Growing Guide
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Herbaceous Biennial Flower

Alcea rosea
Malvaceae Family

This biennial has tall spikes of single or double brightly colored flowers. Can be direct seeded (not flowering until the second year), and self-seeds so readily that it appears to be a perennial once established in the garden.

Site Characteristics
  • full sun
  • part shade

Soil conditions:

  • requires well-drained soil

Hardiness zones:

  • 3 to 9
Plant Traits

Lifecycle: biennial

Ease-of-care: moderately difficult

Height: 4 to 8 feet

Spread: 1 to 2 feet

Bloom time:

  • mid-summer
  • late summer
  • early fall

Flower color:

  • red
  • yellow
  • violet
  • white
  • pink

Large, 2- to 4-inch wide single or double flowers.

Foliage color: dark green

Foliage texture: medium

Shape: upright

Shape in flower: flower stalks with upright spikes

Flowers borne along tall, erect stems.

Special Considerations
Special characteristics:
  • aggressive - Self-seeds prolifically.
  • non-invasive
  • not native to North America - Native to China.
Special uses:
  • direct-seeding
Growing Information
How to plant:

Propagate by seed - Sow seeds outdoors anytime from spring until 2 months before the first heavy fall frost. Do not cover, as light aids germination.

Days to emergence: 10 to 14

Maintenance and care:
May require staking, especially in rich soils.

More growing information: How to Grow Perennials

‘Powder Puffs’ Strain: 6 to 8’ tall plants with dense, double flowers in shades of pink, red, white, yellow and purple.

‘Nigra’: the flowers are deep brown/purple, almost black, on 5’ tall plants.

‘Chater’s Double’ Series: double flowers in shades of red, pink, yellow, purple and white on 7’ tall plants.

‘Summer Carnival’ Series: 4’ tall plants with showy double flowers.