|Can malope be started indoors? The books I've consulted state that mallows are difficult to transplant. The packet (printed in England) says to sow the seeds outdoors in spring, but give no zone information. What is the scientific name for malope?|
|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.