My friend Margaret writes,
After we had the heavy rains in December, my mallow just seemed to stop thriving. This photo was taken today. Note that this year the seedlings started growing.
Part one of my pruning is evident in the photo. Part two will occur after the trash is picked up. I do hope my mallow can make a comeback.
I have collected the seeds from the cut branches.
I wrote back,
You have really well-draining soil, if I recall correctly. However, you may want to transplant a seedling or two to a slight mound that will provide better water shedding from the trunk in case that is the problem.
If you follow the label link to Margaret's mallow you'll see that this was an early 2009 transplant from a 1 gallon pot, so it's had a two+ year run. Maybe that's all you get from Lavatera assurgentiflora. The main native plant web sites that I surveyed didn't call out a specific life expectancy, but this web site says that it is short-lived:
so perhaps it's run its course.
Back to my blog vacation. See ya.