Known as the original cottage garden flower, the Hollyhock has been prized for centuries. The plant is absolutely gorgeous, and has some pretty incredible herbal medicine uses, as well. In fact, in 1859 it was recognized in a medical journal to be an excellent way to soothe an upset stomach. I know what you’re thinking, this is a gardener’s dream!
Meet The Mallows: Hollyhock
The Hollyhock flower (althea rosea) is considered hardy in zones 3-8, though it can be grown outside of those regions if the temperatures aren’t too extreme.
Water And Sun Needs
Since it is is considered a hardy flower, established plants are relatively drought tolerant. However, the soil must be kept moist for new seedlings. These pretty flowers do love tons of sunlight, though, it’s best to plant these in an area of full sun. Partial shade is also ideal and works great to keep flowers from wilting in the summer heat.
These towering plant in the Malvaceae family can grow to be as big as 6 feet tall, depending on the growing conditions in your garden. Expect to see large, showy flowers that definitely can catch the attention of any passerby!
How To Get Started
To get started growing your own Hollyhock flowers, pick an area with consistently rich, moist soil. You may want to provide your flowers with a trellis to climb, as this will protect their tall stalks from heavy wind gusts. Gardeners should note that these flowers are prone to rust (a fungal infection that creates yellow spots on the lower leaves). Rust is usually caused by wetting the lower leaves when watering. Instead, water the roots directly. Your plants will thank you!
If you’re interested in using the Hollyhock flower for herbal medicine, utilize the list below!
Fights Cold Symptoms: Hollyhock is a demulcent, helping to ease sore throats, coughing, and other digestive stress that comes with rough colds. Use a cold infusion.
Aids Mouth Problems: Though not a replacement for a good dentist, Hollyhock should be used as a mouthwash for cankers, sore gums, or other pain.
Soothe Pain: Hollyhock has anti-inflammatory and mild analgesic properties. Steam large leaves and apply them directly to the affected areas.
Fever Reducer: Hollyhock seed tea makes a terrific fever reducer and diuretic.
Stimulate Circulation And Digestion: Hollyhock roots can help stimulate circulation and milk production in new mothers.