Alcea rosea ‘Hollyhock’
Hollyhocks are a classic, mid-summer bloom and are an excellent choice if you’re wanting to add drama and height to your garden!
Single or double cup-shaped flowers bloom on tall stalks opening from the bottom upwards and come in richly hued colors of deep rose, pink, salmon pink, yellow, and white. The leaves are large, coarse, and palmate in shape and form a clump to about 2 feet wide.
Plant in full sun or partial shade in hotter climates and provide rich, moist, well-drained soil. Water regularly. Once established, they are fairly drought tolerant. Hollyhocks can grow 5-7 feet tall and 1-2 feet wide. When planting, you’ll want to space them 18-36” apart. Hollyhocks can self-sow, so keep this in mind when choosing a location for planting. After the flowers begin to fade, cut the stalks just above ground level (to the base of the flower) and continue to water plants to encourage late summer or early fall rebloom. Hollyhocks are susceptible to fungal diseases and rust so you’ll want to destroy any rust-infected leaves as soon as disease appears. It’s also advised to water from below and avoid wetting the foliage as this can lead to diseased leaves. Good air circulation also helps prevent moisture build up leading to disease.
Because of their height, hollyhocks make an impressive backdrop for shorter perennials. In areas with high wind, they’re best planted against a fence, wall, or trellis for added protection and support. They also make a great blooming screen for hiding unsightly views.
Pant them alongside dahlias, shasta daisies, phlox, marigolds, or sweet william in garden beds and borders. These old-fashioned flowers are perfect for a cottage garden and make a nice cut flower for inside the home.
Though most hollyhocks are biennials or short-lived perennials, the Indian Spring variety is known to bloom its first year if planted in early spring.
It’s no surprise that the large display of blooms is attractive to birds and butterflies. In fact, hollyhocks support the lifecycle of painted lady butterflies as a host plant for their caterpillars. Hollyhocks are also deer and rabbit resistant.
The Sunset Western Garden Zones are zones 1-24.
We are currently growing Alcea rosea “Hollyhocks" in 4.5” rounds in the following strains: Indian Spring, Chaters Double, and Summer Carnival (AAS Award Winner!)