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Tree mallow
Tree mallow
Add to My Garden
Tree mallow
Malva subovata
Also known as: White forsythia
Tree mallow's bicolored petals make it a hit among gardeners. The pink/purple centers seep into the purer white outer edges. You can find it growing naturally along shorelines. The subshrub has received the Award of Garden Merit.
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Care Guide for Tree mallow

Sand, Chalky, Clay, Neutral, Slightly alkaline
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Full sun, Partial sun
Hardiness Zones
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6a - 8b
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Questions About Tree mallow

Watering Watering Watering
Pruning Pruning Pruning
Temperature Temperature Temperature
Seasonal Care Seasonal Care Seasonal Care
How Much Do I Need to Water My Tree mallow?
When it comes time to water your Tree mallow, you may be surprised to find that this plant does not always need a high volume of water. Instead, if only a few inches of soil have dried since your last watering, you can support healthy growth in the Tree mallow by giving it about five to ten ounces of water every time you water. You can also decide your water volume based on soil moisture. As mentioned above, you should note how many inches of soil have dried out between waterings. A surefire way to make sure your Tree mallow gets the moisture it needs is to supply enough water to moisten all the soil layers that became dry since the last time you watered. If more than half of the soil has become dry, you should consider giving more water than usual. In those cases, continue adding water until you see excess water draining from your pot’s drainage holes.


If your Tree mallow is planted in an area that gets plenty of rain outdoors, it may not need additional watering. When the Tree mallow is young or just getting established, make sure it gets 1-2 inches of rain per week. As it continues to grow and establish, it can survive entirely on rainwater and only when the weather is hot and there is no rainfall at all for 2-3 weeks, then consider giving your Tree mallow a full watering to prevent them from suffering stress.
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How Often Should You Water Your Tree mallow?
Most plants that grow naturally outdoors can be allowed to grow normally with rainfall. If your area lacks rainfall, consider giving your plants adequate watering every 2 weeks during the spring and fall. More frequent watering is needed in summer. In winter, when growth becomes slower and plants need less water, water more sparingly. Throughout the winter, you may not give it additional watering at all. If your Tree mallow is young or newly planted, then you should water more frequently to help it establish, and mature and grow up to have more adaptable and drought tolerant plants.


For potted plants, there are two main ways that you can determine how often to water your Tree mallow. The first way is to set a predetermined watering schedule. If you choose this route, you should plan to water this plant about once every week or once every other week. However, this approach may not always work as it does not consider the unique conditions of the growing environment for your Tree mallow .

Your watering frequency can also change depending on the season. For instance, a predetermined watering schedule will likely not suffice during summer when this plant's water needs are highest. An alternative route is to set your watering frequency based on soil moisture. Typically, it is best to wait until the first two to four inches of soil, usually ⅓ to ½ depth of the pots, have dried out entirely before you give more water.
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How to Know If You Are Watering Tree mallow Enough?
Overwatering is a far more common problem for the Tree mallow, and there are several signs you should look for when this occurs. Generally, an overwatered Tree mallow will have yellowing leaves and may even drop some leaves. Also, overwatering can cause the overall structure of your plant to shrivel and may also promote root rot. On the other hand, an underwatered Tree mallow will also begin to wilt. It may also display leaves that are brown or brittle to the touch. Whether you see signs of overwatering or underwatering, you should be prepared to intervene and restore the health of your Tree mallow.
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How to Water the Tree mallow at Different Growth Stages?
When the Tree mallow is very young, such as when it is in a seedling stage, you will need to give it more water than you would if it were at a mature age. During the early stages of this plant’s life, it is important to keep the soil consistently moist to encourage root development. The same is true for any Tree mallow that you have transplanted to a new growing location. Also, the Tree mallow can develop showy flowers and fruits when you give them the correct care. If your Tree mallow is in a flowering or fruiting phase, you will likely need to give a bit more water than you usually would to support these plant structures.
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How to Water the Tree mallow Through the Seasons?
The seasonal changes will affect how often you water your Tree mallow. Mainly, during the hottest summer months, you will likely need to increase how much you water this plant, especially if it grows in an area that receives ample sunlight. Strong summer sunlight can cause soil to dry out much faster than usual, meaning that you’ll need to water more frequently. By contrast, your Tree mallow will need much less water during the winter, as it will not be in an active growing phase. During winter, you can get by with watering once every 2 to 3 weeks or sometimes not at all. For those growing this plant indoors, you should be somewhat wary of appliances such as air conditioners, which can cause your plant to dry out more quickly, which also calls for more frequent watering.
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What Is the Difference between Watering Tree mallow Indoors Vs. Outdoors?
In some cases, your Tree mallow may not need any supplemental watering when it grows outside and will survive on rainwater alone. However, if you live in an area of little to no rain, you should water this plant about every two weeks. If you belong to the group of people who live out of this plant's natural hardiness zone, you should grow it indoors. In an indoor setting, you should monitor your plant's soil as it can dry out more quickly when it is in a container or when it is exposed to HVAC units such as air conditioners. Those drying factors will lead you to water this plant a bit more often than if you grew it outdoors.
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What Is the Best Way to Water the Tree mallow?
Your Tree mallow will not be too picky about how you choose to water it. As such, you can use just about any common watering tool to moisten this plant’s soil. Watering cans, hoses, and even cups will work just fine when it is time to water your Tree mallow. Regardless of which watering tool you use, you should typically apply the water directly to the soil. In doing so, you should ensure that you moisten all soil areas equally to give all parts of the root system the water it needs. It can help to use filtered water, as tap water can contain particles that are harmful to plants. It is also beneficial to use water that is at or slightly above room temperature, as colder or hotter water can be somewhat shocking to the Tree mallow. However, the Tree mallow usually responds well to any kind of water you give it.
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What to Do If Your Water Tree mallow Too Much or Too Little?
For outdoor plants, especially newly planted plants or plant seedlings, they can be prone to lack of watering. Remember that you need to keep watering enough for a few months when the tree is small or just planted. This is because once the roots are established, Tree mallow can rely on rain most of the time.

When your Tree mallow is planted in pots, overwatering is often more likely to.When you accidentally overwater your Tree mallow, you should be prepared to remedy the situation immediately. First, you should stop watering your plant right away to minimize the effect of your overwatering. After, you should consider removing your Tree mallow from its pot to inspect its roots. If you find that none of the roots have developed root rot, it may be permissible to return your plant to its container. If you do discover signs of root rot, then you should trim away any roots that have been affected. You may also want to apply a fungicide to prevent further damage. Lastly, you should repot your Tree mallow in soil that is well-draining. In the case of an underwatered Tree mallow, simply water this plant more frequently.


Underwatering is often an easy fix. If you underwater, the plant's leaves will tend to droop and dry out and fall off, and the leaves will quickly return to fullness after sufficient watering. Please correct your watering frequency as soon as underwatering occurs.
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pests

Common Pests & Diseases

Common issues for Tree mallow based on 10 million real cases
Leaf beetles
Leaf beetles Leaf beetles
Leaf beetles
Leaf beetles are a class of colored insects 1 - 2 cm in size. They gnaw on leaves and petals resulting in small, round holes scattered over the surface.
Solutions: For less serious cases: Remove beetles, nymphs, and eggs. Remove all life stages of the beetles and kill them by placing them in a bucket of warm, soapy water. This can be done more easily by placing the bucket under affected leaves and shaking the plant. This method is most effective in the afternoon when leaf beetles are more active. Always dispose of insects in a sealed bag or container to avoid escape and spread. To treat more serious infestations: Apply organic insecticides. Use naturally-derived insecticides before moving on to synthetic insecticides. Neem oil and pyrethrum are naturally-derived insecticides that should be applied following label instructions. Apply synthetic insecticides. Examples of insecticides effective for leaf beetles include carbaryl, permethrin, and bifenthrin. Apply insecticides according to label instructions.
Brown spot
Brown spot Brown spot
Brown spot
This infection can cause brown spots or patches to appear on the plant.
Solutions: In minor cases of brown spot, there isn’t any need to treat the disease. However, if much of the foliage is affected and defoliation occurs, the plant will benefit from getting rid of the infection. It is recommended to start by applying organic treatment options, working up to the more potent synthetic, chemical fungicides if necessary. Organic options won’t kill the fungus, but will prevent it from spreading. Dissolve ½ teaspoon of baking soda and one teaspoon of liquid soap in a gallon of water. Using a spray bottle, spray on tops and bottoms of leaves until the mixture drips off. Repeat every two weeks until existing spots stop enlarging and new spots no longer appear. Spray a copper-based fungicidal soap on the leaves, coating the top and bottom leaf surfaces. Reapply as directed on the product label. Copper penetrates the leaf surface and prevents germination of spores so the fungus cannot spread. Apply an all-purpose fungicide to the entire plant, following the label instructions carefully.
Caterpillars
Caterpillars Caterpillars
Caterpillars
Caterpillars are fleshy moth or butterfly larvae that come in an array of colors, patterns, and even hairstyles. They chew on leaves and flower petals, creating large, irregular holes.
Solutions: Even though caterpillars are diverse, they all chew on plant parts and can cause significant damage if present in large numbers. For severe cases: Apply insecticide. For an organic solution, spray plants with a Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), which specifically affects the larval stage of moths and butterflies. Be sure to coat plants, since caterpillars need to ingest Bt for it to be effective. This will not harm other insects. Spray a chili extract. Chili seeds can be cooked in water to make a spicy spray that caterpillars don't like. Spray this mixture on the plants, but be aware it will also be spicy to humans. Introduce beneficial insects. Release beneficial insects to the garden that eat caterpillars, such as parasitic wasps. For less severe cases: Hand pick. Using gloves, pick off caterpillars on plants and dispose of them in a bucket of soapy water. Dust plants with diatomaceous earth. This powder is harmless to humans but irritates caterpillars. Therefore, it will make it difficult for caterpillars to move and eat.
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Leaf beetles
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Leaf beetles
Leaf beetles are a class of colored insects 1 - 2 cm in size. They gnaw on leaves and petals resulting in small, round holes scattered over the surface.
Overview
Overview
Leaf beetles range in size from 1.5 mm to 2 cm. Both adult beetles and their larvae eat the leaves of many different types of plants. There are over 35,000 different species of leaf beetles, in a variety of colors including gold, green, yellow-striped, and red striped. Some of these have been mistaken for ladybirds because of their shape and coloring. They can be oval, round, or elongated in shape. These insect pests are most active in spring and summer.
If not controlled, leaf beetles can do a lot of damage to vegetable crops and ornamental plants. They feed on the leaves, flowers, stems, roots, and fruits of different plants. They can fly, which means it's easy for them to move from one plant to another. Some species of leaf beetles only target one specific crop, while others will target many different types of plants. Although a lot of the damage that they cause is cosmetic, an infestation can weaken a plant and leave it prone to other more problematic diseases.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
The first signs of a leaf beetles infestation are small visible holes in leaves. Leaves then become discolored and dark beetle droppings can be seen. As the leaves turn yellow and brown, they will drop off the plant onto the ground. Some leaves will appear skeletonized with only the veins still remaining.
Infestation begins in spring, when the adult beetles emerge from the soil and lay their eggs on the leaves of plants. When these eggs hatch, the young nymphs start munching on the leaves as they grow up. Once leaf beetles are large and mature, they'll fall to the ground and pupate in the soil over winter before starting the cycle all over again.
Leaf beetles also eat holes in fruits and vegetables. These can be seen as small round holes that sometimes have a larger brown area surrounding them.
Solutions
Solutions
For less serious cases:
  1. Remove beetles, nymphs, and eggs. Remove all life stages of the beetles and kill them by placing them in a bucket of warm, soapy water. This can be done more easily by placing the bucket under affected leaves and shaking the plant. This method is most effective in the afternoon when leaf beetles are more active. Always dispose of insects in a sealed bag or container to avoid escape and spread.
To treat more serious infestations:
  1. Apply organic insecticides. Use naturally-derived insecticides before moving on to synthetic insecticides. Neem oil and pyrethrum are naturally-derived insecticides that should be applied following label instructions.
  2. Apply synthetic insecticides. Examples of insecticides effective for leaf beetles include carbaryl, permethrin, and bifenthrin. Apply insecticides according to label instructions.
Prevention
Prevention
To prevent infestations of leaf beetles, follow these practices.
  1. Regularly check for beetles. To prevent large pest infestations, be proactive about frequently checking plants for pests and removing them quickly.
  2. Clear debris. Clear weeds and debris to remove areas where these beetles may overwinter and hide.
  3. Attract natural predators. Birds and other insects, such as wasps and ladybugs, are effective natural predators of leaf beetles. Encourage them to visit by including a diverse array of plants to provide habitat and food. Also, avoid applying broad-spectrum herbicides that can harm and kill beneficial insects.
  4. Plant aromatic herbs like mint, garlic, or rosemary, as these can repel leaf beetles.
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Brown spot
plant poor
Brown spot
This infection can cause brown spots or patches to appear on the plant.
Overview
Overview
Discolored spots on the foliage of plants are one of the most common disease problems people observe. These spots are caused by fungal and bacterial diseases, with most infections related to a fungal pathogen.
Brown spot can occurs on all houseplants, flowering ornamentals, vegetable plants, and leaves of trees, bushes, and shrubs. No plants are resistant to it, and the problem is worse in warm, wet environments. It can occur at any point in the life stage as long as leaves are present.
Small brownish spots appear on the foliage and enlarge as the disease progresses. In severe cases, the plant or tree is weakened when the lesions interrupt photosynthesis or cause defoliation.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
In most cases, brown spot only affects a small percentage of the whole plant, appearing on a small amount of the leaves. A small infection only puts minor stress on the plant. However, if left untreated and the disease progresses over numerous seasons, it will severely impact the health and productivity of the infected specimen.
  • Sporulation begins (reproduction of the fungal spores), and tiny spots appear on leaves.
  • Placement is often random and scattered as diseases are spread through raindrops.
  • May appear on lower leaves and the interior of the plant where humidity is higher.
  • Brown spots enlarge and grow large enough to touch neighboring spots to form a more prominent blotch.
  • Leaf margins may turn yellow.
  • Tiny black dots (fruiting bodies of the fungi) appear in the dead spots.
  • Blotches grow in size until the entire leaf is brown.
  • The leaf falls off the plant.
Severe Symptoms
  • Partial or complete premature defoliation
  • Reduced growth
  • Increased susceptibility to pests and other diseases
Disease Cause
Disease Cause
Brown spot, or leaf spot, is a common descriptive term given to several diseases affecting the leaves of plants and trees. Around 85% of diseases exhibiting leaf spots are due to fungus or fungus-like organisms. Sometimes brown spot is caused by a bacterial infection, or insect activity with similar symptoms.
When conditions are warm and the leaf surfaces are wet, fungal spores being transported by wind or rain land on the surface and cling to it. They do not rupture the cell walls but grow in the space between the plant plasma membrane and the plant cell wall. As the spores reproduce, they release toxins and enzymes that cause necrotic spots (i.e., dead tissue) on the leaves, allowing the fungi to consume the products released when the cells degrade.
Solutions
Solutions
In minor cases of brown spot, there isn’t any need to treat the disease. However, if much of the foliage is affected and defoliation occurs, the plant will benefit from getting rid of the infection. It is recommended to start by applying organic treatment options, working up to the more potent synthetic, chemical fungicides if necessary.
Organic options won’t kill the fungus, but will prevent it from spreading.
  1. Dissolve ½ teaspoon of baking soda and one teaspoon of liquid soap in a gallon of water. Using a spray bottle, spray on tops and bottoms of leaves until the mixture drips off. Repeat every two weeks until existing spots stop enlarging and new spots no longer appear.
  2. Spray a copper-based fungicidal soap on the leaves, coating the top and bottom leaf surfaces. Reapply as directed on the product label. Copper penetrates the leaf surface and prevents germination of spores so the fungus cannot spread.
  3. Apply an all-purpose fungicide to the entire plant, following the label instructions carefully.
Prevention
Prevention
Like many other diseases, it is easier to prevent brown spot than cure it, and this is done through cultural practices.
  • Clear fall leaves from the ground before winter to minimize places where fungi and bacteria can overwinter.
  • Maintain good air movement between plants through proper plant spacing.
  • Increase air circulation through the center of plants through pruning.
  • Thoroughly clean all pruning tools after working with diseased plants.
  • Never dispose of disease plant material in a compost pile.
  • Avoid overhead watering to keep moisture off of the foliage.
  • Keep plants healthy by providing adequate sunlight, water, and fertilizer.
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Caterpillars
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Caterpillars
Caterpillars are fleshy moth or butterfly larvae that come in an array of colors, patterns, and even hairstyles. They chew on leaves and flower petals, creating large, irregular holes.
Overview
Overview
Caterpillars can cause problems for home gardeners. If not managed, these insects can defoliate a plant in just a matter of days. However, home gardeners face a challenge because these caterpillars eventually turn into beautiful butterflies and moths, which are important for pollination and the general ecosystem.
There are thousands of different species of caterpillars and many will only target certain plants. If caterpillars are posing a problem, they can be removed by hand, or gardeners can use insect-proof netting to protect their valuable plants.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
Caterpillars are the larvae of butterflies and moths. During the warmer months, butterflies and moths that visit gardens will lay their eggs on the underside of leaves.
When the tiny eggs hatch, the young larvae emerge and start feeding on the leaves of the plant. Depending on how many larvae have hatched, they can easily defoliate the plant in a very short period of time. Caterpillars will shed their skin as they grow, around 4 or 5 times during this feeding cycle.
Symptoms of caterpillars eating plants appear as holes in the leaves. The edges of the leaves may be eaten away as well, and flowers can be affected as well.
Some are easy to see, but others need to be searched for. This is because their bodies are often camouflaged to look like part of the plant. Gardeners need to look carefully along the stems of the plant as well as under the leaves. Also, look for tiny white, yellow, or brown eggs that can be found in groups on the underside of leaves.
Once the caterpillar is fully grown, it transforms into a pupa or chrysalis. Then, after a period of time that varies according to the species, a butterfly or moth will emerge from the pupa and the cycle begins again.
Solutions
Solutions
Even though caterpillars are diverse, they all chew on plant parts and can cause significant damage if present in large numbers.
For severe cases:
  1. Apply insecticide. For an organic solution, spray plants with a Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), which specifically affects the larval stage of moths and butterflies. Be sure to coat plants, since caterpillars need to ingest Bt for it to be effective. This will not harm other insects.
  2. Spray a chili extract. Chili seeds can be cooked in water to make a spicy spray that caterpillars don't like. Spray this mixture on the plants, but be aware it will also be spicy to humans.
  3. Introduce beneficial insects. Release beneficial insects to the garden that eat caterpillars, such as parasitic wasps.
For less severe cases:
  1. Hand pick. Using gloves, pick off caterpillars on plants and dispose of them in a bucket of soapy water.
  2. Dust plants with diatomaceous earth. This powder is harmless to humans but irritates caterpillars. Therefore, it will make it difficult for caterpillars to move and eat.
Prevention
Prevention
Prevention may require less effort than attempts to eradicate infestations that have already begun. Here are our top steps for prevention:
  1. Monitor plants. Check plants regularly for caterpillar eggs on leaves. If they do not belong to an endangered species, they should be squished.
  2. Use insect netting. Cover plants with insect netting to prevent butterflies and moths from laying eggs on plants.
  3. Apply diatomaceous earth. Apply DE to plants early in the season and reapply after rain.
  4. Encourage plant diversity. This will attract predatory insects including parasitic wasps.
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distribution

Distribution Map

Habitat

Shores
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Cultivated
Invasive
Potentially invasive
Exotic
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More Info

Plant Type
Plant Type
Shrub
Flower Color
Flower Color
Pink
White
Purple
Lavender
Bloom Time
Bloom Time
Spring, Summer, Fall, Early winter, Late winter
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Banana
Banana
Banana is a popular fruit with a rich history dating back centuries. The fruit’s sweet taste is easily identifiable, and it is a staple food in several countries. The tree is grown commercially in warm climate regions and private gardens and is recognizable by its large leaves and oblong-shaped fruits.
Bloom Time
All year around
Garden Usage
The banana looks stunning when mixed into a bold border with other foliage-heavy plants, but it can also be grown as a single tree. With so many varieties to choose from, the plant also works well in containers, and can be grown as a houseplant too. Whether you grow it indoors or outside, this is an easy plant to care for when provided with the right conditions. Its dramatic foliage adds an instant tropical appeal to the space around it, and the edible fruits that some varieties produce are always a bonus.
Banana
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Banana is an ancestor of the widely cultivated banana species. However, this species is inedible due to its seeds and differs from the other banana species in its more upright stature. This plant is highly resistant to abiotic stresses. The luscious leaves have historically been used for crafting and packaging.
Bloom Time
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The banana looks stunning when mixed into a bold border with other foliage-heavy plants, but it can also be grown as a single tree. With so many varieties to choose from, the plant also works well in containers, and can be grown as a houseplant too. Whether you grow it indoors or outside, this is an easy plant to care for when provided with the right conditions. Its dramatic foliage adds an instant tropical appeal to the space around it, and the edible fruits that some varieties produce are always a bonus.
Snake plant
Snake plant
Snake plant (Sansevieria suffruticosa) is a hardy perennial that will grow from 15 - 46 cm tall. It has thick green leaves with horizontal stripes, like a snake. Leaves have sharp tips and edges. The beautiful leaves are evergreen and provide a nice backdrop to a garden or container. When grown indoors, the snake plant purifies the air. A great choice for office or home.
Bloom Time
Summer, autumn, winter
Garden Usage
Snake plant, a member of the Sansevieria genus, is an evergreen perennial. Plants in this genus tolerate both shade and drought. They don't require a specific soil type and are easy to care for, which makes them ideal houseplants. They are common foliage plants with erect, green-and-white-striped leaves. They generally blossom in the winter, with white or pale green flowers that look pure and pretty.
Snake plant
Snake plant
Like many other Sansevieria species, Sansevieria canaliculata is a popular houseplant, prized not only for its appearance but for its ability to thrive in low-light conditions as well. Sansevieria canaliculata features light-green cylindrical leaves arranged around the growing point.
Garden Usage
Snake plant, a member of the Sansevieria genus, is an evergreen perennial. Plants in this genus tolerate both shade and drought. They don't require a specific soil type and are easy to care for, which makes them ideal houseplants. They are common foliage plants with erect, green-and-white-striped leaves. They generally blossom in the winter, with white or pale green flowers that look pure and pretty.
Snake plant
Snake plant
Sansevieria bagamoyensis is often confused with Sansevieria arborescens, both native to Tanzania and Kenya, but Sansevieria bagamoyensis has longer, but narrower and thinner leaves. However, both species are succulents, often used as ornamental plants.
Garden Usage
Snake plant, a member of the Sansevieria genus, is an evergreen perennial. Plants in this genus tolerate both shade and drought. They don't require a specific soil type and are easy to care for, which makes them ideal houseplants. They are common foliage plants with erect, green-and-white-striped leaves. They generally blossom in the winter, with white or pale green flowers that look pure and pretty.
Snake plant
Snake plant
Dracaena arborescens, synonym Sansevieria arborescens, is a succulent plant native to Kenya and Tanzania.
Bloom Time
Summer, Autumn
Garden Usage
Snake plant, a member of the Sansevieria genus, is an evergreen perennial. Plants in this genus tolerate both shade and drought. They don't require a specific soil type and are easy to care for, which makes them ideal houseplants. They are common foliage plants with erect, green-and-white-striped leaves. They generally blossom in the winter, with white or pale green flowers that look pure and pretty.
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Tree mallow
Tree mallow
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Tree mallow
Malva subovata
Also known as: White forsythia
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Care Guide for Tree mallow

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Tree mallow
Malva subovata
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Questions About Tree mallow

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pests

Common Pests & Diseases

Common issues for Tree mallow based on 10 million real cases
Leaf beetles
Leaf beetles  Leaf beetles  Leaf beetles
Leaf beetles are a class of colored insects 1 - 2 cm in size. They gnaw on leaves and petals resulting in small, round holes scattered over the surface.
Solutions: For less serious cases: Remove beetles, nymphs, and eggs. Remove all life stages of the beetles and kill them by placing them in a bucket of warm, soapy water. This can be done more easily by placing the bucket under affected leaves and shaking the plant. This method is most effective in the afternoon when leaf beetles are more active. Always dispose of insects in a sealed bag or container to avoid escape and spread. To treat more serious infestations: Apply organic insecticides. Use naturally-derived insecticides before moving on to synthetic insecticides. Neem oil and pyrethrum are naturally-derived insecticides that should be applied following label instructions. Apply synthetic insecticides. Examples of insecticides effective for leaf beetles include carbaryl, permethrin, and bifenthrin. Apply insecticides according to label instructions.
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Brown spot
Brown spot  Brown spot  Brown spot
This infection can cause brown spots or patches to appear on the plant.
Solutions: In minor cases of brown spot, there isn’t any need to treat the disease. However, if much of the foliage is affected and defoliation occurs, the plant will benefit from getting rid of the infection. It is recommended to start by applying organic treatment options, working up to the more potent synthetic, chemical fungicides if necessary. Organic options won’t kill the fungus, but will prevent it from spreading. Dissolve ½ teaspoon of baking soda and one teaspoon of liquid soap in a gallon of water. Using a spray bottle, spray on tops and bottoms of leaves until the mixture drips off. Repeat every two weeks until existing spots stop enlarging and new spots no longer appear. Spray a copper-based fungicidal soap on the leaves, coating the top and bottom leaf surfaces. Reapply as directed on the product label. Copper penetrates the leaf surface and prevents germination of spores so the fungus cannot spread. Apply an all-purpose fungicide to the entire plant, following the label instructions carefully.
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Caterpillars
Caterpillars  Caterpillars  Caterpillars
Caterpillars are fleshy moth or butterfly larvae that come in an array of colors, patterns, and even hairstyles. They chew on leaves and flower petals, creating large, irregular holes.
Solutions: Even though caterpillars are diverse, they all chew on plant parts and can cause significant damage if present in large numbers. For severe cases: Apply insecticide. For an organic solution, spray plants with a Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), which specifically affects the larval stage of moths and butterflies. Be sure to coat plants, since caterpillars need to ingest Bt for it to be effective. This will not harm other insects. Spray a chili extract. Chili seeds can be cooked in water to make a spicy spray that caterpillars don't like. Spray this mixture on the plants, but be aware it will also be spicy to humans. Introduce beneficial insects. Release beneficial insects to the garden that eat caterpillars, such as parasitic wasps. For less severe cases: Hand pick. Using gloves, pick off caterpillars on plants and dispose of them in a bucket of soapy water. Dust plants with diatomaceous earth. This powder is harmless to humans but irritates caterpillars. Therefore, it will make it difficult for caterpillars to move and eat.
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Leaf beetles
plant poor
Leaf beetles
Leaf beetles are a class of colored insects 1 - 2 cm in size. They gnaw on leaves and petals resulting in small, round holes scattered over the surface.
Overview
Overview
Leaf beetles range in size from 1.5 mm to 2 cm. Both adult beetles and their larvae eat the leaves of many different types of plants. There are over 35,000 different species of leaf beetles, in a variety of colors including gold, green, yellow-striped, and red striped. Some of these have been mistaken for ladybirds because of their shape and coloring. They can be oval, round, or elongated in shape. These insect pests are most active in spring and summer.
If not controlled, leaf beetles can do a lot of damage to vegetable crops and ornamental plants. They feed on the leaves, flowers, stems, roots, and fruits of different plants. They can fly, which means it's easy for them to move from one plant to another. Some species of leaf beetles only target one specific crop, while others will target many different types of plants. Although a lot of the damage that they cause is cosmetic, an infestation can weaken a plant and leave it prone to other more problematic diseases.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
The first signs of a leaf beetles infestation are small visible holes in leaves. Leaves then become discolored and dark beetle droppings can be seen. As the leaves turn yellow and brown, they will drop off the plant onto the ground. Some leaves will appear skeletonized with only the veins still remaining.
Infestation begins in spring, when the adult beetles emerge from the soil and lay their eggs on the leaves of plants. When these eggs hatch, the young nymphs start munching on the leaves as they grow up. Once leaf beetles are large and mature, they'll fall to the ground and pupate in the soil over winter before starting the cycle all over again.
Leaf beetles also eat holes in fruits and vegetables. These can be seen as small round holes that sometimes have a larger brown area surrounding them.
Solutions
Solutions
For less serious cases:
  1. Remove beetles, nymphs, and eggs. Remove all life stages of the beetles and kill them by placing them in a bucket of warm, soapy water. This can be done more easily by placing the bucket under affected leaves and shaking the plant. This method is most effective in the afternoon when leaf beetles are more active. Always dispose of insects in a sealed bag or container to avoid escape and spread.
To treat more serious infestations:
  1. Apply organic insecticides. Use naturally-derived insecticides before moving on to synthetic insecticides. Neem oil and pyrethrum are naturally-derived insecticides that should be applied following label instructions.
  2. Apply synthetic insecticides. Examples of insecticides effective for leaf beetles include carbaryl, permethrin, and bifenthrin. Apply insecticides according to label instructions.
Prevention
Prevention
To prevent infestations of leaf beetles, follow these practices.
  1. Regularly check for beetles. To prevent large pest infestations, be proactive about frequently checking plants for pests and removing them quickly.
  2. Clear debris. Clear weeds and debris to remove areas where these beetles may overwinter and hide.
  3. Attract natural predators. Birds and other insects, such as wasps and ladybugs, are effective natural predators of leaf beetles. Encourage them to visit by including a diverse array of plants to provide habitat and food. Also, avoid applying broad-spectrum herbicides that can harm and kill beneficial insects.
  4. Plant aromatic herbs like mint, garlic, or rosemary, as these can repel leaf beetles.
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Brown spot
plant poor
Brown spot
This infection can cause brown spots or patches to appear on the plant.
Overview
Overview
Discolored spots on the foliage of plants are one of the most common disease problems people observe. These spots are caused by fungal and bacterial diseases, with most infections related to a fungal pathogen.
Brown spot can occurs on all houseplants, flowering ornamentals, vegetable plants, and leaves of trees, bushes, and shrubs. No plants are resistant to it, and the problem is worse in warm, wet environments. It can occur at any point in the life stage as long as leaves are present.
Small brownish spots appear on the foliage and enlarge as the disease progresses. In severe cases, the plant or tree is weakened when the lesions interrupt photosynthesis or cause defoliation.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
In most cases, brown spot only affects a small percentage of the whole plant, appearing on a small amount of the leaves. A small infection only puts minor stress on the plant. However, if left untreated and the disease progresses over numerous seasons, it will severely impact the health and productivity of the infected specimen.
  • Sporulation begins (reproduction of the fungal spores), and tiny spots appear on leaves.
  • Placement is often random and scattered as diseases are spread through raindrops.
  • May appear on lower leaves and the interior of the plant where humidity is higher.
  • Brown spots enlarge and grow large enough to touch neighboring spots to form a more prominent blotch.
  • Leaf margins may turn yellow.
  • Tiny black dots (fruiting bodies of the fungi) appear in the dead spots.
  • Blotches grow in size until the entire leaf is brown.
  • The leaf falls off the plant.
Severe Symptoms
  • Partial or complete premature defoliation
  • Reduced growth
  • Increased susceptibility to pests and other diseases
Disease Cause
Disease Cause
Brown spot, or leaf spot, is a common descriptive term given to several diseases affecting the leaves of plants and trees. Around 85% of diseases exhibiting leaf spots are due to fungus or fungus-like organisms. Sometimes brown spot is caused by a bacterial infection, or insect activity with similar symptoms.
When conditions are warm and the leaf surfaces are wet, fungal spores being transported by wind or rain land on the surface and cling to it. They do not rupture the cell walls but grow in the space between the plant plasma membrane and the plant cell wall. As the spores reproduce, they release toxins and enzymes that cause necrotic spots (i.e., dead tissue) on the leaves, allowing the fungi to consume the products released when the cells degrade.
Solutions
Solutions
In minor cases of brown spot, there isn’t any need to treat the disease. However, if much of the foliage is affected and defoliation occurs, the plant will benefit from getting rid of the infection. It is recommended to start by applying organic treatment options, working up to the more potent synthetic, chemical fungicides if necessary.
Organic options won’t kill the fungus, but will prevent it from spreading.
  1. Dissolve ½ teaspoon of baking soda and one teaspoon of liquid soap in a gallon of water. Using a spray bottle, spray on tops and bottoms of leaves until the mixture drips off. Repeat every two weeks until existing spots stop enlarging and new spots no longer appear.
  2. Spray a copper-based fungicidal soap on the leaves, coating the top and bottom leaf surfaces. Reapply as directed on the product label. Copper penetrates the leaf surface and prevents germination of spores so the fungus cannot spread.
  3. Apply an all-purpose fungicide to the entire plant, following the label instructions carefully.
Prevention
Prevention
Like many other diseases, it is easier to prevent brown spot than cure it, and this is done through cultural practices.
  • Clear fall leaves from the ground before winter to minimize places where fungi and bacteria can overwinter.
  • Maintain good air movement between plants through proper plant spacing.
  • Increase air circulation through the center of plants through pruning.
  • Thoroughly clean all pruning tools after working with diseased plants.
  • Never dispose of disease plant material in a compost pile.
  • Avoid overhead watering to keep moisture off of the foliage.
  • Keep plants healthy by providing adequate sunlight, water, and fertilizer.
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Caterpillars
plant poor
Caterpillars
Caterpillars are fleshy moth or butterfly larvae that come in an array of colors, patterns, and even hairstyles. They chew on leaves and flower petals, creating large, irregular holes.
Overview
Overview
Caterpillars can cause problems for home gardeners. If not managed, these insects can defoliate a plant in just a matter of days. However, home gardeners face a challenge because these caterpillars eventually turn into beautiful butterflies and moths, which are important for pollination and the general ecosystem.
There are thousands of different species of caterpillars and many will only target certain plants. If caterpillars are posing a problem, they can be removed by hand, or gardeners can use insect-proof netting to protect their valuable plants.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
Caterpillars are the larvae of butterflies and moths. During the warmer months, butterflies and moths that visit gardens will lay their eggs on the underside of leaves.
When the tiny eggs hatch, the young larvae emerge and start feeding on the leaves of the plant. Depending on how many larvae have hatched, they can easily defoliate the plant in a very short period of time. Caterpillars will shed their skin as they grow, around 4 or 5 times during this feeding cycle.
Symptoms of caterpillars eating plants appear as holes in the leaves. The edges of the leaves may be eaten away as well, and flowers can be affected as well.
Some are easy to see, but others need to be searched for. This is because their bodies are often camouflaged to look like part of the plant. Gardeners need to look carefully along the stems of the plant as well as under the leaves. Also, look for tiny white, yellow, or brown eggs that can be found in groups on the underside of leaves.
Once the caterpillar is fully grown, it transforms into a pupa or chrysalis. Then, after a period of time that varies according to the species, a butterfly or moth will emerge from the pupa and the cycle begins again.
Solutions
Solutions
Even though caterpillars are diverse, they all chew on plant parts and can cause significant damage if present in large numbers.
For severe cases:
  1. Apply insecticide. For an organic solution, spray plants with a Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), which specifically affects the larval stage of moths and butterflies. Be sure to coat plants, since caterpillars need to ingest Bt for it to be effective. This will not harm other insects.
  2. Spray a chili extract. Chili seeds can be cooked in water to make a spicy spray that caterpillars don't like. Spray this mixture on the plants, but be aware it will also be spicy to humans.
  3. Introduce beneficial insects. Release beneficial insects to the garden that eat caterpillars, such as parasitic wasps.
For less severe cases:
  1. Hand pick. Using gloves, pick off caterpillars on plants and dispose of them in a bucket of soapy water.
  2. Dust plants with diatomaceous earth. This powder is harmless to humans but irritates caterpillars. Therefore, it will make it difficult for caterpillars to move and eat.
Prevention
Prevention
Prevention may require less effort than attempts to eradicate infestations that have already begun. Here are our top steps for prevention:
  1. Monitor plants. Check plants regularly for caterpillar eggs on leaves. If they do not belong to an endangered species, they should be squished.
  2. Use insect netting. Cover plants with insect netting to prevent butterflies and moths from laying eggs on plants.
  3. Apply diatomaceous earth. Apply DE to plants early in the season and reapply after rain.
  4. Encourage plant diversity. This will attract predatory insects including parasitic wasps.
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Distribution Map

Habitat

Shores

Map

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Native
Cultivated
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No species reported
plant_info

More Info

Plant Type
Plant Type
Shrub
Flower Color
Flower Color
Pink
White
Purple
Lavender
Bloom Time
Bloom Time
Spring, Summer, Fall, Early winter, Late winter
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