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Care of the plant Alcea rosea or Common hollyhock.

Care of the plant Alcea rosea or Common hollyhock

The genus Alcea, family Malvaceae, includes 80 species of flowering plants native to Central Asia, the Middle East, and Eastern and Southern Europe. Some species are: Alcea rosea, Alcea officinalis, Alcea setosa, Alcea ficifolia, Alcea cannabina.

Common name: Common hollyhock. This species is native to southwestern China.

They are erect perennial herbaceous plants that reach 3 meters (9.8 feet) in height. The leaves are heart-shaped and have a serrated edge. The attractive  flowers arise alone or in groups in the axils of the leaves, measure up to 10 cm 3.9") in diameter and consist of 5 petals that can be violet, pink, white, red, yellow, blue or lilac. They bloom from summer to mid-autumn.

Common hollyhock is used on mixed edges, next to walls, in groups on the lawn, at the edge of roads or in large pots. The roots, leaves and flowers have laxative, expectorant and emollient properties.

Alcea rosea is grown in a full sun or semi-shade exposure. They tolerate sporadic and low intensity frosts.

Soil can be a mix of 2/3 light garden substrate and 1/3 peat; they prefer the earth to be a little limestone. The transplant or planting will be done in spring keeping a distance of about 25 cm between plants.

Irrigation will be frequent so that the soil is always humid but without overwatering.

Fertilize with organic matter in early spring and with mineral fertilizer every 2 months during spring and summer.

Common hollyhock does not need pruning, but it is important to remove the lower leaves to prevent them from being attacked by fungi and the disease spreading throughout the plant.

Alcea rosea can be attacked by snails, insects and some fungi.

Common hollyhock can be propagated by division in autumn or spring, by seeds sown during the second half of spring (in seedlings) or from cuttings taken from the base of the plant in spring.

Images of the plant Alcea rosea or Common hollyhock

Alcea rosea
Alcea rosea
Alcea rosea
Alcea rosea
Alcea rosea