The arrival of spring is heralded by the blooms of globe mallow throughout the arid regions of the Southwest.
Native to the Southwest, globe mallow easily handles both cold and hot temperatures. Hardy to -10 degrees, it grows in drought-tolerant gardens in zones 6 through 9, where it flowers in spring in low-desert locations. In colder regions, it blooms a few months later. Often, they will also flower intermittently in summer and fall.
The cupped flowers add a ‘cottage garden’ feel to arid gardens where they should be planted in full sun where they will reach a size of 3 feet tall and wide. While globe mallow comes in different colors, such as red, pink, purple, and white – orange is the most common color. If one or more colors are present in the landscape, new volunteers may appear in a different color due to cross-pollination.
This intermediate desert native grows from seed or by transplants. It is also a great pollinator plant as they attract bees when in flower.
Globe mallow fits nicely alongside spiky succulents such as century plant (Agave americana) or green desert spoon (Dasylirion texanum). For a mixture flowering perennials, add blackfoot daisy (Melampodium leucanthum), desert marigold (Baileya multiradiata), and Goodding’s verbena (Glandularia goddingii).
Plants that can handle full, reflected heat, are valuable in the landscape. One way that globe mallow does this is due to tiny hairs that cover its leaves and stems and reflect the sun’s rays. The foliage can be irritating to the skin and eyes, so wear gloves and long sleeves when doing any pruning. To keep globe mallow attractive and promote additional flowering the next year, shear it back to 1-foot tall and wide once the blooms fade in late spring or early summer.