Hollyhock Flowers Seeds -Summer Carnival Mix
Hollyhock (Alcea Rosea Carnival) - Hollyhocks have been grown in the garden for hundreds of years from flower seed. Their tall spikes of lovely crepe-textured flowers making a fine display in summer. This Hollyhock Carnival mix has big, impressive 4-inch double or semi-double blooms in 4 shades beginning low on the stalk, for even more color on every Hollyhock plant. The flowers arise all along tall, sturdy stalks beginning just 4 months from sowing! An annual Hollyhock, Summer Carnival is a long-blooming, very colorful series so garden-worthy that it has received awards. Tall and stately, it blooms all summer for a rich display of big powder puff blossoms in every shade of pink, rose, red, and yellow! It is perfect for the back of the flower garden where it can proudly put on a colorful show. It will attract both hummingbirds and butterflies.
Establishing Hollyhock from flower seeds is very rewarding. To get a jump start on the growing season, you can certainly sow Hollyhock seeds indoors or in the greenhouse 6 - 8 weeks before the last frost date. Use starter trays and quality starter mix and sow the Hollyhock flower seeds on the surface, pressing them into the soil to make good contact. Keep them consistently moist. Sowing the flower seed directly outdoors is an option as well. Prepare soil bed, sow the seeds on the surface and dust over them very lightly with loose garden soil. Keep the Hollyhock flower seeds moist until germination has occurred. Young Hollyhock plants can be transplanted or even moved to other positions in the garden. Hollyhock care includes watering Hollyhock plants well and use a balanced fertilizer. Be sure to leave the last blooms on the plant even after the petals fall, for they will drop their flower seeds and self-sow, and you'll be rewarded with plenty of new plants come spring. Cut back hard when flowering is done and seeds have dropped.
Seeds need some light to germinate so surface sow. Outdoors seeds can be sown two weeks before last frost date. Surface sow in desired location. Seeds can also be sown in fall for early spring germination.
Indoors sow 6-8 weeks before last frost date. Surface sow on compost. Germination can be anywhere from 12-21 days depending on temperature and other conditions. Keep soil moist but not wet. Don't use an overly rich potting soil as it can encourage damping off. Since seeds are large sowing 1-2 in individual pots is the best method of sowing. Separate seedlings when large enough to handle and grow on until at least 6" tall before gradually hardening off to outside before transplanting.
Unfortunately Japanese beetles also like hollyhocks so do spider mites the later mostly because they are growing in hot dry areas which spider mites love. Spray with light misting of water to deter spider mites. Foliage is also susceptible to rust especially as the year progresses this does not tend to affect the flowers or the flowering habit of the plant.
The flowers leaves and roots are edible. Young leaves can be chopped and used in salads older leaves have unpleasant texture which most people dislike. Flowers and flower buds are also good in salads.
Black hollyhock flowers have long been used in herbal medicine (but not other flower colors). Dried flowers are used as a tea to treat chest complaints, improve blood circulation and for the treatment of constipation, dysmenorrhoea, hemorrhage. The root is astringent and demulcent. It is crushed and applied as a poultice to ulcers. Internally, it is used in the treatment of dysentery.
A fiber obtained from the stems is used in papermaking. Flowers are also used dried as a coloring for wine, and as dye for wool where it can produce several different colors depending on how it is prepared. Also makes a good cut flower and dried flowers in potpourri.