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Annie's delivery Hollyhock

Today is a happy Friday. My wish list plants from Annie’s Annuals arrived and they are looking great. I ordered three Hollyhock Alcea “Mars Magic” and one Dianthus ‘Queen of Hearts’ Perpetual Carnation. Everything was in great shape.

Hollyhock mars magic in the box

When you mention hollyhocks to gardeners, in their minds most of them picture the tall, leafy stalk with old-fashioned, pretty pastel flowers. Then they remember how the hollyhocks look by the middle of their season: rusty, toppling over and mostly bare. I guess I’m attracted to hollyhocks because they are good fit with the style of our 1913 Craftsman style house. Over the years I’ve tried a few different varieties, always forgetting that by mid-July or so I would cut them down because they were spent and ugly.

This year, I am trying a new hollyhock that was bred by Jelitto Seeds. Here’s why.

First of all its flowers are red, it is a perennial, and is touted for its rust resistance. The habit is more of a multistemmed, flattish bush shape than the usual single stemmed hollyhock. It’s supposed to get up to 6 feet tall, 5 feet across so I will plant it along a southern retaining wall near the sidewalk. The bloom season should extend into the fall. I don’t think it will need staking but it will need to be cut down each year. These two qualities should keep it from ever becoming intrusive to pedestrians.

I’ll take photos this summer and add them to this post. For now you will have to click here to see what it will look like.

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