Alchemilla Information – Care and Maintenance

Basic information about Alchemilla.  Includes Origin, Growing & Cultivation, Common Pests & Diseases, Interesting Facts & Uses,  and Garden Design Tips.

Alchemilla Origin

Alchemilla mollis, or Lady’s Mantle, is native to Turkey and the Carpathian mountains.

The common name, Lady’s Mantle, is supposedly derived from the shape of its scalloped leaves resembling the Virgin Mary’s cloak.

alchemilla mollis Lady's Mantle
Alchemilla mollis

The botanical name, Alchemilla, is derived from the water droplets/dew on the textured leaves.  These were considered to be the purest form of water by alchemists in the Middle Ages.  They were carefully collected and used by them in their quest for a way to turn base metal into gold.

Growing and Cultivation

Lady’s Mantle prefers moist, fertile soil and partial shade.  It can tolerate full sun in places with cooler summers, but will burn on the leaf edges if it is receiving too much.  It does not like to have ‘wet feet’ or waterlogged soil.  Once established, it only requires watering during drought conditions or extreme heat.

Will readily self-seed in the garden; to prevent this many people cut off the flower stems after flowering has been completed.  Lady’s Mantle also benefits from shearing back foliage growth at this time.  You may also want to shear the old growth off in spring before the new growth flush comes.

Common Pests and Diseases

Alchemilla is fairly pest and disease resistant; there are no common pests or diseases that affect this plant.  It is also deer and rabbit resistant; the hairy and thick texture makes it unattractive to eat.

Interesting Facts and Uses

The flowers of Lady’s Mantle can be used as cut flowers either fresh or dried. They make a chartreuse alternative to baby’s breath or other fillers in floral arrangements.

Garden Design Tips

In the garden, it looks its best at the front of the border or along paths, softening hard lines with its gentle curves.  Its mounding habit provides a good contrast with more vertical plants like iris, Liatris, and Salvia. The chartreuse flower color complements violet, blue and pink colors in other plants.  Attracts and feeds butterflies and bees, so can be useful to include in a pollinator or bee or butterfly garden.

Purchasing

To purchase Alchemilla, please visit our Shade Companion Plants.