Inula Royleana
Midwest Gardening
Alchemella Lady's Mantle

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Alchemilla mollis and Alchemilla vulgaris are considered the synonymous by most, but there are still a few botanists that treat them as separate species or varieties.  Gardeners will not find a difference.  There are over 300 species of Alchemilla, so there is no predicting which you may find in a nursery.  The most common that are easily differentiated are alpina, a dwarf mat-forming; erythropoda, with a gray green leaf and 7 inches tall; faeroensis, up to about 10 inches tall; and ‘Thriller’, with more upright growth and larger leaves.  Generally, you will not find Lady’s Mantle marketed with named species, but you may notice the tags will indicate different height and spread, according to the particular species or variety they are selling.

 

Alchemilla mollis syn. Alchemila vulgarisAlchemilla

  • Common Name:  Lady’s Mantle
  • Plant Type:  Herbaceous perennial
  • Height:  12-18”
  • Spread:  18-36”
  • Sun/Shade Requirements:  Full sun to part shade
  • Water Requirements:  Requires regular watering, do not allow to dry out in hot periods.
  • Soil Requirements:  Average well drained soil.  Prefers an organically enriched soil with adequate moisture.  Neutral to slightly acidic pH is preferred.
  • Growth Habit:  Clump forming.  A basal foliage mound is topped with loose clusters of tiny flowers atop 18” stems.
  • Bloom Time: June to September
  • Bloom Color: Chartreuse
  • Bloom Form:  Tiny star shaped blooms in loose clusters.
  • Foliage:  Circular, scalloped in rounded lobes and toothed light green leaves.  Velvety hairs.
  • Fragrance: 
  • Pest and Disease Resistance:  Deer and rabbit resistant
  • Fertilize:  FertilizingAlchemilla mollis by Leonora Enking is generally unnecessary unless soil is poor.  Apply a water soluble or slow release organic fertilizer in spring.
  • Maintenance:  Deadhead to prevent self seeding and encourage late summer re-bloom.  Divide mature clumps every few years in the spring.  Plant seeds in early spring, March to May depending on your zone.
  • Other:  Unique retention of moisture drops on the leaves is an attractive and interesting feature.  Lady’s Mantel is a long living perennial.
  • Hardiness:  Zones 3-7

A mass of Lady’s Mantle is a stunning perennial groundcover.  Used at the front of the border it is a bright and striking edging.   Wonderful planted beneath and around roses.  Lady’s Mantle is also excellent for cut or dried flowers.  Frequent cutting will help prevent self seeding and encourage additional blooming.  Prompt deadheading is recommended as Lady’s Mantle can be an aggressive seeder, especially in the warmer climates.

Northern gardeners should plant in full sun, and protect with mulch in zone 3.  In hot climates, Lady’s Mantle will benefit from afternoon shade.  Do not allow soil to dry out in hot periods.

 

Alchemilla alpina Alchemilla alpina by Barbol

  • Common Name:  Dwarf Lady’s Mantle
  • Plant Type:  Herbaceous perennial
  • Height:  5-12”
  • Spread:  12-20”
  • Sun/Shade Requirements:  Full to part sun
  • Water Requirements:  Above average moisture requirements.  Water weekly and do not allow to dry out in hot, dry periods.
  • Soil Requirements:  Moist, humus rich, well drained soil.  Will tolerate average soil.  Prefers slightly alkaline pH.
  • Growth Habit:  Spreading mound.
  • Bloom Time: June through August
  • Bloom Color: Chartreuse
  • Bloom Form:  Loose clusters of tiny chartreuse flowers atop short 6” stalks
  • Foliage:  Bright green and glossy, silvery white edges and undersides, deeply lobed leaves
  • Fragrance: 
  • Pest and Disease Resistance:  Deer resistaAlchemilla alpina foliage by Barbolnt.
  • Fertilize:  Fertilizing is generally unnecessary unless soil is poor.  Apply a water soluble or slow release organic fertilizer in spring.
  • Maintenance:  Easy to grow requiring little attention.  Deadhead to prevent self seeding and encourage late summer re-bloom.  Divide mature clumps every 5-8 years in the spring.  Plant seeds in early spring, March to May depending on your zone.
  • Other:  Unique retention of moisture drops on the leaves is an attractive and interesting feature.  Lady’s Mantel is a long living perennial.
  • Hardiness:  Zones 3-7

Dwarf Lady’s Mantle’s true beauty is her foliage.  Silvery white margins accentuate the deeply lobed glossy leaves, and the neatly mounded clump is lovely as edging or in a rock garden.  Once established it becomes fairly drought tolerant and can be a pretty tough perennial.

A. alpina self seeds, but not to the extend that A. mollis does.  Deadheading spent blooms promptly will minimize seeding and encourage re-bloom.  The foliage mat spreads with runners.

Northern gardeners should plant in full sun, and protect with mulch in zone 3.  In hot climates, Lady’s Mantle will benefit from afternoon shade.  Do not allow soil to dry out in hot periods.

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Alchemella Lady's Mantle