, making it helpful in treating skin disorders and conditions such as arthritis. 3. Gastro-protective: Lavatera arborea can be used to assist in the healing of digestive tract issues such as ulcers and dyspepsia. 4. Immunomodulatory: Lavatera arborea can be used to strengthen the immune system and aid the body from infections. 5. Sedative: Lavatera arborea can have a sedative effect, allowing for restful sleep when taken as a tea. 6. Emmenagogue: Lavatera arborea is thought to initiate menstrual bleeding and provide relief from menstrual cramps. 7. Antispasmodic: Lavatera arborea has antispasmodic properties, which help to reduce spasms in the body, such as those related to asthma or irritable bowel syndrome. 8. Antioxidant: Lavatera arborea is rich in antioxidants, which assist in protecting the body against free radicals and other factors that can damage the skin or other organs.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    The Lavatera arborea, commonly known as the Tree Mallow, is a naturally air purifying plant. It has the ability to eliminate formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloroethylene from the air, as well as absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen back into the air, helping to naturally freshen and improve air quality. The Lavatera arborea is also known to be an excellent air humidifier, helping to counteract dry air and is a low-maintenance, visually pleasing, and a great choice when searching for an air purifying addition to any space.

  • leavesOther Uses

    1. Hardscaping and erosion control: Lavatera arborea can be used as a hardscape element in landscaping due to its fast growth and large size. Its roots can also help to prevent soil erosion. 2. Wildlife habitat: Lavatera arborea can provide valuable shelter and food for a range of wildlife, including birds and insects. 3. Ornamental: Lavatera arborea can be used in ornamental landscaping and gardening, as it has attractive blooms and foliage. 4. Windbreaks: Lavatera arborea can be planted in rows to help reduce wind speeds, making it an effective windbreak. 5. Shade: Lavatera arborea can provide welcome shade in areas exposed to direct sunlight. 6. Hedging: Lavatera arborea can be used for hedging, creating privacy screens and helping to define boundaries. 7. Mulch: Lavatera arborea leaves can be used as a mulch to help retain moisture in the soil and suppress weeds.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    Lavatera arborea, also known as tree mallow, is believed to bring good luck and fortune in Feng Shui. To use the plant, place it in the south sector of your home or office to attract wealth and financial prosperity. Additionally, it is believed that the plant can reduce arguments and enhance harmony within the space. Lastly, it can draw in positive energy to improve relationships between family members, coworkers, and neighbors.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    Lavatera arborea is associated with Capricorn, the tenth sign of the zodiac. This is because Lavatera is a hardy, drought-tolerant plant that is strong and reliable, just like the characteristics of the Capricorn sign. Capricorn is also associated with ambition, structure, and success, which reflect the strong and reliable traits of Lavatera arborea.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    Lavatera arborea, also known as tree mallow, is a species of flowering plant native to south and southwest Europe. Symbolically, this plant is a representation of strength, resilience, and growth. The tree mallow’s tall stature and vigorous growing habits are seen as a sign of strength and endurance, while its vibrant, delicate blooms embody the beauty and joy of growth. Tree mallow can also be seen as a representation of ambition, as it will keep growing upwards until it reaches its full height.

  • water dropWater

    Lavatera arborea, commonly known as Tree Mallow, should be watered regularly during its active growing season (spring to late summer) and sparingly during its dormant season (late summer to winter). When watering, your goal should be to provide deep, infrequent watering, as regular shallow watering can lead to shallow root growth. To water, make sure the soil is moist, but not saturated, throughout the root run. This will likely require watering around the base of the plant once a week or every other week, depending on the weather conditions. The exact amount of water needed will vary depending on the size of the plant and the soil type, but a good general rule of thumb is to provide enough water that the top 6-8 inches of soil is moist.

  • sunLight

    for the plant. Lavatera arborea thrives in full sun with well-draining soil and plenty of ventilation. It is a moderately drought-tolerant shrub, so it can be planted in locations that receive up to 8 hours of direct sun each day. It is best planted in a location with southern exposure as this will provide the most light throughout the day and help promote healthy, lush growth.

  • thermometerTemperature

    The best lighting conditions for Lavatera arborea are indirect sunlight to full sunlight with protection from the intense heat of direct sunlight. The best summer temperature conditions are 70-85°F and the best winter temperature conditions are 45-65°F.

  • scissorsPruning

    Lavatera arborea, commonly known as tree mallow, should be pruned twice a year in late winter and early summer. Prune around 15-20cm from the top of the plant, deleting any weak or upright branches, and to thin out the centre for light and air to reach the inner foliage. Cutting back branches to between 10-15cm from the base will also encourage compact and resilient regrowth.

  • bambooSoil

    . To make the best soil mix for Lavatera arborea, begin with a combination of ¼ parts garden loam, ¼ parts coarse sand, and ½ parts compost. The soil pH should be slightly acidic to neutral (6.0 – 7.5). To ensure moisture retention, consider adding 10–15% organic matter to the mix. For optimal drainage, consider aerating the soil with perlite or vermiculite. Finally, fertilize the soil with a balanced fertilizer to provide essential nutrients for the Lavatera arborea.

  • plantRepotting

    Lavatera arborea should be repotted every 2–3 years during the spring months. When repotting, a slightly larger pot should be used and fresh, well-drained soil should be added. The root ball should be loosened and roots trimmed if necessary.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    The best humidity conditions for Lavatera arborea are those that are moderate and slightly moist. The ideal humidity level should be around 60 to 70 percent. To increase the humidity, use a humidifier or mist the plant regularly with water. To decrease the humidity, pot the plant in loose, well- drained soil and use a dehumidifier in the room.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Lavatera arborea is best grown indoors in a space with bright light, such as a sunny window, and temperatures between 65-85 degrees Fahrenheit. The plant should also be given plenty of room to grow, so it's best to provide at least 2 feet in height and 2–3 feet in width. Additionally, water thoroughly when the topsoil is dry to the touch and ensure that the plant has good air circulation.

    • Outdoor

      The best conditions for Lavatera arborea to grow outdoors include full sun and well-draining, nutrient-rich soil. Lavatera arborea prefers temperatures between 40-85°F (4-29°C) and can tolerate up to 95°F (35°C). It requires at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day and should be watered regularly. Lavatera arborea can reach heights of up to 6-9 feet (1.8-2.7 m) and spreads up to 6 feet (1.8 m) wide.

  • circleLife cycle

    Lavatera arborea, commonly known as the Tree Mallow, is a deciduous shrub that grows to an average height of 6-8 feet and blooms in late summer and autumn. The plants produce a rounded shape with deep green and grey-green foliage, and the flowers are white to pinkish and have deep red tinged centers. Germination is usually achieved in a few weeks and the seedlings grow rapidly during their first year. The young plants experience rapid growth within their first 2 years, growing 2-3 feet per year and developing thick, woody trunks and a strong root system. As the Tree Mallow matures during its 3rd and 4th year, it can experience a slow rate of growth due to inadequate nutrients or periods of drought. Flower buds typically start to appear in the plant's 5th year, opening into showy clusters in the late summer or autumn. The flowers last for weeks and will tolerate temperatures as low as 30° Fahrenheit. In the winter, the foliage will die back, but the plant will survive without damage down to 20° Fahrenheit, though it may produce fewer flowers in the spring. During periods of frost and cold weather, a thick mulch should be applied to protect the shallow root system. The Tree Mallow can continue to produce flowers for decades if it is properly taken care of and planted in a suitable location, such as sunny and well-drained soil.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propagation of the Lavatera arborea plant can be done through seed, cuttings, or layering. Seed propagation: Sow Lavatera arborea seeds directly outdoors in early spring or late fall, or start them indoors 8-10 weeks before outdoor frosts are expected. Keep the soil temperature between 65-75°F (18-24°C). Seeds should germinate within 10-20 days. Cuttings propagation: Semi-hardwood cuttings can be taken in late summer or early fall and should be about 6-8 inches (15-20 cm) long. Dip the cutting in rooting hormone powder or gel and keep in a moist medium, such as vermiculite or sand. Keep the pot in a warm location, around 68-75°F (20-24°C). Roots should form in 4-6 weeks. Layering propagation: Layering is another method of rooting Lavatera arborea stems. In late spring or early summer, choose a low-growing stem and bend it to the ground, pinning it with a stone. Make a small shallow nick at a node and cover it with soil. Roots should form in the fall, at which time you can cut the stem off the parent plant and pot it up.