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

Lettuce

Ornamental pepper

Outside

Ageratum

Alpine poppy

Alyssum

Brussels sprout

Cabbage

Carrot

Cauliflower

Cress

Hollyhock

Larkspur

Lettuce

Normandy sorrel

Onion

Radish

Rock cress, Aubrieta, Aubrietia

Spinach

Spring cabbage

Spring onion

Swiss chard

Outside under cover

Cauliflower

Lettuce