Alcea rosea 'Nigra'
- Position: full sun
- Soil: moderately-fertile, well-drained soil
- Rate of growth: fast-growing
- Flowering period: June to August
- Flower colour: dark chocolate-maroon
- Other features: the flowers are highly attractive to butterflies and bees
- Hardiness: fully hardy
Towering spires open from the base upwards to reveal yellow-centred, chocolate-maroon flowers. Perfect for providing vertical interest in a sunny, well-drained border, it is traditionally associated with cottage gardens, however the dramatic colouring of this variety works equally well in contemporary planting schemes.
- Garden care:Under glass, sow seeds 2mm deep in peat-based compost and keep moist (but not wet) until they germinate. Thin out when they are large enough to handle and pot on. Before planting out, gradually harden off before planting out after all risk of frost has passed. Alternatively, sow later in the year directly into a well-prepared bed. Seeds sown in autumn have a better chance of producing flowers in their first summer. Others usually wont flower until the following year.
- Sow: April-September
- Flowering: June-August
- Approximate quantity: 50 seeds.
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Q:When should I plant Delphiniums, Foxgloves and Hollyhocks, and what will I gett in a pot?
Hi there, I have a brand new, small, garden (approx. 36' by 30') and am in the process of creating borders. I'm aiming for fairly deep borders as I would like loads of cottage garden flowers. I am thinking of having a few evergreen / deciduous shrubs here and there to form some permanent interest. My gardening knowledge is more or less at the 'beginner' stage so I need some advice please. Is it okay to plant the shrubs now as long as the ground isn't frozen? When should I plant the perennials and annuals? Spring time? When I order for example Hollyhocks, Delphiniums and Foxgloves, and what do I get in the pot? Is it one plant that will produce one flowerhead? If I wanted to make a big colour impact, would I need to order loads of each plant? I look forward to hearing from you. Many thanks, LynnAsked on 12/10/2009 by Wilson Lynn
A:Hello Lynn, You can plant any fully hardy plant at any time of the year
as long as the ground is not frozen, but the ideal times are spring or
autumn. Annuals only live for 1 year, some will flower in winter, while
others flower in summer, so the planting time will depend on what type
they are. As for the herbaceous perennials, these can be planted anytime
as long as they are hardy, you will get 1 plant per pot. Each plant and
species will produce flowers in different way. The ones you mention
will generally produce 1 main flowerspike and a couple of smaller
side-shoots, and if you cut them back when they start to fade you can
often encourage a second flush later in the year. Finally then, if you
want big impact, then yes you will need a lot of plants. I hope this
helps. Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 12/11/2009 by Wilson Lynn
Q:I have no flowers on my Hollyhock?
I have a very leafy, healthy Hollyhock, but it does not appear to be going to flower. Have I used too much of the wrong fertiliser?? Is it possible to move it? Thank you JanetAsked on 7/12/2009 by jabeech
A:Hello Janet, There are a number of reasons why plants don't flower including too much shade, not enough water or nutrients, or it can simply be concentrating on putting on new leaf growth instead of focusing its energies on producing flowers. I am not really sure why yours has not produced buds, but you can often give them a bit of a push by feeding with a high potash fertiliser.Answered on 7/13/2009 by Crocus Helpdesk
Many flowering plants can be encouraged to produce better and longer-lasting displays with the minimum of effort. A plant produces flowers in order to reproduce and ensure the survival of the species. Once a plant has flowered and fertilisation has...Read full article
Many gardeners who are happy, even gung-ho, with the secateurs when pruning shrubs and climbers are surprisingly reluctant to take the shears to herbaceous perennials. Maybe this is because it just doesn’t seem quite right to be cutting back all...Read full article