Hollyhock - Purple Halo (Alcea rosea)
Hollyhock - Purple Halo (Alcea rosea)
Hollyhock - Purple Halo (Alcea rosea)
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Hollyhock - Purple Halo (Alcea rosea)

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Gorgeous, delicious, and healing...what more could you ask for?  This beautiful, purple hollyhock will be a showstopper in your garden and will give you towering blooms from early summer through Fall.   We grow them between our perennial kales and collards as a beautiful pop of color and a great attractant for beneficial insects.  They're also a gorgeous addition to salads and can be used as cooling, moistening medicine.  This is a true perennial hollyhock.

Why We Love Them

Here are some of the reasons why we love Hollyhocks...

1) GORGEOUS IN YOUR GARDEN & SALADS  - The magnificent height of these towering blooms makes an awesome overstory of beauty over your vegetables.  This variety towers at 5-6 feet in height.  We grow them over our shorter perennial veggies like salad burnet, perpetual spinach, and minutina.  The flowers are edible and make a beautiful addition to salads.

2) MOISTENING & COOLING - Hollyhock flowers, leaves, and roots are all effective at increasing moisture and cooling heat and inflammation.  Hollyhock is related to marshmallow, so have similar properties.  It's great for both internal and external heat, dryness, and irritation.

3) POLLINATOR ATTRACTANT - The bees and beneficial insects flock to these gorgeous beauties.  Invite nature's helpers into your garden to naturally decrease your pest pressure on your veggies. 

How to Grow It

Here's how to grow Mars Magic Hollyhock:

SUN FULL SUN
MOISTURE REGULAR GARDEN MOISTURE
GROWING ZONES USDA ZONES 4-9  (Not sure? Find your growing zone here)
SIZE  5-6 FEET TALL & 3' WIDE
PRO TIP Cut back to the base in Winter. This variety is more rust-resistant than most, but trimming to allow airflow is really helpful for best blooms.  An application of compost in the Spring helps to optimize plant health.

 

How to Harvest & Use It
One of our favorite ways to use hollyhocks is as a gorgeous and colorful addition to salads.  The flowers are very subtle in taste, so will take on the flavor of whatever dressing you use.  So pretty!
Hollyhock is also an effective and gentle medicinal herb, especially known for its moistening and cooling properties.  Think of using it whenever you have symptoms that feel dry and hot.  Here are a few recipes:
HOLLYHOCK GARGLE RECIPE
Given its moistening and soothing properties, Hollyhock can be really helpful for dry coughs, hoarse throats, and tonsillitis. This recipe is from The Herbal Academy.
Ingredients:
  • 2 dried hollyhock flowers
  • 1 cup water
  • optional: 1 teaspoon vodka
Directions:
  • Place 2 hollyhock flowers in a tea cup.
  • Pour room temperature water over hollyhock. Cover and allow to infuse overnight (or approximately 8 hours).
  • Strain hollyhock flowers from the liquid using a fine mesh strainer into a bottle or jar.
  • If desired, add vodka to help preserve the mouthwash for up to 5 days (if refrigerated).
  • Rinse and gargle with mouthwash daily for 20-30 seconds.
  • Store, covered, in the refrigerator. Mouthwash will keep for 2-3 days without adding vodka.
       

      HOLLYHOCK SOOTHING POULTICE

      Hollyhock leaves can be applied directly to an area that is hot and dry.  It's great for calming irritation from insect bites, stings, and dry, hot rashes.  Mash the leaves or gently blend them with a bit of water to make a paste.  Apply a thick layer of the hollyhock mash to the area and then cover with plastic wrap or fabric.  Leave on for 45 minutes or until dramatic soothing is experienced. 

      Hollyhock has very similar properties to its cousin, marshmallow.