Description – Superb first year flowering hollyhock. Scrumptious veined flowers in juicy blackcurrant colours. A combination of double, semi-double and single flowers.
Sowing – Sow February to March or September to October. Germinate at 15-20°C (59-68°F) on the surface of a good free draining, damp seed compost. Cover with a very fine sprinkling of compost or vermiculite. Place in a propagator or seal container inside a polythene bag until after germination which usually takes 14-21 days. Do not exclude light, as this helps germination. Alternatively, sow late summer in a cool greenhouse and overwinter plants in cool, well lit conditions. Plant out the following spring. This produces larger plants and is recommended if the soil is heavy or badly drained.
Growing – Transplant seedlings when large enough to handle into trays or 7.5cm (3in) pots. Grow on in cooler conditions for 10-15 days before planting out after all risk of frost, 45cm (18in) apart.
Aftercare – Plant out hollyhocks in sunny borders in fertile, well drained soil. Choose a position that is sheltered from strong winds. Space hollyhock plants at least 60cm (24in) apart to improve air circulation and help prevent hollyhock rust.
Flowers – July to August