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Alcea rosea


The ultimate cottage garden choice, hollyhock sends up tall spires that cover themselves in flowers in beautiful colors. They're easy to grow from seed -- in fact, that's usually the only way they are found in garden centers.

Most hollyhocks are biennials, that is, they grow only foliage the first year, flower the second, and die that fall. However, if you establish a stand of hollyhocks, they'll reseed each year so there will always be plenty blooming. Interestingly, the flowers open from the bottom to the top of the spike throughout the summer.

These tall (up to 8 feet) beauties are ideal against fences or buildings where they can get natural support. Red forms are especially attractive to hummingbirds and butterflies.

Plant Type:
Plant Height:
3-8 feet tall
Plant Width:
1-3 feet wide
Flower Color:
A broad range of flower colors available from red to pink, apricot, yellow, lavender, purple, and near black, depending on variety
Bloom Time:
Blooms early to midsummer
Landscape Uses:
Containers,Beds & Borders
Special Features:
Flowers,Cut Flowers,Attracts Hummingbirds,Attracts Butterflies,Easy to Grow
Top Varieties

Alcea rosea 'Chater's Double' offers frilly double blooms in a range of colors from peach to pink, scarlet, purple, yellow, and white. Zones 3-8
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Alcea rosea 'Creme de Cassis' bears striking, white-rimmed raspberry shaded flowers on 6-foot-tall stalks. Zones 3-8
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Alcea rosea 'Indian Spring' is available with single pink, rose, yellow, or white flowers. Plants tower to 8 feet tall. Zones 3-8
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Alcea rosea 'Old Barnyard Mix' grows 6 feet tall. The 3- to 5-inch wide single flowers may be deep red, pink, yellow, maroon, salmon, or even bicolor. Zones 3-8
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Alcea rosea 'Peaches 'n Dreams' has ruffled, double peachy-pink blooms with overtones of raspberry and apricot. It grows 4-6 feet tall. Zones 3-8
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Alcea rosea 'Queeny Purple' grows just 2-3 feet tall, so it needs no staking and is an excellent choice for adding height to container gardens. A ring of broad lavender-purple petals surround a tuft of frilly central petals. Zones 3-8
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Alcea rosea 'The Watchman' bears stately 6- to 8-foot tall stems of velvety black/maroon blossoms. Zones 3-8
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Plant It With

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.