Perfect for the cottage garden, Chater’s Double Hybrids-Mixed is a mixed seed strain of hollyhocks that includes an array of colors including pink, apricot, violet, purple, scarlet, white, and yellow. Its tall, sturdy spikes support tufts of ruffled, fully double flowers that open from the bottom up over a long period in summer. The leaves are deeply lobed in classic alcea form.
Pictured at right are three of the colors included the mix: white, yellow, and pink.
Feel free to grow hollyhocks under Black Walnut trees; they are tolerant of the toxic juglone that is emitted through the trees’ roots. Hollyhocks are best treated as a biennial or short-lived perennial.
Winchester Gardens generally stocks this item.
Pink, Apricot, Violet, Purple, Scarlet, White, Yellow
Select a site with full exposure to the sun for best flowering results. The Alcea Rosea prefers moist, well-drained, rich soils. This plant’s coarse foliage is very susceptible to rust disease, so place it in back garden borders so to hide its lower disease-prone leaves
The Alcea Rosea is relatively easy to grow from seed. Sow your seeds in the spring, or as late as two months before the first fall frost. Seeds can be placed atop cultivated soil as sunlight aids in germination.
Though the plant is quite tough, note that flowering stalks in full bloom may be brought down under their own weight. Especially tall, heavy flowered stalks should be staked upright.
Clematis – Use clematis on a trellis or arbor behind hollyhocks to frame and set off the bloom spires. Some of the clematis vines may wind their way through the hollyhock stems, softening the upright form of the plant.
Shasta daisy – Mounds of pure-white Shasta daisies at the base of hollyhock plants hide the lower foliage of the hollyhocks, which can become ragged by midsummer.
Shrub rose – Shrub roses and hollyhocks make a knockout combination in a cottage garden. Pair varieties with similar colors for a stunning show.