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Hollyhock / Althaea
Hollyhock Flower Description
An old fashioned favourite, Hollyhocks are ideal cottage garden flowers. They are make a very striking display with their imposing spikes of big white, yellow, pink, red, and crimson blossoms. They come in single and double blooms and due to their height, which can reach 2.4m, are perfect at the back of herbaceous and annual garden borders. Hollyhocks provide a good backdrop to shorter less imposing border plants. The leaves of the hollyhock plant are light green in colour and have a hairy texture.
Cultivation of Hollyhock
Hollyhocks appreciate a rich and heavy soil in a protected position. Biennial seeds should be planted 23cm apart in the middle of summer. In the autumn thin the young developing plants to a distance of 60cm between plants.
Annual hollyhock seeds should be sown under glass in late winter with the aim of planting out in mid-spring. Alternatively sow the seeds in mid-spring directly into their final position and thin the seedlings to 38cm apart.
Water extensively particularly in in dry weather. Tall varieties of hollyhock require staking especially in exposed sites. To promote perennial growth, in the autumn trim the plants to 15cm above the ground.
Popular Varieties of Hollyhock
Some popular varieties of hollyhock include:
|Chaters Double ||peony & double flowers, mixed & single colours |
|Summer Carnival || |
Double blossoms, many colours, annual
|Majorette ||Dwarf, double-fringed blooms, variety of pastel shades |
|Nigra ||Single flowers, rich maroon |
|Pinafore Mix ||Single and semi-double blooms, white, yellow, red, carmine |
|Powder Puffs ||Double flowers, white, yellow, pink, red |
Hollyhock Pests and Diseases
Rust is the main problem for hollyhock and it affects the stems and the leaves. It mainly affects more mature plants and can be largely be avoided by sticking to annuals or biennials.
|Height 60cm - 2.40m || |
Hollyhock - Scientific Classification
|Planting distance: 23 - 60cm ||Kingdom ||Plantae |
|Flowers from mid-summer to autumn ||Order ||Malvales |
|Heavy rich soil ||Family ||Malvaceae |
|Sunny position ||Genus ||Alcea |
|Hardy biennials.& annuals || || |