Position – Sun or part shade
Soil – Well-drained
Flowering Period – Summer
Hardiness – Fully hardy
Alcea are more commonly known as the ‘Hollyhock’ and are native to Southern Europe, Middle East and Central Asia. They are robust biennials or short-lived perennials that display superb clusters of blooms which adorn regal stems and pale-green foliage throughout summer. Alcea are best suited to flower beds and borders within a cottage, informal or coastal garden setting. You should expect Alcea to grow to an approximate height of 1.5 –1.8cm (5-6”) and a spread of 50cm (20”).
Alcea are best planted in well-drained and moderately fertile soil of chalk, sand and loam within a neutral, acidic or alkaline PH level. Dig a hole that is as deep as the root ball allowing some extra width for the roots to initially spread. Amend the soil with grit and plenty of organic matter and mix in thoroughly. Space companion plants at a distance which will allow individuals to reach a mature size. Alcea are best positioned in a site which has access to full sun or part shade.
After flowering, cut back stalks to prevent them from self-sowing, retaining a controlled growth in your garden. Deadhead your plants once the flowering period is over to extend your plants life and encourage better blooming for the following season. In exposed areas, it is recommended that Alcea are staked or supported to retain a healthy structure and appearance. Water new plants and non-flowering mature plants every fortnight or at least monthly. Please take care when watering and ensure you target the base to avoid wetting the rust susceptible foliage.
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