How to get rid of mallow in grass? Filling in gaps in my amur privet?


Mallow alot in shady grass. #20ld amur privet hedge in sun,but these are sprouting out the middle. #3 can amur privat be propagated still to fill gaps? Using hormone powder advice thank you


Dear gardener,

Thank you for asking these interesting questions of the Toronto Master Gardeners.

To your first question about Mallow in your shady grass.

Mallow, or Malva, is a genus of about 60 species of herbaceous annual, biennial, and perennial plants in the family Malvaceae. They propagate by seed. The most common of the mallows is called Malva sylvestris or Malva neglecta. Malva neglecta is listed as a common weed by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (but it is not considered an invasive species). It is related to the hibiscus and the hollyhock. Online, you can find out that Mallow has a number of medicinal properties and was used by Native Americans as a medicinal plant. Gardening Know How comments on mallow

You say that you are finding your mallow in a shady area. They usually like sun or part shade. However, they are very unfussy and will grow nearly anywhere, and as you said, grow commonly in lawn. The most important prevention strategy you could use is to deadhead the flowers before they go to seed, and dig them out, trying to get as much of their long taproot as possible. If you mow your lawn just before the mallow plants flower, that would reduce your problem significantly.

Your second question is about propagating an old amur privet hedge to fill in the gaps. You mention using hormone powder. Armur privet (Ligustrum amurense) is dense, erect, multi-stemmed, fast-growing, deciduous shrub that grows up to 12-15 ft (3.7-4.6 m) tall, with pretty white flowers that bloom from May to June (but with a scent that some people find unattractive). It is native to Northern China.

The strongest recommendation that is available about keeping a hedge looking good is to regularly prune it, and to add soil and mulch to cover exposed roots. The Armur Privet especially responds well to frequent pruning. Hedges may be pruned in spring before flowering (if flowers are not a concern) and one to two additional times during the summer to shape and to encourage dense branching.

Here is some general information on growing healthy hedges from a few Toronto Master Gardener earlier posts:

Watering deeply and thoroughly (at least once or twice a week after planting, especially in these hot summer conditions) is key so that your hedge’s roots can take hold and spread.  This is much more effective than frequent spraying or light watering, and can be done easily by using a soaker hose along the base of the plants for several hours to ensure that the moisture reaches into the roots of the plant.  Watering should continue well into the autumn until the ground is frozen to maintain adequate moisture through the winter. 

Using a mulch over the roots, ensuring that the mulch is kept at least 3 inches away from the trunk. This will help maintain a consistent level of moisture for root survival.

You also mentioned the use of hormone powder to fill in the gaps in the hedge. I have found a number of references to people taking healthy cuttings from the Armur privet plants, applying hormone powder and digging them into the empty spots. Another method is to take cuttings and put them in a bucket with water and a small amount of hormone powder, and let them sit there for the rest of the year. Some of the branches will start sprouting roots and you can plant them. Articles I found that talk about these strategies can be found at these links. These are commercial sites, but it would be an interesting experiment for you to follow their advice and see the results.

advice from Garden Guides

suggestions from Houzz

advice from Back Yard Gardener

If you really want to learn a lot more about the best way to apply hormone powder to stimulate growth on new cuttings, I found a 70-year review (written in 2007) of the strategies that have been used.

scientific review

I hope this has been helpful.