It is a known fact among gardeners that hollyhocks, also known by their scientific name Alcea, are timeless and an all-time favourite plant. With numerous flowers blooming during summer on tall spikes, hollyhocks can grow as tall as 9 feet (almost 3 meters). For a beginner garden, to plant hollyhocks is the ultimate goal, given how impressive these flowers genuinely are.
What makes Alcea, or hollyhocks, so remarkable is the fact that the tall spikes are entirely covered in beautiful flowers. But another significant reason why they are so loved is the variety of colors available. Hollyhocks can come in striking dark shades of red or purple, and even black. However, at the same time, you can find pastel-coloured hollyhocks. There is no denying these flowers are unique and every gardener’s dream!
If you feel you are ready to plant hollyhocks, fear not! It might seem challenging, but it will definitely be rewarding once you see those one-of-a-kind flowers growing on tall spikes.
If Alcea has caught your attention, keep reading to find out more about the wonderful hollyhocks!
- Native to Asia and Europe, hollyhocks are biennials. This means that you won’t get to witness the beauty of the hollyhock flowers until a year after you have planted them. First, the tall stalks will begin to grow, consisting solely of the plant’s foliage. Once these stalks reach their final height, flowers will bloom on them.
- They can self-seed, so you don’t have to plant hollyhocks every time. When you have the first round of established plants, new plants can sprout the following year in the same place. So, you will be able to enjoy seeing hollyhocks in your garden every summer.
- Hollyhocks and hibiscus are related, given that they belong to the same family, Malvaceae.
- The Alcea plant can have health benefits, from treating sore throat to digestive problems. For this reason, hollyhocks continue to be used for medicinal purposes.
- In traditional herbal medicine, the hollyhock roots have proven to be helpful, while the plant’s flowers can be used to make a lotion that can alleviate dry skin and sunburn symptoms.
- An interesting fact that not many people know is that hollyhocks flowers can be used as dolls. In order to make one of your own, you need a fully-bloomed flower as the skirt and a partially bloomed one for the body. As for the head, you can use the flower bud. Making hollyhock dolls is a great activity to try with your kids.
Hollyhocks Features: An Overview
- When it comes to hollyhocks’ appearance, the flowers are what truly make this plant stand out. They bloom on the tall vertical stalks, filling them completely throughout the entire height. These tall stalks can grow as high as 9 feet.
- Hollyhocks’ leaves have a bright, deep green colour, with a leathery and glossy texture and a rounded shape. They beautifully complement the frilly-edged flowers, which can bloom in a variety of colours, from red, deep purple and black, to bright and pastel pink or orange.
- Hollyhocks are edible. They have a bland taste, without any particular fragrant flavour. However, they can be used as decoration for specific meals, being an edible garnish, or included in some salads.
- There is no denying that hollyhocks are beautiful, unique plants. But, when it comes to scent, its flowers are not among the ones to take your breath away, simply because there is no specific smell attached to hollyhocks.
- Not only will these plants look fantastic in your garden, but the Alcea flowers attract bees, butterflies, and even hummingbirds. So, that will be a heavenly thing to witness.
In order to grow hollyhocks, you need to ensure you have a spot in your garden that will allow this astonishing plant to soak in the sun, so to speak. This is of the utmost importance, given that hollyhocks require full sun to grow. These plants look lovely in an outdoor landscape, especially when they reach incredible heights. Not only are hollyhocks beautiful, but they truly – and literally – stand out in a garden!
What’s more, these sun-loving plants grow best if they are given support by a fence, stake, or wall. Because they grow tall spikes on which the hollyhocks blooms grow, it is necessary to protect them as much as possible from dangers, like strong winds, reducing the risk of them being blown over.
Therefore, finding an area where there is total sun exposure and the soil is well-drained is strongly advised to grow hollyhocks. A noteworthy mention is that partial shade is accepted. However, gardeners should try to avoid these areas if possible and ensure their hollyhocks receive enough direct sunlight. In the spring, it is recommended you apply fertilizer or compost, as hollyhocks grow better from a light application by gardeners.
- 【Package】: 300+ Hollyhock Seeds (mixed colors).
- 【Unique features】: Hollyhocks are easy to grow, grow quickly, and require basically no attention once they have taken off. Unique mixed colors are so amazing, you'll love the difference! Plus, Hummingbirds and butterflies are very attracted to it.
- 【Sow rate】: 3-4 seeds per plant.
- 【After-sale Guaranteed】: You can return them for a FULL refund with no question asked! Plus we are available to answer your questions as well, And we will happily make it “Right” for you.
- Early planting for flowering the first year. Deep crimson, light pink, rose, red, yellow and white. Reseeds itself for continuous plants each year
- Planting instructions included with purchase
- Full sun
- Height 11 feet
- 25 seeds in package - CANNOT SHIP TO FOLLOWING STATES IN USA - FLORIDA, GEORGIA, ALABAMA, TENNESSEE, AND MISSISSIPPI (or any other state with a zip code beginning with a 3)
- ✔ Quality seeds packaged by MySeeds.Co All seeds sold by MySeeds.Co are Non-GMO based seed products and are intended for the current & the following growing season. "All seeds are produced from open pollinated plants, stored in a temperature controlled facility and constantly moved out due to popularity.
- ✔ Hollyhock is completely edible and are commonly found in many cottage gardens
- ✔ Average size of flowers are 4" across
- ✔ Flowers of Hollyhock are edible and are often added to salads
- ✔ Very drought resistant and do well in poor and hard soils
It is crucial to point out an important detail when it comes to learning how to plant hollyhocks. Many novice gardeners plant hollyhocks in dry soils. This should be avoided at all times, given that these plants require well-drained, moist, and rich soil. It is a common rookie mistake to plant hollyhocks in soil that is too dry for them to grow properly. Luckily, we have got you covered!
The ideal period to plant Hollyhocks depends on how you choose to sow the plant’s seeds. If you wish to sow seeds undercover, then the best period is from April to May. However, there is also the option of sowing them outdoors, in which case you can do so a bit later, in May and June. If you choose to plant Hollyhocks in the summer months, the plant’s flowers will bloom the following summer, given it is a biennial plant.
When it comes to soil types, the ideal ones are chalky, sandy, or loamy. Before you plant your Hollyhocks, make sure you get a stake that can support their heights. Alternatively, plant them by a wall or fence to support the growth. As mentioned earlier, hollyhocks can reach two or three meters, so it is vital you plant them accordingly.
An interesting fact to know about hollyhocks is that they need to be watered regularly in the beginning, when they are still developing. This is in order to keep the soil moist and ensure it won’t get dry during the growing period.
Once hollyhocks are established and fully grown, the plants become more drought tolerant. However, this doesn’t mean that you should stop watering them. Simply reduce the amount of water while always making sure that the soil moisture is maintained. As mentioned before, any dryness can be harmful to Hollyhocks.
Another noteworthy mention would be to always water hollyhocks from below, at the base of the plant. Wetting the Alcea foliage can cause leaves to develop various diseases. Plus, if the garden hose flow is too powerful, it could easily break the Hollyhocks foliage when you try watering the plant from above. Therefore, this should be avoided at all times.
If you wish to propagate hollyhocks, what you need to know is that the best method to do this is to leave flower stalks in place, as they can self-seed by division. Another simple way of growing and propagating hollyhocks is from sowing the seeds yourself during springtime.
Hence, hollyhocks are a type of plant that can be propagated by both division and seed. The former is relatively easy to do. During the season when hollyhocks are not in bloom, like winter, spring or fall, it is essential to start digging the soil around already established plants, loosening it. Once you have done this, you can carefully pull the stalks out of the ground so you can put them in water. Be careful not to break off their long roots when doing this.
Next, these stalks with long roots that you’ve managed to dig up and collect can be planted directly into the garden. Similar to how you sow the seeds of hollyhocks, it is essential you pick a suitable place for them. This means moist and rich soil in an area with a lot of sun exposure so that the hollyhocks can enjoy direct sunlight most of the day. Don’t forget to support the plant’s growth by planting it next to a fence or using a stake to uphold the plant.
Alcea or hollyhocks are one of the oldest cultivated flowers, dating back to ancient times, and continue to be a preferred choice for gardeners nowadays. Given the plant’s tall stalks full of beautiful flowers in striking colours, there is no denying that many want to add them to their gardens.
Hollyhocks look best when planted in an outdoor landscape, with denser and smaller plants and flowers in front of them, which can complement the imposing height of the Alcea plant. Hollyhocks are biennials, not difficult to plant and grow, and they can self-seed, so there is no need for you to plant them every year. This ensures that every summer, you get to witness the Alcea blooming.
If you have already begun growing these wonderful hollyhocks, let us know how the experience has been for you in the comments!