Alcea rosea ‘Spring Celebrities Apricot’
DWARF APRICOT HOLLYHOCK
Alcea rosea ‘Spring Celebrities Apricot’ is a recent release, new dwarf Hollyhock.
Especially bred to suit smaller gardens and pots.
And to be weather hardy and self-supporting for the modern, low maintenance gardener.
Frilly powder-puffs of apricot
However there has been no compromise with the size and beauty of the blooms.
So Alcea rosea ‘Spring Celebrities Apricot’ bears full size blooms on a shorter, smaller plant.
With double centres like giant frilly powder-puffs swirled with shades of apricot, peach and rose.
Then surrounded by a ruff of frilled apricot petals.
Strong & weatherproof
These striking blooms are borne on 80cm. stout, strong flower stems.
So, the whole plant is utterly eye-grabbing but all in a small space.
Handsome foliage & impressive cut flowers
A handsome foliage clump is also an asset with this plant.
While the flower stems can be cut for majestic flower arrangements.
Alcea rosea ‘Spring Celebrities Apricot’ is a lovely feature in gardens of any size.
Water-wise & low maintenance
Alcea rosea, commonly called Hollyhocks, are tough and easily grown in Full Sun to Part Shade.
Where they are particularly hardy in heat, dry, frost and wide range of soils.
Easy to grow
So ‘Spring Celebrities Apricot’ will accept soils from sandy to clay, though it cannot tolerate waterlogged soils.
And can thrive in soils with a pH on both the acid and alkaline side of neutral.
While a little pampering with fertilizer, organic matter or compost will be rewarded with bumper flower towers.
And dousing the whole plant with seaweed or fish emulsion products from time to time will really give them a health tonic.
Though these new Spring Celebrities Hollyhocks have also been bred for enhanced resistance to summer rust disease, which can be a problem with old fashioned Hollyhocks during humid summer weather.
Suitable for coastal gardens
Hollyhocks are also suitable for coastal gardens and exposed sites, as they do like to be well-aired.
Though you may wish to give your flower laden spires some shelter from howling gales so they are not bowled over.
However Alcea rosea ‘Spring Celebrities Apricot’ is usually reliably self-supporting, as it has been bred specially for strong stems.
Alcea rosea is a thoroughly low maintenance plant, only needing to have the spent flower stems cut to the ground after each flowering session. And this also encourages more flower spires.
Happily, it will gently self-seed for you in suitable conditions, without ever becoming a nuisance.
But sadly for tropical gardeners, Hollyhocks are not suitable for very humid areas.
80m. High laden flower spires x 45cm. Wide evergreen foliage clump.
SEED SOWING ADVICE: QUICK & EASY
Suitable for beginners & kids
Sow any time indoors in punnets, or scatter directly in garden from late winter to spring.
Sow the seeds on the surface of good quality seed raising mix.
Then pat gently into the surface of the mix and only just barely cover with sieved mix, sand or vermiculite.
Now thoroughly moisten the sown punnet by standing it in a shallow water bath.
And allowing the moisture to percolate up to the surface of the mix from below.
Then place punnet in a warm, well-lit position (not in direct sunlight).
Temperatures of 15-20°C approx. are best for rapid and optimum germination.
And continue to keep moist by placing a plastic lid or bag over the sown punnet, and misting the mix surface with a spray water bottle when required.
Seedlings emerge in approx. 14-21 days.
SEED COUNT: 5 large seeds per pack approx. (Seed of this unusual variety is scarce this year).
GROWING: Alcea rosea ‘Spring Celebrities Apricot’
Height with flowers: 80cm. approx.
Width: 45cm. approx.
Position: Full sun to part shade. Hollyhocks do like to have good air circulation.
Growth: Hardy and long-lived perennial clump. Some self-sown seedlings may sometimes occur in ideal conditions, but no invasive qualities.
Soil: Easy to grow in soils types from sandy to clay, though it cannot tolerate waterlogged soils.
Alcea can thrive in soils with a pH on both the acid and alkaline side of neutral.
Frost: Alcea rosea ‘Spring Celebrities Apricot’ is very frost tolerant and can withstand frosts down to at least -15C, depending on conditions.
Water: Hollyhocks are not particularly thirsty plants and can thrive on minimal to average garden watering.
Pots: Alcea rosea ‘Spring Celebrities Apricot’ is very suitable for growing in pots and containers, and has been especially bred for this purpose.
Cut Flowers: Excellent for tall and stately arrangements.
Bees & Birds: The very double centre of this lovely flower makes it unsuitable for nectar gathering.
Care & Maintenance:
Fertilizer: Quality fertilizer, such as Powerfeed, can be applied in spring and autumn.
We recommend to water in with Seasol at planting.
Then you can follow up with Seasol foliar feeds if you wish. This will help to strengthen plant growth and resistance to summer rust disease.
Pruning: Minimal. Cut spent flower stems to the base at the end of the long summer blooming season.
Pests & Diseases: Rarely troubled by pests or diseases.
Deer & Rabbit resistant: Hollyhocks have a good degree of rabbit resistance as they have a strong, aromatic flavour which appears not to be attractive to bunnies.
Herbal, History & Uses
Herbal uses: Alcea rosea has a long history of use as a medicinal herb.
Teas and poultices were made from all parts of the plant and were thought to have diuretic properties, to help cleanse the body, and possess anti-inflammatory qualities.
History: The use of Alcea rosea as a medicinal by European herbalists probably dates to at least the 15th century.
The plant is thought to have been introduced from Asia via the Middle East, and first used by the Crusaders as a balm for wounds on their horses. This may account for the common name of Hollyhock, deriving from “holy” and “hock” (part of the horse’s leg).
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