Plant profile: Hollyhock - Alcea rosea

Hollyhocks like rich, free draining soil in a sunny position. They are perennials, but are usually grown as biennials.

They can suffer from rust, there's not too much that you do about this, apart from remove plant the plant after floweing. However, companion planting with Achilla millefolium (common yarrow), the leaves and roots are rich in copper which is a natural fungicide, which may help.

They will self-set freely or pick off the seed heads and sow the seeds as soon as the are ripe in pots or open ground in autumn, they will flower the following year.

Suggested sowing time:


(Key: sow indoors,   sow outside,   sow outside under cover.)

Varieties:

Chater's Double has a double flower and is named after the nurseryman W. Chater who grew hollyhocks in his garden in the 1840-50's.
Nigra has a deep maroon flower.

Seeds to plant now:

Indoors or in a heated greenhouse

Cress

Ornamental pepper

Outside

Alpine wallflower

Alyssum

Basil

Beetroot

Cabbage

Campanula

Carrot

Cress

Double daisy

Foxglove

Honesty

Kohl rabi

Lettuce

Onion

Pansy

Radish

Spinach

Spring onion

Sweet William

Swiss chard

Turnip

Wallflower

Outside under cover