Althea rosea--Hollyhock

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Althea rosea--Hollyhock

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Hollyhock is a biennial but self seeds giving the appearance of a perennial. These short-lived plants produce flowers covering a wide range of colors. Althea prefers a rich soil with lots of organic matter. Provide exposure to full sun as the plant dislikes any amount of shade. Because the coarse foliage is attacked by diseases, plant hollyhock near the back of the garden. The foliage will be hidden by shorter plants. The plants grow 5 to 6 feet high and are spaced 3 feet apart. Pinching one or two times early in the growing season gives shorter, branchier plants. Dormant terminal buds are sometimes injured by freezing or overwatering.

Hollyhock is propagated by division or seed. Division may be done in the spring but may be difficult due to a taproot. Each division needs to have an eye or bud. Seed can be planted any time between May and September. Young plants from late plantings need winter protection. The seed germinates in 2 to 3 weeks at 60 degrees.

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