Hollyhock (Alcea rosea)

Quick facts and care essentials

• Biennial
• Full sun
• Regular watering

An old-fashioned favorite with 3- to 6-inch-wide, single to double flowers on stems that range from 2 1/2 feet to a towering 9 feet tall. Blossoms appear in summer; colors include yellow, cream, white, pink, red, and purple.

Rust can be a serious problem; choose rust-resistant varieties, remove any rust-infected leaves you see, and avoid overhead watering (it can spread rust spores). Plants self-sow freely. Space 1 1/2 feet apart.