Malopa (lat. Malope ) is a flowering plant native to North Africa. Also, the natural habitat of this flower is the countries of the Mediterranean. This culture, belonging to the Malvaceae family, is used both in ornamental gardening and in indoor floriculture. When caring for malopoy, it is important to follow the correct agricultural practices.
Flowers solitary, five-petalled, tubular, wide open, different shades of pink, as well as white, purple, red. Some varieties have dark longitudinal stripes in the center of the buds. Inflorescences are formed in the axils of the leaves.
This culture begins to bloom from mid-summer. The buds stay on the plant until frost. As a result of pollination by insects, in the place of each flower, after the flowering period, a fruit ripens – an achene.
Species and varieties
Large-flowered Malope ( Malope Grandiflora ). A high variety of this culture, powerful shoots of which can grow up to 100 – 110 cm. The heart-shaped leaves have another arrangement, densely cover the stems. Flowers of various shades, with a diameter of 9 – 10 cm.
Malope trifida ( Malope trifida ). The lush bush consists of stems of a greenish-brown color with strong branching. Reaches up to 70 cm in height. The stems are densely covered with large three-lobed, rich green leaf plates with notches along the edges. Peduncles are long, develop in the axils of the leaves. Funnel-shaped flowers, up to 9 cm across. Petals can be snow-white, lilac, pink, purple. Inside the corolla is a large ovary.
Description of popular varieties of malopa:
“Belyana” is a snow-white variety with large buds that abundantly cover the bush during flowering.
“Volcano” is a tall plant with powerful stems 100 – 120 cm long. Funnel-shaped flowers, bright crimson hue, up to 8 cm in diameter.
“Purpurea” – a flower a little over half a meter high. It has velvety petals of carmine color. Inside the petals there is a dark pattern of veins.
“Glacer” – distinguished by spectacular flowers. Petals can combine several shades at once: pink, white, purple.
“Diamond Rose” – a variety about 1 m high. The bush blooms profusely, forming large funnel-shaped flowers of large sizes, rich burgundy hue.
“Pretty Woman” is one of the most beautiful varieties with pink buds of varying degrees of brightness.
“Purple” – grows up to 120 cm. It is distinguished by large buds, the diameter of which when opened is 12 cm. The petals are pink with a darker base.
“Capri” – a variety with carmine-white inflorescences. It blooms for a long time and intensively, pleasing the eye with beauty until the onset of frost.
Malope Praecox ( Malope Praecox ). Type of early flowering. Buds bloom from early June to mid-autumn. During this period, the bush is densely strewn with pale pink, lilac, raspberry inflorescences. Unlike other varieties of this plant, the height of the stems of Preycox malopa does not exceed 40 cm. It is popularly called “summer mallow” for its strong resemblance to this culture.
One-year-old malopa is obtained by the seed method. Seed material can be sown directly on the site or planted in boxes for growing seedlings. The germination of the seed of this crop is quite high, it lasts for 4 years.
For planting, containers are filled with soil for seedlings, or any nutrient soil is taken. Suitable composition of peat and sand, taken in equal volumes. Sow seeds in early March. When sowing, they are slightly pressed with the palm of their hand into the substrate, I do not sprinkle with earth, since this is not necessary.
During the care of a small planting, they are irrigated with a spray bottle using water at room temperature, tightly covered with cling film on top to create mini-greenhouse conditions. Before germination, keep in a lighted place at a temperature of 20 degrees.
It is necessary to regularly remove the shelter to ventilate the crops, prevent their decay and moisten the soil. Moisten the ground also with a sprayer, as a strong stream of water will wash the seeds.
When sprouts appear, the shelter will need to be removed. If the crops are placed on the southern windowsill, shading should be done at noon, otherwise the direct rays will burn the young plants. After the formation of a pair of leaf plates in the sprouts, they dive into small pots or plastic glasses filled with the same soil.
In the period from April to May, after warm weather sets in and spring frosts pass, the grown seedlings are transplanted to a plot at a distance of 15 cm from each other.
Sowing seeds in the ground
So that the seed is not damaged by return frosts, malopa seeds should be planted in open ground only when the earth warms up well – in this case, cultivation will be successful. Usually this work in the southern regions is carried out in the second half of April – early May. In mid-latitudes, seeds are planted in late spring – early summer.
For planting, they choose a place in the garden, dig it up, if necessary (if the soil is poor), fertilize. After that, shallow furrows are made and seed is distributed in them.
Planting seeds at a distance of 20 – 30 cm, they do not have to be rowed. Otherwise, the plantings will be dense, the plants may develop poorly. After planting, the soil is leveled, moistened using a watering can with a nozzle.
After 3-4 weeks, sprouts will hatch. The strongest of them should be left, the rest should be removed so that the specified distance remains between them.
- Location. In order for Malopa not to lose its decorative properties for a long time, it must be grown in a well-lit area of the garden. Even in partial shade, flowering will be poor, and the shoots will stretch out, which will negatively affect the appearance of the plant. Areas with close contact with groundwater are not suitable for breeding this crop, since the flower will not tolerate excess moisture in the soil.
- The soil. This plant is suitable for nutritious slightly acidic substrates with good air and water permeability. The soil on which the flower will grow must be loose. The flowering of this crop largely depends on the quality of the soil.
- Watering. Abundant watering is required only for young specimens for the first time after planting. Regular water procedures contribute to the successful adaptation of the plant in a new place and its development. In the future, it is necessary to water the malopa only on strong dry days, if precipitation does not fall for a long time. When watering, it is important to focus on the top layer of the earth. If it is not completely dry yet, then additional moisturizing is not necessary.
- Topdressing. Fertilizers should only be applied if the darive has been planted in nutrient-poor soil. This plant actively forms buds only in a fertile composition. Top dressing is applied throughout the entire flowering period, this will contribute not only to the intensity of the formation of inflorescences, but also to the duration of flowering. Fertilizer should be applied once a month, using mineral formulations for flowering crops. Organic matter can be added to the soil during planting. If you add it at another time, an active increase in green mass will begin, which will negatively affect flowering.
- Pruning. This work is carried out to maintain a neat appearance of the bush. Remove faded buds, damaged leaves.
- Other activities. This flower responds well to weeding, which is carried out after each water treatment and rains. It is important to remove weeds in a timely manner so that they do not take away the supply of nutrients from the plant. Faded inflorescences must be removed in a timely manner, then the bush will be covered with flowers throughout the season. If this is not done, the buds will open alternately, which will reduce the decorative effect of the flower.
Diseases and pests
Malopa refers to plants with high immunity. It is exposed to the invasion of pests and diseases only if the rules of care are violated.
The flower can affect:
- Spider mite. A small white web appears on parts of the plant, which eventually covers it more and more. The insect sucks juices from the leaves, as a result of which they turn yellow and dry. At the first sign of the appearance of a pest, you need to spray the bush with an insecticide.
- Aphid. It sucks the juice from all parts of the flower, which leads to their withering. Having found small green insects, they are treated with an insecticide preparation.
- Nematodes. Damage to the root system of the plant. To prevent their occurrence, it is necessary to properly water the malopa, avoiding waterlogging of the earth. To combat insects use “Karbofos”.
- Powdery mildew. When a plant is affected by this disease, the leaves acquire a white coating and curl. The occurrence of this disease is provoked by excessive watering. To prevent it, it is important to properly moisturize the flower. Fungicides are suitable for resuscitation of this culture.
- Rust. It appears as brown and yellow spots on the leaves. Usually this disease develops in rainy summer. To eliminate it, Bordeaux liquid or copper oxychloride is used. If the plant is severely affected, it is dug up and burned.
Application in the garden
A bush with long stems and large bright buds will be an excellent decoration for a flower garden, flower bed or an empty garden area. With the help of this culture, ridges are created, undersized varieties are used to decorate borders.
Malopes look beautiful in group plantings, especially if several varieties of inflorescences of different colors are planted. Behind tall varieties, you can hide unattractive outbuildings, decorate the local area. Varieties reaching 100 cm or more are suitable for creating hedges.
These photos show how malopa flowers look in a flower bed:
The most harmonious neighbors for this culture are annual and perennial plants with a similar shade of buds. Combinations of malopa with mallow, irises, phlox, nasturtiums, asters, marigolds, iberis, fragrant tobacco, snapdragons look good.
Species with short stems are suitable for planting in containers, which are installed on balconies, terraces, verandas, near gazebos in the garden.