The flowering season of this South African beauty comes to an end in late autumn. By then, at the latest, its owner must decide whether to give it another year of life. After all, the plant alone can not survive the cold winter.
Winter is a foreign word for them
Cape mallow has not developed winter hardiness, as it is not a necessity in its native habitat at the southern tip of Africa. While it can grow outdoors as a bush all year round there, in this country it is planted in a container where it remains somewhat smaller.
This method of cultivation allows easy switching between summer and winter location. After all, only with a specifically organized wintering, the plant can remain perennial in our country and year after year sprout its beautiful flowers.
Beginning and end of the winter period
The moving date for the Cape Mallow does not depend on the calendar alone, but on the currently prevailing weather conditions. It is important to avoid frost, as well as temperatures below 10 °C.
In order to ensure that the late flowers also earn admiring glances, the move can be delayed as far as the weather permits. In spring, on the other hand, under favorable conditions, a move out can be ventured before mid-May.
Pay attention not only to the temperature during the day. In autumn and spring there is a risk of night frosts. Checking the weather forecast daily can save the life of the Cape Mallow.
The ideal winter home
In winter, the Cape Mallow needs a space where it is completely safe from frost. This should ideally provide the following conditions:
plenty of light
temperatures of 10 to 15 °C
Cape Mallow is evergreen, but may lose some of its leaves in its winter home if it is too dark. It will resprout in the spring.
Pruning for lack of space
If space is tight in the wintering quarters, the pruning-tolerant plant may feel the shears. The shoots can be shortened to 3-4 pairs of leaves, leaving only about a third of the crown. In the spring, when the plant sprouts new shoots, pruning can still be done if necessary.
Never allow the Cape Mallow’s soil to dry out completely, even during the winter dormant season. Give the plant a little water as soon as the top layer of soil has dried. No further care is required.