Hollyhock mallow is an herbaceous perennial native to Europe and southwestern Asia. It is a member of the mallow family (Malvacae) that also includes hibiscus, hibiscus, cotton and okra. Stout branched stems carry downy, light green leaves that are rounded, up to six inches long, and have toothed margins and five shallow lobes. The pink to light rose-purple flowers have five notched, two-lobed petals and bloom over four to six weeks beginning in early summer They are two to three inches wide and are carried both along the stem and in terminal spikes. Plants do best in USDA Zones 6 and cooler, as they are susceptible to a bevy of insects and diseases in warmer climates. The genus name, Malva,comes from the ancient Greek word μαλάχη meaning mallow. The specific epithet, alcea, is from the Greek word ἀλκαία referring to a specific type of mallow.
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Bloom: Pink to light rose-purple flowers with two lobed petals beginning in early summer for four to six weeks
Size: 2-3’ H x 18” W
Light: Full sun to light shade (especially in hot climates)
Soil: Average, medium moist, well-darained
Hardiness: Zones 4-8
Care: Deadhead to encourage flowering; cut back to basal foliage after flowerng.
Pests and Diseases: Especially in the south prone to spider mites, thrips, Japanese beetles, foliar diseases
Propagation: Tip cuttings in summer; seed indoors in late winter, outdoors in spring or fall
Companion plants: Garden phlox, yarrows, gayfeathers, artemisias
Outstanding Selections: ‘Fastigiata” (more upright, well branched, and has 2” wide rose-pink flowers)