Heirloom Mixed Colour Hollyhock seeds: Old Fashioned Tall Giant Variety.
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. However, there are also many varieties that behave like short-lived perennials and will flower in their first year when planted early enough in spring or started indoors in winter.
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. Hollyhocks support the lifecycle of painted lady butterflies as a host plant for their caterpillars and also attract other pollinators such as bees and hummingbirds. If you’ve got a cottage garden, it’s just not complete without a few hollyhocks gracing the edges.
6-8 feet tall, 1-2 feet wide
Full sun to part shade
Color and Characteristics:
The single or double, cup-shaped flowers have little or no stalk and bloom on tall spikes. Hollyhocks come in a wide variety of colors: blue, pink, purple, red, white, yellow and even black. The tall spikes are covered with blooms from top to bottom. Hollyhock leaves are large, coarse and palmate in shape.
Hollyhocks aren’t noted as being poisonous when ingested. However, the stems and leaves can cause skin irritation when the small glass-like fibers on them are touched or brushed against.
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 ¼ inch deep and about 2 feet apart. 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.
Where to plant:
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.