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This old-fashioned flower is an easy way to add charm to your cottage garden. Perennially popular lady’s mantle creates wonderful texture and visual appeal with fuzzy, cup-like leaves that hold onto water droplets like little gems. Lady’s mantle features dainty yellow flowers that bloom in late spring to early summer in airy masses above the foliage. Initially the flowers sit above the foliage until they become too heavy and droop down gracefully. The flowers, similar to baby’s breath, last for several weeks and are excellent for both cut and dried flower arrangements. This long-lived perennial plant also blends wonderfully with other spring blossoming plants in your garden and looks great along the edge of the garden.
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Lady's Mantle Colors
In addition to its flowers, lady's mantle is prized for its foliage. Shallow leaves of cool green with softly scalloped edges are covered with soft hairs, creating a velvety appearance. The foliage makes a nice coarse-textured groundcover that looks attractive when planted underneath small trees.
Lady's Mantle Name Origin
Here's a fun fact about lady's mantle: It received its Latin name of Alchemilla because of its use in alchemy in medieval times. Morning dew was a prized ingredient for many alchemical recipes, and one of the main ways to gather early morning moisture was from the leaves of lady's mantle where dew drops had collected.
How to Care For Lady's Mantle
Lady's mantle can handle a wide variety of soil conditions but prefers a slightly acidic-to-neutral soil. Lady's mantle is drought-tolerant once established, however it will require supplemental water in high heat or full sun areas to prevent leaves from turning brown. Fertilizing is generally not necessary for lady's mantle unless you have exceptionally poor soil. If you have inferior soil, a small amount of slow-release organic fertilizer or compost can be mixed in at the time of planting.
One of the ideal places to plant lady's mantle is along edges of gardens or walkways where it is able to gently lean over and soften those hard edges.
There is little maintenance required for lady's mantle. Typically it only needs the occasional cleanup of leaves as they turn brown and deadheading of flowers as they begin to fade. Lady's mantle can remain standing in the fall, as it is semi-evergreen; it will overwinter better if the leaves are left on the plant to act as insulation. Come early spring, simply remove any brown and crispy leaves before new ones emerge.
More Varieties of Lady's Mantle
Alchemilla mollis displays a froth of chartreuse flowers throughout the summer. It grows 2 feet tall and 3 feet wide. Zones 4-7.