If you were looking for a classic cottage garden plant, then Hollyhocks (Alcea rosea) would be one near the top of the list. Tall growing, large open flowers, and a magnet for bees and butterflies, they are also easy to grow.
You can grow them from seedlings, or directly from seeds purchased online.
Hollyhocks are a tall growing biennial or perennial depending on variety. Often regarded as an old fashioned plant they do work well in cottage gardens as well as at the rear of the perennial border.
Growing to 3m they are a great plant for the back of the border. Flowers range from deep purple through to white with large flowers.
You will now find dwarf Hollyhock varieties for sale in many of the better nurseries.
How to grow Hollyhocks from seed.
It is best to wait until the weather warms up a little to plant Hollyhock seedlings into the garden. As a rule, early spring, or after the last frost is the best time.
- Hollyhock seeds need moisture to grow. You can plant them in seedling trays, or directly into the garden.
- Prepare some humus rich well dug growing medium for trays. Similar conditions in the ground.
- The seeds are fairly large, plant them about 3cm apart in pots. 20 cm apart in the garden
- The seeds need warmth and moisture to germinate.
- After around 4 weeks they are ready to either plant out from seedling trays. Or to thin out in the garden. The seedings should be 30 – 60 cm apart.
- Generally Hollyhocks will not flower until their second year.
When planting Hollyhocks remember they prefer full sun and a humus rich well drained soil. Hollyhocks will self seed.
Any plants that send up a flower in the first year should have that removed, it will only produce a weak flowering spike.
Hollyhock plants and seedlings are available for sale from the following Nurseries
412 James Lane, Fern Hill VIC. 3458 - Phone 0419002651
Large range of Rare plants, Climbers, Bulbs, Perennials Fruit Trees, Ornamental Trees and Shrubs. Available both Retail and by Mail Order
52 Rodd St Canowindra NSW 2804
An online nursery specialising in drought and frost tolerant perennials and fragrant, edible and herbs.
LADYBIRD ROSES – ph: 03 5966 8586
PO Box 224 Warburton VIC 3799
Hollyhock seed specialists of perennial and annual varieties.