Hollyhock singles mix

R15,00

A classic cottage garden staple, hollyhocks (Alcea rosea) bloom mid-summer with numerous flowers on tall spikes. Many of the most common varieties are biennials, meaning they complete their lifecycle over 2 years. The first year is spent growing foliage and storing energy. In the second year, the stalks shoot up, flowers bloom and seeds form.

Other than staking and cutting the stalks back after flowering, hollyhocks really don’t require much maintenance, but they do need to be protected from insects and fungal diseases such as rust.

Height/Spread: up to 2 metres

Exposure: Full sun to part shade

Bloom time: January-September

Color and Characteristics: The single or double, cup-shaped flowers have little or no stalk and bloom on tall spikes. Colours are muted pastels.

Soil: Provide rich, moist, well-drained soil for hollyhocks.

How and when to plant hollyhock seeds:

Hollyhocks are easily started from seed indoors or out. Seeds can be sown directly outdoors about a week before last frost. Sow at just 1 cm deep and about 30cm. Hollyhocks have long taproots, so if seeds are started indoors, use tall, individual pots and transplant early to avoid damage. Start indoor seeds about 9 weeks before the last average frost date. Seedlings can be placed outside two to three weeks after the last frost. Also, bear in mind that some are biennials and may not bloom until their second year.

Plant in a well-draining area with full sun to partial shade. Due to their height, protect from damaging winds and provide support such as a fence, wall, trellis or stake. Hollyhocks will readily self-seed if left to their own devices, so locate them in an area where this won’t be a nuisance. Also, hollyhocks are one of very few plants that can be planted in proximity to black walnut trees because they are tolerant of the chemical juglone that is leached into the soil by the tree.

Watering: Provide regular water and keep soil moist for starting hollyhocks. However, once well established, they are fairly drought tolerant. Water from below and avoid wetting the foliage, as this can lead to diseased leaves.

Propagation: Hollyhocks are best, and easiest, grown from seed and they will readily self-seed if flower stalks are left in place.

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