Hollyhock or Alcea rosea is one of the ornamental plants that you can find in many places. This plant is very popular because it has a variety of attractive colors, such as blue, pink, purple, red, white, yellow and even black.
Black hollyhock is a type of hollyhock that is quite rare to find in anyone’s garden because of its unobtrusive dark flowers. Whereas, planting this plant in the backyard of your house can give a unique and elegant impression.
You can consider this plant an alternative choice to increase the diversity of flower varieties in your garden. You can also combine black hollyhock with several other types of plants with similar colors, such as black petunia.
A. The Meaning of Black Hollyhock
Hollyhock is often affiliated with a majestic orientation and resistance for its superior floral presentation and remarkable capability to blossom in many incompatible soil grades.
In addition, even if the vegetation has not been fertilized or handled, the hollyhock prefers impoverished soil to put its roots. This amazing ability will enable the flower to live a longer lifespan throughout the year.
Black hollyhock flowers are specifically known as a symbol of powerful presence and strong ambition. Due to its peculiarity, many people are considered this flower as the “odd child” of the entire hollyhock species.
Furthermore, some florists also dub these plants as a symbol of pride and fruitfulness. Its colorful fluffy heads, as well as their massive heights, are the main reason why the plants are very popular among gardeners and florists.
B. Some Things to Notice before Growing those Beautiful Black Hollyhock
In general, there is not any significant difference between black hollyhock and other hollyhocks. All of them has a similar plant structure and
Before you start growing those pretty flowers, there are some facts about hollyhock that you might find interesting. Those facts are:
1. Drought Tolerant
Hollyhock plants are heat-lovers. It will not dry easily in the summer and can handle the high intensity of sunlight. The summer is also their favorite time to bloom. If you are living in a tropical area, you may even get more blossoms every year.
2. It Needs Well-Drained Soil to Grow Gracefully
One of the most common mistakes of an amateur gardener is planting hollyhock in dry soil. Whereas actually, the drainage of the soil plays the most important role to optimize hollyhock’s growth.
3. A Short-Lived Perennial
Before planting the black hollyhock, you must aware that all kind of hollyhocks is perennial flowers. It means that the flower’s lifespan is relatively short. They only get around 2 or 3 years to live before fading. However, this plant is known to be able to reseed itself. With proper care, your hollyhock will continue to grow from time to time.
C. How to Grow Black Hollyhock
Growing black hollyhock requires a lot of effort, but it might be not as difficult as you think. Here are the complete steps on how to grow the plant in your garden or backyard:
1. Planning the Planting Season
Planning the planting season will give you a clear picture of when the seeds start blossoming. For those of you who live in a four-season area, start germinating your hollyhock in the fall to allow it blossom in the next spring.
2. Sowing the Seeds
Sowing the seeds in individual mini-pot will make them germinate faster. Put those seeds about 1,5 cm below the soil then transplant the seedlings into the bigger pot after one or two weeks.
3. Planting the Hollyhock Outdoor
Once spring has come, you can start planting the hollyhock outdoor. Make sure that the soil is warm enough before planting. Also, choose a sunny location that is safe from winds and has moist soil with good drainage.
4. Arranging the Plants
Make sure that you give an adequate space between each plant. To optimize the growing process, you should give at least 2,5 inch of space. This will allow the seeds to dig its root better. Moreover, it will also give you an option to quarantine the flower that has an infectious disease such as grey mold or rust (both are a common disease for hollyhock)
5. Maintaining the Growing Process
Even though hollyhock does not need a lot of water, you still need to water these plants regularly. If you live in a cold area, try watering them for at least once a week. Meanwhile, if you live in a tropical area with high temperature and low precipitation, watering them once or twice a week would be good.
D. Types of Hollyhock
Currently, there are about 60 hollyhock species available on the market, although some may be more difficult to find than the others. However, we can actually classify all of those pretty flowers into four varieties.
The first one is the Alcea rosea. It is the most common hollyhock’s variety that you can find in most people’s garden. Some of the most popular types of Alcea rosea are country garden, Summer carnival, double apricot, golden eye, and silk ruffles.
The second is the Alcea fisifolia. This variety is famous for its cream-colored flowers and superior blossom habit that can last up to 6 months. One of the most popular varieties of this type of hollyhock is happy light fig-leaf.
The third one is the Alcea rugosa. This variety can germinate faster than the other hollyhock. It produces flowers with a bright yellow tone that can blossom under direct sunlight or in partial shade.
The last variety of hollyhock is Alcea nigra or also known as nigra hollyhock. Its flowers are known to have good adaptive abilities toward the weather and can reseed themselves quickly. Arabian nights, the watchman, and jet black are some of the most popular Alcea nigra that you can find on the current market.
Finally, growing black hollyhock from seed is very rewarding for those of you who search for an alternative flower variety in the garden.
However, it is important to note that the dark-colored hollyhock is not available in “perfect black” color tone. It is, actually more of a purplish black hollyhock with darker tone and shade. If you are looking for a total “blackish” flower, other types of dark flowers such as black petunia may suit your gardening taste better.
Nonetheless, growing this plant can elevate your overall garden appearance by providing those elegant-looking black color to the list.