Hollyhock Mallow, Malva alcea ‘Fastigiata’ is a great low maintenance perennial with spectacular blooms. Hollyhock mallow is a plant that may or may not be familiar to all gardeners.This beautiful perennial grows in Zones 3-8 and will reach up to 36” in height by 24” wide. It is often used in borders and in container plantings.
The hollyhock prefers full sun and moderately fertile, well-drained soil with a pH of 5.5-7.0. It has five-petaled rosy-pink flowers that are produced from summer into autumn. Attractive seedpods follow the flowers. They will do well in the middle of a border bed or island bed. Other plants that do well with this variety include ‘Snowbank’ white boltonia, ‘Iceberg’ and ‘The Fairy’ roses, ‘Moonbeam’ threadleaf coreopsis, ‘Butterfly Blue’ and ‘Miss Willmott’ pincushion flowers.
Care of Hollyhock Mallow
You should plant them about 18-24” apart in spring or autumn. Apply slow-release plant food at the time of planting or begin using water-soluable plant food 3 wekks after planting in spring. Cease feeding 6-8 weeks prior to the first frost date.
Water them deeply when the soil is dry. Apply 3” of vegetative mulch around, but not touching, the plants in summer to help retain wall moisture. ‘Fastigiata’ doesn’t need staking. You can deadhead spent blooms to encourage reblooming or leave some to allow for self-seeding in the landscape. Prime back in the fall once frost withers the foliage.
Propagation of Fastigiata
If you are wanting to reproduce the cultivar exactly, you should propagate vegetatively not by seed. Divide them in spring or fall. Otherwise, sprinkle seeds over the soil mix and cover lightly. Thoroughly moisten and keep moist, not soggy, until seeds germinate. Germination occurs in 3-6 days at 70-75 degrees. They can be transplanted 15-20 days after sowing. After transplanting, reduce the temperature down to 60-65 degrees.
Pests and Diseases of Hollyhock Mallow
These plants are relatively pest free when their cultural needs are being met. However, the Japanese beetle may be a pest in the North. In the South, they seem more susceptible to spider mites and thrips.