Hollyhocks (Alcea rosea) are biennial flowering plants. They were once a very popular garden flower but are now considered to be old-fashioned by many gardeners. Nevertheless, they are a lovely garden flower.
Description[edit | edit source]
Hollyhock leaves are rounded and have a rough texture.
Hollyhocks have abundant flowers in various colours such as pink, red, yellow, white and cream. They have an appearance similar to hibiscus flowers. The flowers appear in summer to early autumn (fall).
Growing hollyhocks[edit | edit source]
Hollyhocks can be grown direct in the garden or in plant containers. However, the container has to be very deep and therefore tends to be an impractical way to grow these plants unless you have enormous pots.
Choose rich soil or add plentiful compost to enrich the soil. Grow in an area with full sun.
Choose between seed, division or cuttings. For seed, sow in spring when the ground is warm. Heat helps germination, especially beneath the seeds.
The plant can be divided after flowering.
For cuttings, take side shoots of about 2.5cm in length from the old root and place into a suitable potting medium. Keep shaded until the plant roots and do not water too much.
Uses[edit | edit source]
Hollyhocks can be grown for their beautiful colour and display.
The hollyhock flower is edible and can be added to salads. Before using the flowers, the stamen and any green parts must be removed.