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

Coriander

Cress

Cucumber

Forget-me-not

Ornamental pepper

Sunflower

Tomato

Outside

Alyssum

Amaranthus

Aster

Basil

Beetroot

Borecole

Broccoli

Cabbage

Candytuft

Cardoon

Carrot

Cauliflower

Celery

Cornflower

Delphinium

Hollyhock

Kohl rabi

Lettuce

Love-in-a-mist

Marrow

Nasturtium

Normandy sorrel

Radish

Rock cress, Aubrieta, Aubrietia

Runner bean

Spinach

Spring onion

Sweet corn

Sweet pea

Swiss chard

Turnip

Outside under cover

Cucumber

Sweet corn