Malopa is an ornamental herb with beautiful large flowers. Its homeland is the Mediterranean, and the name is translated from Greek as "similar to mallow." And indeed, funnel-shaped large flowers have some similarities, but are distinguished by great grace.
Malopa lives only one year, during which it grows in height by 30-120 cm. The stems are straight, dense, smooth or slightly pubescent. Leaves on long stalks are located along the entire length of the stem. The shape of the leaf plate is round or ovoid with a weakly expressed five-fingered outline. The surface is smooth, the color is light green.
Single flowers are located in the upper or central part of the stem. On one level, you can see several buds directed in different directions at once. Petals are soft, voluminous, pink, purple, violet and white. The flower consists of five petals with veins in the form of dark relief rays. The core is yellow in the form of a column, lush due to the many stamens. The open flower is large in size from 7 to 9 cm in diameter. Flowering is long and plentiful, lasts from the end of June until frost.
The fruits are collected in a small head, where they are arranged in uneven rows. The fruit size is very small in 1 g, there are more than 400 pcs. On one flower, up to 50 seeds are formed.
In the genus of this plant, there are three main species and several hybrid varieties. The most popular among gardeners is Malopa Trehnadreznaya. This is an annual with a powerful branchy stem and large three-lobed leaves. Large flowers up to 9 cm in diameter are attached to long peduncles. Funnel-shaped petals are painted in white, lilac, pink, raspberry and scarlet in color with dark pronounced veins. Breeders bred several varieties of malope, which differ in the size of the stems and the color of the petals. With the help of them you can create an unusual composition in the garden. The following varieties are popular:
- Malopa Diamond rose. The plant reaches 90 cm in height and is strewn with large flowers. The color of the petals is gradient, from the white edge to the burgundy base.
- Malopa Purpureya. It features bright purple colors. Glossy petals with burgundy veins. Stem height up to 90 cm.
- Malop Belyan. Very delicate due to snow-white inflorescences. Decorates the garden in summer, resembling snowballs on branches.
- Malopa is purple. In addition to bright pink flowers, it is attractive for its size. On tall stems (up to 120 cm) are simply giant flowers. Their diameter is from 10 to 12 cm. The color of the petals is uniform pink with a dark base.
Malopa propagates, like all annuals, by seed. They retain good germination for 4 years after harvest. Depending on the climate, sowing is carried out in early April for seedlings or in May in open ground. For seedlings prepare boxes with loose peat substrate. Small seeds are slightly crushed, but not sprinkled with earth. Moisturize the soil and cover it with glass or film to avoid excessive drying.
With the advent of shoots, shelter is removed. When the danger of frost has passed, the seedlings dive and transplant into the garden in a permanent place. Shallow pits (5-10 cm) are prepared for planting. Organic fertilizers are applied to the soil and planted. Between separate plants maintain a distance of 30-35 cm.
When sown in open ground, small grooves are pulled out. On day 14, shoots appear, which thin out as they grow.
Cultivation and care
Malopa is undemanding to the composition of the soil, but on fertile soil gives more flowers. Prefers sunny areas of the garden or slight shading. The plant is unpretentious, does not need regular care. A little watering in dry weather is enough. On depleted soils, the plant is fertilized with complex fertilizing. They are made every 2-4 weeks during the period of growth and flowering.
Malopa tolerates pruning well. It is produced for the formation of bushes and the use of inflorescences in bouquets. When cutting withered buds, new ones are more likely to appear in their place. Strong stems are resistant to gusts of wind and do not need garter.
Malopa is used to decorate flower beds, borders, rabatok and hedges. Tall stems with vibrant colors can set the necessary accents in the garden. Suitable for tall group landings. It gets along well with annual and perennial neighbors. You can pick up similar shades of petals or contrasting flowers. Malopa is in harmony with bush roses, calendula, nasturtium, irises, phlox, asters.
Tall shoots can hide an unsightly hedge or barn wall. Using a thick linear planting create a hedge for zoning the garden. Low-growing varieties can decorate flowerpots on the veranda or balcony.