Hollyhock - Fiesta Time
This is a beautiful, cottage garden favourite which will flower quickly from seed in its first year. Robust, dwarf plants produce stout stems which carry wonderful, double, cerise-pink, fringed blooms from mid to late summer. It is very impressive when planted together in small groups in borders or try planting in large containers for a gorgeous patio display of hollyhocks!
Sow seeds 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 at 15-20C until after germination which usually takes 14-21 days. Do not exclude light as this helps germination. Alternatively, sow in late summer in a cool greenhouse and then overwinter plants in cool, well-lit conditions. Plant out the following spring. This method produces larger plants and is recommended if the soil is heavy or badly drained. Transplant seedlings when large enough to handle into trays or 7.5cm pots. Gradually acclimatise plants to cooler conditions for a few weeks before planting out after all risk of frost 45cm apart.