Cathy Isom not only fills you in on how, but most importantly, why you should consider growing the Marshmallow plant in your garden. That’s coming up on This Land of Ours.
The Marshmallow plant doesn’t grow those sweet treats we enjoy in hot cocoa or in S’mores, but it does bloom some beautiful showy white flowers throughout the summer.
The roots of this plant contain mucilage, which can be used to thicken recipes, sort of like gelatin. Marshmallow also has medicinal properties. Of course, you can also eat the plant, and it was the inspiration for the sweet treat we know today.
Marshmallow is a perennial flowering plant that grows in damp areas. It stands 3-4 feet high with a branched stem. The leaves are soft and hairy with three divisions, sort of like a maple leaf. Planting marshmallow plants in your garden takes a bit more consideration than other plants. The marshmallow plant grows well in USDA hardiness zones 3-9. You can place these plants in either partial shade or full sun. Wherever you plant, make sure it’s a moist spot. It is called “marsh” mallow after all. That doesn’t mean the plant wants to be underwater or in a thick swamp, but it does like continuously moist soil.
When the plant is in season, the leaves and flowers can either be harvested and eaten fresh or dried for medicinal purposes. The leaves, flowers, roots, and seeds of the marshmallow plants are edible. Herbalists use this plant to cure dozens of ailments, such as upset stomach, constipation, fever, inflammation, and even acne.
I’m Cathy Isom…