Answer: Malope trifida is a hardy annual related to malva and lavatera. It is best grown from seed planted directly in the garden where it is to grow because seedlings form a tap root that makes transplanting risky. The seeds need chilling in order to germinate, so plant seeds directly in the garden 2 to 3 weeks before your last frost date. Cover seed with a very light layer of soil. You can try starting them indoors in peat pots 4 to 6 weeks before your last frost; just be sure to chill the seeds in the refrigerator for 3 weeks prior to sowing. Be very careful not to disturb the roots when you transplant your seedlings to the garden.
Malope does best in a rich, well drained soil with full sun, but it will tolerate less fertile soil and partial shade. Mature plants can reach 3 feet tall with a spread of approximately a foot.
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