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:

'Nigra' has a deep maroon flower.
'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.

Seeds to plant now:

Indoors or in a heated greenhouse

Ageratum

Alyssum

Aubergine

Cardoon

Celeriac

Celery

Columbine

Coriander

Cress

Cucumber

Forget-me-not

Ornamental pepper

Pepper

Sunflower

Tomato

Outside

Alyssum

Amaranthus

Asparagus

Aubrieta, Aubrietia, Rock cress

Beetroot

Borecole

Broccoli

Brussels sprout

Cabbage

Carrot

Cauliflower

Hollyhock

Kohl rabi

Lettuce

Normandy sorrel

Onion

Radish

Rock cress, Aubrieta, Aubrietia

Spinach

Spring onion

Sweet corn

Sweet pea

Turnip

Outside under cover

Brussels sprout

French marigold

Leek

Lettuce

Marrow

Onion

Snapdragon

Sweet corn

Tomato