Sidalcea is a perennial flowering plant native to North America. It produces dense tufts of thin and flexible stems, slightly fleshy, of a brilliant light green color, on the stems grow numerous leaflets deeply divided into 5-7 lobes with rounded, light green color, often also united in basal rosettes; from May until the first cold it produces innumerable bell-shaped flowers, white pink or lilac that bloom over the entire length of the stems. The plants of a couple of years can produce stems even of a height of one meter, even if often the plants are kept more contained height, expanding over the years for all the space they have available. Sidalcea is very appreciated as a cut flower and is often used to make floral compositions.
This particular variety of plants prefers very sunny positions, even if it develops without problems in areas of partial shade, as long as the specimens of this genus receive at least a few hours a day of direct sunlight in order to present a more luxuriant bloom. It does not fear the cold; since the stems are very flexible, it is advisable to place the sidalcee in a place sheltered from the winds and heavy rains.
The sidalcea plants do not need large amounts of water, withstanding short periods of drought without problems; in the summer period, if the rains are scarce, it is advisable to water the plant with regularity on alternate days, to prevent the plant due to the scarcity of water to produce few flowers. It is good, however, to check that water does not form at the foot of the plant and that it turns out to be harmful to its health and growth.
From March to October, provide fertilizer for flowering plants dissolved in the water of the watering every 10-15 days in order to obtain a more abundant and luxuriant flowering.
The sidalcea prefers loose, well-drained, slightly sandy, calcareous soils. It does not like to be placed in soils that do not allow for proper drainage or, on the contrary, does not provide the right degree of humidity.
To get new seedlings, in the spring, you can proceed to the division of the tufts of the previous year, taking care to leave vigorous and well developed roots for each portion practiced.
The new plants thus obtained are immediately put to dwelling and watered abundantly for the first two or three weeks, then they are cultivated like the other varieties of flowering plants.
In May you can also proceed with sowing, directly at home, so as not to ruin the roots of new plants with the transplant. It is good to wait when the external temperatures are quite pleasant and there is no longer the risk of possible frosts, given that the newly developed roots of these plants do not tolerate the transplant phase very well.
Sidalcea: Pests and diseases
often the sidalcee are massively attacked by the aphids, which ruin the flowers and the shoots and sometimes they can even bring the plant to death. For this reason it is advisable to check if these pests are noticed and to intervene promptly with the use of specific products that allow the problem to be eliminated quickly and definitively.