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Annual Biennial

Alcea rosea
  • RHS Plants for pollinators

hollyhock

A robust biennial or short-lived perennial to 2m or more, with shallowly lobed, rounded leaves and long erect racemes of open funnel-shaped flowers to 10cm across, which may be pink, purple, red, white or yellow

Other common names
common hollyhock
Synonyms
Althaea rosea
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Size
Ultimate height
1.5–2.5 metres
Time to ultimate height
2–5 years
Ultimate spread
0.5–1 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Green
Summer Pink Purple Red White Yellow Green
Autumn Green
Winter
Position
  • Full sun
Aspect

South–facing or West–facing

Exposure
Exposed or Sheltered
Hardiness
H5
Botanical details
Family
Malvaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Deciduous
Habit
Columnar upright
Genus

Alcea are robust biennials or short-lived perennials with showy funnel-shaped flowers borne in tall, erect racemes in summer

Name status

Correct

How to grow

Cultivation

Grow in well-drained, moderately fertile soil in full sun. Stake on exposed sites

Propagation

Propagate by seed sown in gentle heat in mid-winter or in-situ in spring

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Coastal
  • Flower borders and beds
  • Wall side borders
Pruning

Cut back after flowering

Pests

Young growth can be attacked by slugs and caterpillars; flea beetles occasionally causes significant defoliation

Diseases

Susceptible to a rust

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