Sidalceas or Greek mallows are lovely upright perennials producing clumps of mid-green basal leaves from which appear spires of fringed, hollyhock-like flowers in summer. Ideal for the middle and back of the herbaceous or mixed border, these emblems of the cottage garden loved by pollinating insects are equally suited to modern settings. Try mixing with agastaches, campanulas, echinops and lavenders or interlace with lime green and mahogany foliage plants such as alchemillas, euphorbias, heucheras and hostas.
Plant in moderately fertile, slightly neutral to alkaline soil in full sun — sidalceas will not flower well if planted in the shade. However, they will tolerate most soil conditions with the exception of sandy/dry and water-logged soils. Cut the stems down to ground level after flowering to help maintain the number of stems for the following year.
Sidalceas are supplied in 9 cm pots. Always unpack on arrival and store in a cool place until ready to plant.
Potential problems, pests and diseases:
Snails and slugs: these pests will eat away at the young shoots, stems, leaves and flowers. Watch out for damage!
Rust: appearing in the form of bronze pustules on the underside of the leaves, this fungal disease can dramatically impact the appearance and strength of sidalceas. Since humidity promotes infection, avoid growing plants in areas with poor air circulation and water them first thing in the morning to allow their leaves to dry out quickly. Destroy any affected foliage.