Dictionary of Flowers: Alchemilla
Delicate yellow Alchemilla (Lady's Mantle). Image used under a Creative Commons licence with the kind permission of VTGard and Flickr
- Common name: lady's mantle
- Family: Rosaceae
- Category: Perennial in USDA zones 4-7
- Height: 24" to 30"
- Width: 30"
- Sun/part shade
- Blooms: early summer to early frost
- Attracts: butterflies
- Growth habit: mounding, clumping. Used as a filler in container combinations
- Maintenance: easy
- Soil: average, moist, well drained, neutral to slightly acidic. Water regularly if grown in containers. Once established, it's tolerant of drier conditions.
- Garden uses: borders, beds, containers
- Diseases: mildew
- Pests: aphids
Lady's Mantle is an old fashioned perennial with delicate chartreuse green sprays of flowers and light green leaves that look pleated.
The flowers tend to lean because of their own weight. The leaves are pleated, slightly fuzzy. It works well on the edge of a border, to soften it and it's perfect in a cottage garden plan. It can also be grown in containers.
It's a great plant for dry shade, but it requires regular watering during the first season, so as to allow it to develop a good root system. It also requires more frequent watering if grown in full sun and during hot summer days.
Deadhead to basal growth and shear to remove tatty looking foliage in summer after the plant has finished blooming. If the plant still looks fairly good, simply remove brown leaves. Don't cut back in fall, as plants do better next season.
Clean up dead leaves in spring, but don't cut too close to the crown. Alchemilla doesn't need to be divided very often.
Colorful bugs will be attracted to Lady's Mantle. Image used under a Creative Commons licence with the kind permission of [duncan] and Flickr
It can be grown from seed. It germinates in seven to ten days. Sprinkle seeds into moist starting mix, cover with an 1/8 inch of soil and keep between 60-70°F.
If germination doesn't happen after a month, place container in the refrigerator inside a plastic bag, and keep it cold for four weeks, then return to warm temperature.
Plants grown from seed can take two years to bloom. Harden off for a week and plant in desired spot after danger of frost has passed.
Lady's Mantle self seeds in the garden if not deadheaded. It can also be wintersown.
Dreamy Lady's Mantle. Image used under a Creative Commons licence with the kind permission of Takashi .M and Flickr
- Alchemilla alpina – a good choice for containers, since it is smaller than alchemilla mollis
- Alchemilla mollis ‘Robusta’
- Alchemilla mollis ‘Thriller’ – a prolific bloomer
- Alchemilla mollis ‘Auslese’ – this cultivar offers a more upright growth habit
Alchemilla flowers can be heavy, so stems may droop under their weight. Image used under a Creative Commons licence with the kind permission of Kate ter Haar and Flickr
Full List of Dictionary of Flowers Entries
Annuals For Containers
- Anagallis (Pimpernel)
- Ageratum (Floss Flower)
- Antirrhinum Majus (Snapdragon)
- Asparagus Fern
- Bellis Perennis (English Daisy, Lawn Daisy)
- Bidens (Golden Goddess)
- Brassica Oleracea (Ornamental Cabbage)
- Browalia (Bush Violet, Sapphire Flower)
- Calendula Officinalis (English Marigold, Pot Marigold)
- Calibrachoa (Million Bells)
- Celosia (Cockscomb)
- Cerinthe (Blue Shrimp Plant, Honeywort)
- Chrysantemum Carinatum (Ismelia Carinata, Painted Daisy, Tricolor Daisy)
- Convolvulus Tricolor (Dwarf Morning Glory)
- Cordyline (False Dracena, Spikes)
- Coreopsis Grandiflora (Tickseed)
- Cosmos (Mexican Aster)
- Cuphea (Cigar Plant, Bat Face, Small Mice)
- Dahlia Hybrids
- Datura (Angel's Trumpet, Devil's Trumpet)
- Dianthus (Sweet Williams, Carnation, Pinks)
- Diascia (Twinspur)
- Felicia (Blue Daisy)
- Fuchsia (Lady's Eardrops)
- Gazania (Treasure Flower)
- Gerbera (Gerber Daisy)
- Glecoma (Creeping Charlie, Ground Ivy)
- Hedera (English Ivy)
- Heliotropium Arborescens (Garden Heliotrope, Cherry Pie)
- Helichrysum Petiolare (Licorice Plant)
- Hibiscus Rosa-Sinensis (Annual Hibiscus, Tropical Hibiscus)
- Iberis (Candytutf)
- Impatiens (Busy Lizzie, New Guinea Impatiens, Balsam)
- Ipomea Batatas (Sweet Potato Vine)
- Lantana Camara (Lantana)
- Lobelia Erinus (Lobelia)
- Lobularia Maritima (Sweet Alyssum)
- Matthiola (Stock, Ginnyflower)
- Nemesia Strumosa (Nemesia)
- Nemophila (Five Spot, Baby Blue Eyes)
- Nicotiana (Flowering Tobacco)
- Nierembergia (Cup Flower)
- Nigella Damascena (Love In A Mist)
- Osteospermum (Cape Daisy)
- Pennisetum (Fountain Grass)
- Perilla Frutescens (Perilla)
- Phlox Drummondii (Annual Phlox)
- Portulaca (Moss Rose)
- Primrose Polyanthus
- Salvia Annual
- Scabiosa Atropurpurea (Pincushion Flower)
- Scaveola (Fan Flower)
- Senecio (Dusty Miller)
- Solenostemon (Coleus)
- Sutera (Bacopa)
- Schizanthus (Poor Man's Orchid)
- Tagetes (Marigold)
- Thunbergia (Black Eyed Susan Vine)
- Torenia (Wishbone Flower)
- Tradescantia (Wandering Jew)
- Tropaeolum Majus (Nasturtium)
- Vinca Minor (Lesser Periwinkle)
- Viola Species (Pansy, Viola)
Perennials For Containers
Go from Alchemilla Mollis (Lady's Mantle) to the Dictionary of Flowers
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