Alchemilla mollis or Lady’s Mantle is one of the green flowers (or more properly chartreuse) that I have to reserve judgment on when it comes to being a favorite plant.It is a wonderful shade plant and most folks don’t try to grow it there but rather leave it out in the dry hot sun where it can languish unhappily.
Note: I have put it under the “shade” plant area but in reality it’s a part-shade plant that must be kept out of the hot noon day sun. It’s not a deep shade plant however. Put it on the edge of the shade garden where it may get a bit more sunlight.
This plant prefers a part shade location where it gets some protection from the mid day sun.
It will thrive in the sunshine in a good soil high in organic matter and regular moisture.
It will grow in poor soil conditions but it won’t be happy.
For best results, grow in a good soil with adequate moisture in a part shade location.I have seen it growing in full dappled shade under deciduous trees and it was doing fine.
It is not a candidate for growing under evergreens with their full shade and dry soils (combined these are a death sentence rather than a growing condition)
Flowering and Leaves
The magical thing about the leaves of this plant is that they collect and hold the dew. If you wander out into the garden on a bright, dew-filled morning, you’ll find this plant glistening as the leaves are filled with tiny droplets of water.
The flowers are greenish-yellow and appear in early summer covering the plant. Dead head them off when they are done. They do make excellent cut or dried flowers.
The plant is easily hardy into USDA zone 4 and I’ve never lost one to winter kill.
Propagation is by seed or division. Divide mature clumps in early spring for best results.
Seed can be sown in January for small plants to set outdoors in May.
In warm climates (zone 6 and warmer) this plant can self-sow to nuisance levels so deadheading is recommended.
Don’t know – never had any other than drying the plant to the bone and watching it wither away in a drought. It never recovered.
With 300 species in the wild, you’ll sometimes see them pop up at specialist nurseries.
The most commonly available seem to be:
- A. alpina– a dwarf form that is mat-forming and only 3-5 inches tall.
- A. erythropoda with a more glaucous leaf and 7 inches tall
- A. faeroensis growing up to 10 inches tall.
In general, Alchemilla mollis or lady’s mantle is a fine plant for the general or part shade perennial border.