Alcea rosea

Family: Malvaceae (mal-VAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Alcea (al-KEE-uh) (Info)
Species: rosea (RO-zee-uh) (Info)
Synonym:Althaea rosea
View this plant in a garden




Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)

USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:



Pale Yellow

White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall



Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

From seed; direct sow after last frost

Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Arley, Alabama

Mesa, Arizona

Phoenix, Arizona

Scottsdale, Arizona

Fayetteville, Arkansas

Fremont, California

Glen Avon, California

Menifee, California

Merced, California

Richmond, California

Sacramento, California

Aurora, Colorado

Colorado Springs, Colorado

Denver, Colorado

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Miami, Florida

Brunswick, Georgia

Hawkinsville, Georgia

Tennille, Georgia

Kalona, Iowa

Lacona, Iowa

Carlisle, Kentucky

Smiths Grove, Kentucky

West Friendship, Maryland

Swansea, Massachusetts

Saint Cloud, Minnesota

Ridgeland, Mississippi

Savannah, Missouri

Sunburst, Montana

Las Vegas, Nevada

Auburn, New Hampshire

Jersey City, New Jersey

Morristown, New Jersey

Socorro, New Mexico

East Aurora, New York

Elba, New York

Fairport, New York

Pulaski, New York

Havelock, North Carolina

Lake Toxaway, North Carolina

Winston Salem, North Carolina

Mount Orab, Ohio

Painesville, Ohio

Warren, Ohio

Williamsburg, Ohio

Guthrie, Oklahoma

Hulbert, Oklahoma

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Bend, Oregon

Klamath Falls, Oregon

Florence, South Carolina

Spartanburg, South Carolina

Hendersonville, Tennessee

Austin, Texas

El Paso, Texas

Midland, Texas

Camas, Washington

East Port Orchard, Washington

Spokane, Washington

Delavan, Wisconsin

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Mar 16, 2011, sunnydaze45 from Mesa, AZ wrote:

I'm giving this plant a neutral rating for now because it's taking it's own sweet time when it comes to flowering. I planted hollyhocks last spring in the northwest side of my yard. They did nothing. Three of the six plants didn't make it at all. This winter they've finally started to grow much bigger and it appears they might flower sometime this year. I plan on planting more in a different location to see if they'll do better elsewhere in the yard.


On Nov 20, 2009, desertgardeners from Las Vegas, NV wrote:

This plant has also been grown in Las Vegas, Nevada!

I have a seed grown near white beauty in my back yard. It was late to start blooming, but once it started, it hasn't stopped. It is seeding profusely. Strong winds here might have made the plant unsightly. To avoid that I planted it near a patio cover 4x4 post. The plant is so lovely, it has even been on TV!


On Feb 25, 2006, catcollins from West Friendship, MD (Zone 6b) wrote:

Enjoy these in moderation and do not allow this plant to escape your control. When we moved into this house, the garden lining the driveway was full of hollyhocks that had been allowed to run wild for years. They were lovely and we enjoyed them very much. When we cut them back at the end of the season, we discovered some evergreen shrubs and a hemlock tree that had been completely buried by the hollyhocks. It took us weeks to dig out all the heavy hollyhock roots. Now we allow no more than a couple dozen in our yard and always deadhead to reduce the volunteers.


On Jan 16, 2006, Gabrielle from (Zone 5a) wrote:

I have Hollyhocks planted to "hide" my compost pile. When they are through blooming, I cut them back, and when they grow back, they rebloom.

Hollyhocks used to be planted around outhouses, so that ladies wouldn't need to ask where to go (no pun intended). They knew to just look for the Hollyhocks.


On Aug 25, 2005, gonedutch from Fairport, NY wrote:

Hollyhocks are just a natural in historic and traditional landscapes. I sowed this biennial near some of the historic structures in our community (see images). They require little care and they bloom for several weeks.


On Mar 7, 2005, wshall from El Paso, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

These flowers will grow like a weed in the W. Texas/E. New Mexico area. These flowers will thrive with no effort at all, in fact you may want to watch them to ensure they are only growing where you want them. These grow in almost all of my neighbors yards and that is how I obtained seed to grow them. I also bought seeds in a package, but the seeds from the nieighbor's plant germinated faster.


On Jan 12, 2004, ButterflyDust from Riverside, CA wrote:

Had problems with gophers killing my hollyhocks by eating the roots and under parts of the plants until I planted garlic and onions next to them. Have not been touched by them since!

Plant still needs protection from dogs walking on them. So I cut chicken wire about 6 inches high and placed around plants.

Would assume edible by deer because people can eat the flowers.

I have heard you should never transplant them, but I have not had any problems myself with transplanting as long as you do it after it has finished flowering and you are careful.


On Dec 9, 2003, Clare_CA from (Zone 10b) wrote:

Although I thought my Hollyhocks were beautiful, I had to take them out. They grow very large and take up a lot of room in the garden, but my biggest concern was that they seem to be a favorite of the large and small whitefly, which are a huge problem in Southern California. The fact that there are so many leaves, coupled with the fact that many leaves are located up high out of reach, makes it very difficult to treat for the whitefly. I think this plant may do better in Northern California and elsewhere where the winters are cold enough to kill the whitefly larvae from the previous season.


On Jul 19, 2003, samacus from Socorro, NM wrote:

This plant does extremely well in a hot, dry climate. It grows naturally without any attention so enthusiastically that many people in central and southern New Mexico consider it a weed.


On Jun 4, 2002, mom2cats from Moorestown, NJ (Zone 7b) wrote:

Once established, these plants grow prolifically.
The seeds need LIGHT in order to germinate so do not cover them with soil, but do keep them moist. They can be started in doors and then later transplanted outside. My only problem with them is that I've planted them in the FRONT of the garden, rather than the back, where they won't hide the shorter plants. I've learned this lesson now! :-)


On Aug 14, 2001, gardendragon from Ladysmith, BC (Zone 8a) wrote:

Biennial hollyhocks can be deadheaded to prompt them to act more like perennials.

Even if you don't want to keep up with removing the maturing seedpods, keep the foliage pruned (remove and destroy the yellowing leaves and those defaced by Japanese beetles and rust. )

Prune severely in late summer, and allow new basal foliage to take over - this foliage may remain semi evergreen with snow cover or in areas with mild winter temperatures.

In the spring, remove the winter-damaged foliage. Taller forms can be pruned back before flowering to create shorter, stockier plants that don't need staking. The blooms will be smaller, but more in scale with the plant size.


On Jan 4, 2001, lantana from (Zone 7a) wrote:

Grows in Heat Zones 10-3.