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Lady’s Mantle - Growing Lady’s Mantle (Alchemilla mollis) in the Garden.

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Lady's Mantle

Lady's Mantle

Photo: © Marie Iannotti

Overview::

Lady’s Mantle is an old-fashioned flower still popular today for it’s fuzzy, cupped leaves that hold water droplets after a rain and the frothy sprays of dainty yellow flowers that bloom in late spring and early summer. Lady’s Mantle is also used in making lotions and soaps. Lady’s Mantle is a long-lived perennial flower that is fairly low maintenance.

Latin Name::

Alchemilla mollis

Common Name(s):

Lady's Mantle

Hardiness Zones::

USDA Hardiness Zones 3 - 8

Exposure:

Exposure: Full sun to light shade. Needs more moisture if grown in full sun.

Mature Size::

18 - 24" (h) x (18 - 26" (w)

Bloom Period

Late Spring to Early Summer.

Description::

Lady’s Mantle forms a nice sized clump, although it will also self-seed in many gardens.

Foliage: The leaves of Lady’s Mantle are like shallow, pleated cups. The soft hairs make water form droplets that roll around on the leaves. These hairs make the leaves feel velvety, not scratchy or unpleasant to touch.

Flowers: Lady’s Mantle flowers are airy masses of tiny yellow-green flowers that sit above the foliage until they flop around from their own volume and weight. They are somewhat like a chartreuse baby’s breath and make nice cut and dried flowers.

Design Suggestions::

Lady’s Mantle is wonderful along the edge of a garden or walkway where it can lean over and soften hard edges. The foliage looks good all season and can make a nice ground cover under small trees.

Lady’s Mantle makes a nice contrast for bright daylilies and roses that bloom at about the same time. I especially like it used in contrast to burgundy and purple foliage.

A mass planting of Lady’s Mantle is very eye-catching when in bloom, but kind of loses impact after flowering.

Suggested Varieties::

Suggested Varieties:
  • Alchemilla mollis - Common Lady’s Mantle is widely available and easy to grow.
  • Alchemilla mollis‘Thriller - More upright growth habit and larger leaves.

  • Alchemilla alpina - Known as Alpine Lady’s Mantle, A. alpina is much smaller than A. molli, with silver edges on the leaves.

Pests and Problems::

Few problems plague Lady’s Mantle. Areas with high humidity may experience some fungus problems, particularly if the crown is kept damp. Good air circulation and allowing the soil to dry slightly should help.

Maintenance::

The only maintenance Lady’s Mantle really needs is the occationaly cleaning up. Deadhead the flowers as they start to dry and remove older leaves as they brown.

Leave Lady’s Mantle standing in the fall. It is semi-evergreen and will over winter better if left in tact and cleaned up in the spring.

Growing Tips:

Planting Lady’s Mantle:

Lady’s Mantle can be grown from seed, seedlings or divisions.

If you’d like to try growing Lady’s Mantle from seed, sow outdoors after all danger of frost. Barely cover the seeds and keep them well watered. You can start them indoors a couple of months before your transplant date. It takes about 3-4 weeks for Lady’s Mantle Seeds to germinate.

You can start Lady’s Mantle from seed and it certainly self-seeds well on its own. However the plants are readily available and somewhat inexpensive, so most gardeners start out with at least one plant and then see how well it seeds on its own.

Soil Requirements: Lady’s Mantle isn’t terribly particular about soil. It is drought tolerant and doesn’t like to sit in wet soil, but in high heat or full sun, regular watering is required or the leaves will start to dry and brown.

Soil pH: Lady’s Mantle does best in a soil that is slightly acidic to neutral, 5.5 - 7.5.

Plant at the same depth as it was in the pot. Supplemental feeding is not usually necessary with Lady’s Mantle, unless you have poor soil. If so, a handful of slow release organic fertilizer can be mixed in at planting time.

Mulch around the plant, but not up to the stem. Lady’s Mantle tends to hug the ground, so keep the mulch from covering the plant.

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