Alcea rosea 'Majorette Mix', or Dwarf Hollyhock, is a dwarf perennial of the old fashion Alcea rosea. Hollyhocks here in Oklahoma that I remember from my childhood were large plants that were subject to the Oklahoma winds. By blooming time here, even though they had beautiful blooms, the wind played havoc with the plants and the plants didn't look well. The Majorette mix is just what I was looking for in hollyhocks. These plants have a height of only 24-30 inches (0.60-0.75 m) tall, with a spread a little over 12 inches (30 cm). Leaves are semi-orbicular, 3-, 5-or 7-lobed. Flower color ranges from pinks and reds, with white and yellow semi-double and double flowers. They are extremely easy to grow in containers or in the landscape and are hardy in USDA zone 3-9.
Blooming Time: Here in the greenhouse, the plants bloom in early spring and into the summer. The showy 3 inch (7.5 cm) flowers are borne in the leaf axils. The one in the photo is my favorite of the mix.
Culture: Alcea rosea 'Majorette Mix' need full sun, with a well drained soil mix for containers. In the greenhouse, we use a soil mix consisting of 2 parts peat moss to 1 part loam and sand. Plants are well watered and allowed to dry slightly before watering again. We water when the top 3 inches of soil become dry. During the growing and blooming season, they are fertilized weekly with a balanced fertilizer diluted to 1/2 the strength recommended on the label. Plants can be deadheaded to extend the flowering period. In late September, the plants are placed in cool rooms for the winter dormancy period. Once plants die back, we cut them to 3 inches (7.5 cm) above the soil level. We reintroduce plants into the greenhouse in February; under light they will bloom in 8-10 weeks.
Propagation: Alcea rosea 'Majorette Mix' is propagated from seed and division of older clumps.
Alcea rosea 'Majorette Mix' was featured as Plant of the Week March 5-11, 2010.
Guide to Past Plants-of-the-Week:
Cal's Plant of the Week was provided as a service by the University of Oklahoma Department of Microbiology & Plant Biology and specifically Cal Lemke, who used to be OU's botany greenhouse grower and an avid gardener at home as well. If the above links don't work, then try the overview site. You may also like to look at the thumbnail index. ©1998-2012 All rights reserved.