Hollyhock (Alcea)

All you need to know about growing Hollyhock in your garden

These tall (5 to 9 feet) plants from the Mediterranean region have rough, roundish heart-shaped leaves and 3- to 6-inch-wide single, semidouble, or double flowers that appear in early to midsummer. They're favored for cottage gardens from Santa Fe to the Pacific Northwest (zones 1-24). Plant them where they'll get full sun and regular water.

Most hollyhocks are strains of A. rosea and are considered biennial or short-lived perennials. A. ficifolia Antwerp mix, with palm-shaped leaves, is a new rust- resistant strain.

SINGLE BLOOMS. A. rosea Old Barnyard mix, Country Garden mix, and Single mix are collections of old-fashioned single flowers in shades of all or some of the following colors: maroon, pink, rose, white, and yellow. A. r. nigra has rich chocolate maroon flowers.

DOUBLE BLOOMS. A. rosea Chater's Double is a perennial strain in single and mixed colors. 'Peaches 'n' Dreams' is creamy pink with tinges of raspberry. Powderpuff is a bright mix of maroon, red, white, and yellow. Summer Carnival mix blooms the first year if started in spring.

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