Sunday, August 23, 2009

Ornamentals That Love the Sun - Hollyhocks

Got a bright, sunny spot that needs some company? Over the next three days we will discuss three ornamentals that will fill this void - today we'll feature Hollyhocks. My favorite cottage garden plants are old-fashioned hollyhocks (Alcea rosea). With a long blooming period, hollyhocks are a great addition to any bed. Hollyhocks grow best with lots of sun and moist, but well-drained soil. Planting in full sun in an area with good air circulation helps prevent rust fungal disease. There are many varieties of hollyhock to choose from. Here are some of my favorites. 'Chater's Double' is a double, ball-shaped red, pink, white or yellow flower. 'Indian Spring' is a mix of white, pink, red, and yellow single flowers. 'Majorette Mixed' are dwarf forms growing only 30 inches high, with large, semi-double flowers in pastel colors. 'Nigra' has dark maroon flowers, turning almost black in the center. 'Powderpuffs Mixed' are double flowers a full 1-inch larger than other double hollyhocks with flower colors of yellow, white, pink, scarlet, and salmon. Classification: Perennials Growing Zones: 4-8 Sun Exposure: Part Shade - Full Sun Soil Moisture: Moist, well-drained Soil Types/Tolerance: Normal, loamy, Clay, Sandy Bloom: Early Summer to Early Fall Uses: Cut Flowers, Border, Beds, Ornamental

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