Are you looking for an attractive and friendly plant to cover the shady areas of your garden? Look no further than Lady’s Mantle!
Alchemilla Mollis, commonly known as Lady’s Mantle, is a cute herbaceous perennial with a unique cottage-style charm. Besides its beautiful appearance in outdoor spaces, certain varieties of Alchemilla used to be very popular for their medicinal properties. For instance, Alchemilla Alpina and Alchemilla xantochlora were used in traditional medicine to make various lotions, herbal teas, and natural remedies and it has received a lot of attention thanks to their anti-inflammatory and astringent benefits. It is also a remedy for spasms, heart conditions, and various “female problems”.
This long-lived perennial flower has been cultivated in outdoor spaces since the 19th century. In 1993, it received the prestigious Award of Garden Merit of the Royal Horticultural Society.
But the best thing about this ornamental plant is the fact that it is pretty easy to grow and care for, so if you are a novice gardener, this plant is a great choice for you. Lady’s Mantle can make a lovely finish to borders or path edges and it also blends fantastically with various other perennials. Your Lady’s Mantle flowers will also attract butterflies, bees, and other beneficial insects to your outdoor space.
Ready to learn more about growing and caring for Lady’s Mantle? Keep reading below!
About Lady’s Mantle
- Lady’s Mantle is native to Southern Europe, is part of the Rosaceae family, and belongs to the Alchemilla genus. The Alchemilla genus includes about 300 species, with the majority being native to cool and subarctic regions across Europe and Asia. A few species are native to the mountains of Africa and the Americas.
- Lady’s Mantle’s botanical name is Alchemilla Mollis. The name “alchemilla” comes from the Latin word “al-kymia”, representing the natural philosophy of alchemy. Why? Because the leaves have a natural dewetting mechanism that keeps the beads of water intact. Alchemists were quite astonished by this process and considered this water to be the purest type of water and used it in their work. The other part of the name consists of the Latin epithet ‘Mollis’ which means ‘soft’ and probably refers to the soft hairs that cover the leaves.
- The common name ‘Lady’s Mantle’ might come from the enveloping shape of this flower’s leaves and the general feminine shape that this flower has.
- This plant’s common name can also be linked to an ancient legend according to which Alchemilla Mollis was used as a garment by Virgin Mary.
- Lady’s Mantle is a lovely plant to have in your outdoor area. It is perfect for cottage gardens, wildflower meadows, borders or as edging for paths. You can also use this flower as a ground cover when grown in masses. The blooms of Lady’s Mantle make excellent cut flowers that you can use for fresh or dried arrangements.
- While it can tolerate full sun, Lady’s Mantle is among the few garden plants that actually prefer partial shade. This flower typically prefers cool and moist places to grow, which is why it does better when grown in the shade in warmer regions. Sunburns can be a concern in full sun with this plant.
- In terms of soil, Lady’s Mantle isn’t very picky. However, it prefers to grow in average to medium moisture, well-drained soil. It also prefers soil that is slightly acidic to neutral. A pH of 5.5 to 7.5 is ideal for this herbaceous perennial.
- When it comes to watering, how often you should provide your Lady’s Mantle with water depends on a few key aspects: whether you have a new or an established plant and the temperatures in your area. In hotter climates, Lady’s Mantle requires regular watering. Generally, once established, this flower is drought-tolerant and doesn’t like to sit in wet soil.
- Being native to Turkey and the Carpathian Mountains, Alchemilla Mollis can adapt to numerous climates, including hotter ones. However, its ideal climate is a cooler one with temperatures that range between 59 to 68 °F (15-20 °C). High humidity can cause this plant some fungus problems.
- There are very few problems that can affect Lady’s Mantle. There are really no pests that can threaten this flower. However, some fungal diseases can become problematic for the plant, especially if the crown is kept in the damp. Ensure good air circulation for your Lady’s Mantle plants and avoid overwatering.
Lady’s Mantle Features: An Overview
- Alchemilla Mollis is a clump-forming perennial that can grow up to 12-18 inches (30-45 cm) tall and 18-24 inches (45-60 cm) wide.
- Lady’s Mantle features dense and leafy mounds of scallop-edged light green leaves. The leaves have a densely hairy appearance.
- From late spring to early summer, this flower produces small, delicate, star-shaped flowers of a greenish-yellow color. These blooms are delicate, subtle and appear just above the foliage.
- The flowers produced by this plant have a mild, fresh scent. This plant usually blooms at the same time with most types of roses and with daylilies creating an attractive contrast. Specialists recommend planting Alchemilla Mollis alongside plants that produce purple, dark blue, red, or burgundy flowers such as Alliums, Hardy Geraniums, Penstemons, Sage, Liatris, Hollyhocks, and Lobelia.
- While it’s true that in the past, people used to harvest the leaves and the roots of Alchemilla Vulgaris, Alchemilla Alpina, and Alchemilla xantochlora during the summer and they would use these plants to make poultices for wounds and bruises and teas for menstrual pains. It’s important to mention that Alchemilla Mollis is mainly an ornamental plant and it shouldn’t be used as a remedy.
- As previously mentioned, Alchemilla is a plant used for various natural remedies. So, it has no reported toxic effects on both humans and pets. You don’t have to worry about planting your Lady’s Mantle flowers somewhere away from your kids’ or pet’s reach.
- In the Faroe Islands, Alchemilla Mollis is listed as an invasive species and the local authorities are making efforts towards finding and preventing the plant from spreading. So, if you’re living in the Faroe Islands, keep an eye out for this plant.
Growing Lady’s Mantle
Growing and caring for Alchemilla Mollis a.k.a. Lady’s Mantle is not a difficult task. This plant is generally versatile and adaptable to the conditions it grows in. What’s more, very few problems threaten it, as is often the case with most garden plants. So, both novice and experienced gardeners will find it pretty easy to grow Lady’s Mantle in their outdoor spaces.
When caring for Lady’s Mantle, the first thing you need to consider is this plant’s light preference. Although it can adapt to full sun conditions, the harsh sun can be dangerous for it, scorching its leaves. What’s more, Lady’s Mantle also tends to grow shabby in hot weather if it is kept in dry soil. So, if possible, and especially if you live in an area with hot summer days, plant your flowers in partial shade. Afternoon shade will protect your Lady’s Mantle flowers from sun scorch.
Although it isn’t necessary to fertilize your Lady’s Mantle plants, they can benefit from it, especially if your soil is poor. If that’s the case, we recommend using a slow-release organic fertilizer that you can mix with the soil as you plant your flowers.
In terms of pruning, while it isn’t required for the plant’s wellbeing, you should do it to protect your garden from Lady’s Mantle’s invasive nature. More precisely, this flower freely self-seeds in the garden, becoming a bit invasive. To prevent that from happening, make sure to remove spent flower stems to prevent self-seeding promptly. This may also encourage the plant to have a late summer rebloom.
Planting Lady’s Mantle
Planting isn’t a complex process with this plant either. There are a couple of things to keep in mind during planting time to ensure that you’ll get happy and healthy Lady’s Mantle plants. More precisely, you should consider its light, soil, and humidity preferences.
First of all, remember that full sun might threaten your Lady’s Mantle plants in warmer regions. These flowers can adapt to full sun in cooler areas, but they prefer to grow in a spot where they get partial shade or even full shade in very hot climates. So, look for that shady area of your garden where other plants didn’t want to grow precisely due to the lack of sunlight and plant your Lady’s Mantles there.
Another thing you need to keep in mind when planting Lady’s Mantle is the ideal soil conditions this plant needs. More precisely, this flower can adapt to a variety of soil types, but it prefers to grow in slightly acidic, well-draining soil. Remember that this flower is susceptible to fungus problems like rot, so well-draining soil is essential. Mix your garden soil with coarse sand or crusher fines. This will improve water drainage.
- BLOOM TIME: Early Summer - Fall
- HARDINESS ZONE: 3 - 8
- PLANT HEIGHT: 12 - 18" . . . PLANT SPACING: 18 - 24"
- LIGHT REQUIREMENTS: Shade - Part Sun . . . SOIL / WATER: Average
- Ladys Mantle forms a nice neat little mound of uniquely shaped leaves and is prized for its foliage. The fuzzy leaves are famous for catching raindrops that sparkle in the sun.
Last update on 2023-06-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Also, remember that high humidity can also be a problem for this plant. High humidity is a common cause of fungal diseases that is quite threatening for your garden plants. To avoid fungal diseases, space each of your Lady’s Mantle plants about 8-12 inches (20-30 cm) apart to allow proper air circulation.
Don’t forget to add a slow-release fertilizer to the soil at planting time. The ideal planting time for Alchemilla Mollis is in early spring, once the last frost has passed. When grown from seeds, Lady’s Mantle plants will take about two years to reach maturity and produce blooms.
Watering Lady’s Mantle
With this plant, overwatering is much more dangerous than underwatering it.
Lady’s Mantle is considered a drought-tolerant plant, meaning that it can survive short periods of time without water. One reason for that is that its leaves retain moisture after rain. Yet, while drought doesn’t threaten it, too much water might. Lady’s Mantle doesn’t like wet feet and is susceptible to fungal problems caused by high humidity like root or crown rot.
Another thing to consider is the climate in your area. In hotter climates, regular watering is necessary because too much sunlight and high temperatures can cause the leaves to turn dry and brown.
To make sure that you’re giving your plant the correct amount of water, use the “soak and dry” watering method. In other words, wait for the top few inches of soil to dry out between waterings.
If your Lady’s Mantle plants look like they aren’t getting enough water, adjust your watering schedule to do it more frequently.
Propagating Lady’s Mantle
Propagation is not a complex process when it comes to Lady’s Mantle. This plant is already prone to reseeding, meaning that it can spread even if you don’t want it to. You can propagate Lady’s Mantle via seeds or division. Propagation by seed is a process that happens relatively naturally if you don’t deadhead the flowers as they start to dry.
To propagate this plant via divisions, dig the entire plant using a shovel and use a sharp and clean tool to split the root ball into three equal pieces. Ensure that each of the three parts has a good amount of vegetation attached to it. The last step is to immediately plant each of these parts in new spots and provide them with water.
Growing Lady’s Mantle in your garden will be a very rewarding experience. You can use this flower to cover the shady areas of your garden, as ground cover, or in your floral arrangements. Alchemilla Mollis is a perfect addition to cottage gardens and wildflower meadows and it can easily be paired with other garden plants that produce colourful blooms. Lady’s Mantles will happily grow in the less sunny parts of your garden, where other plants might not thrive.
Lady’s Mantle is a pretty low-maintenance plant. It will reward your care with its beautiful flowers and scent and attract pollinators like butterflies and bees to your outdoor space. Are you already growing Lady’s Mantles in your garden? Share your experience in the comment section!