Hollyhock 'The Watchman' - Alcea rosea
This is an old English favourite originating in China with single flowers around 8cm across, that are deep maroon, almost black colouring. Hollyhocks prefers full sunlight in a sheltered position or staked. These plants grow to around 1.5m. Plants prefer full sun and rich well-drained soil and will tolerates light frost.
Hollyhocks wiil grow under Black Walnut trees; they are tolerant of the toxic juglone that is emitted through the trees' roots.
Excellent cut flower but they must be conditioned correctly. Hollyhocks have hollow stems which need to be filled with room temperature water immediately after being harvested. Plug the stem with cotton wool. To eliminate small air bubbles, pierce the stem with a pin just below the flower head. If flowers stems are recut, you will need to repeat this process. Let stand over night before using.