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Irish Florists > Flowers > Hollyhock

Hollyhock / Althaea

Hollyhock Flower Description

An old fashioned favourite, Hollyhocks are ideal cottage garden flowers. They are make a very striking display with their imposing spikes of big white, yellow, pink, red, and crimson blossoms. They come in single and double blooms and due to their height, which can reach 2.4m, are perfect at the back of herbaceous and annual garden borders. Hollyhocks provide a good backdrop to shorter less imposing border plants. The leaves of the hollyhock plant are light green in colour and have a hairy texture.

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Cultivation of Hollyhock

Hollyhock Flowers

Hollyhocks appreciate a rich and heavy soil in a protected position. Biennial seeds should be planted 23cm apart in the middle of summer. In the autumn thin the young developing plants to a distance of 60cm between plants.

Annual hollyhock seeds should be sown under glass in late winter with the aim of planting out in mid-spring. Alternatively sow the seeds in mid-spring directly into their final position and thin the seedlings to 38cm apart.

Water extensively particularly in in dry weather. Tall varieties of hollyhock require staking especially in exposed sites. To promote perennial growth, in the autumn trim the plants to 15cm above the ground.

Popular Varieties of Hollyhock

Some popular varieties of hollyhock include:

Chaters Double peony & double flowers, mixed & single colours
Summer Carnival

Double blossoms, many colours, annual

Majorette Dwarf, double-fringed blooms, variety of pastel shades
Nigra Single flowers, rich maroon
Pinafore Mix Single and semi-double blooms, white, yellow, red, carmine
Powder Puffs Double flowers, white, yellow, pink, red

Hollyhock Pests and Diseases

Rust is the main problem for hollyhock and it affects the stems and the leaves. It mainly affects more mature plants and can be largely be avoided by sticking to annuals or biennials.

Height 60cm - 2.40m

Hollyhock - Scientific Classification

Planting distance: 23 - 60cm Kingdom Plantae
Flowers from mid-summer to autumn Order Malvales
Heavy rich soil Family Malvaceae
Sunny position Genus Alcea
Hardy biennials.& annuals    
Flowers Index Cornflower Hyacinth Pot Marigold
African Daisy Crocus Lily Primula
Ageratum Daffodil Lily of the Valley Snapdragon
Alstroemeria Dahlia Lobelia Snowdrop
Anemone Daisy Marigold Stock
Babys Breath Delphinium Pansy Sunflower
Begonia Forget-me-Not Pelargonium Sweet Alyssum
Bells of Ireland Freesia Petunia Sweet Pea
Busy Lizzie Gladiolus Phlox Tulip
Chrysanthemum Hollyhock Poppy Wallflower

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