About Rose Mallow: Though many of the plants in the Hibiscus genus grow in tropical or semitropical regions, several hardier species such as this one are native to North America. The genus name Hibiscus comes from the Greek word for “mallow,” the name of a common flower. The species name “militaris” refers to the resemblance of the leaves of this plant to a 16th century military weapon called a halberd. In the language of flowers, hibiscus signifies delicate beauty or gentleness.
Rose Mallow Germination: Direct sow in late fall, planting the seeds ¼” deep. For spring planting, mix the seed with moist sand and store it in the refrigerator for 60 days before direct sowing. To start indoors, sow seeds ¼” deep in a flat or individual peat pots, keeping the soil lightly moist and at a temperature of 80-85 degrees F until germination. Keep the seedlings evenly moist. When the weather has warmed and the seedlings are well established, transplant outdoors. This plant adapts well to marshy or consistently wet soil.
Growing Rose Mallow Seeds: In their first seasons of development, these young plants need consistent moisture for healthy growth. Mature plants can adapt to some drought or excess moisture. In general, this plant will produce the best results in moist, rich soil. Pinch back the growing stems in spring to produce a bushier, more compact plant. Deadhead spent blossoms to prolong blooming. When the plant dies back at the end of the season, cut it down to several inches above the ground. Provide a thick layer of mulch for protection over winter, especially if the ground freezes. In cooler climates the plant tends to be slow to emerge in the spring, often not appearing until early summer. These flowers attract bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds.
Harvesting Rose Mallow: For fresh flowers, cut long stems of flowers that have just opened and place them in water immediately; strip the leaves that will fall below the water.
Saving Rose Mallow Seeds: After flowering, this plant will produce papery light brown seed pods that contain fuzzy, round brown seeds. Remove the pods and spread them out to dry. Open the papery pods and shake out the seed inside. Store the seed in a cool, dry place.
Detailed Rose Mallow Info: Origin: US Native Other Common Names: Halberd Leaved Swamp Mallow, Soldier Rose Mallow Duration: Perennial Bloom Time: Late Summer Height: 60-72 inches Spacing: 18-24 inches Light: Full Sun to Part Shade Soil Moisture: Moist to Wet USDA Zone: 2a-11 Seeds Per Oz: 2,800 Produces large, divided green leaves and 4-5” flowers in white or pale pink with deep red centers.