Sunday spotlight: ‘Mars Magic’ hollyhock.


Although I don’t have room for them, I absolutely love hollyhocks (Alcea rosea), and I’m sure you’ll agree that this particular one is a stunner!  Introduced by Jelitto Perennial Seeds in 2010 as part of their ‘Spotlight’ series, ‘Mars Magic’ is a beautiful red single-flowered biennial that grows up to 180 cm tall, with a spread of 60 cm.  I always have this romantic view of hollyhocks planted against old wooden fences or crumbling barns – I don’t know why – but they would be a perfect and dramatic fit in any garden design, formal or informal, as long as you have the space.   And, according to my research about dye plants, the spent blooms of hollyhocks (except for the white ones) are excellent in the dyepot, producing colours in the red-purple range – yet another reason to grow them!

Do you have hollyhocks in your garden?

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  1. That is a stunner indeed! I tried planting some hollyhock seeds a couple of years ago but they didn’t come up. I may try again if I can get some more seeds from my friend’s plants. I also have a nostalgic place in my heart for hollyhocks! I’ve noticed some neighbors who have successfully grown them out in the tree wells on the sidewalk in front of their house, but they get more sun there than we do, so I’m not sure they’d be happy in our tree well. Their hollyhocks were pretty badly attacked by rust last year too, and I’ve heard that can spread.

    Love the yellow centers on this ‘Mars Magic!’

  2. I agree, rust is definitely an issue with hollyhocks. I so wish I had a place to put them, though; I would try to get ahold of these ‘Mars Magic’ for sure. Apparently there is a purple-black single-flowered one in this particular series, too, which would be lovely.

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