Alcea rosea, a plant that will surprise you

We return to the load with a new sheet of plants. In this case, we have been intoxicated by the magnificent flowering of the royal mallow. We are going to try to tell you something about it, its description, its cultivation and curiosities that surround the plant. We put the batteries in Gardenprue with Alcea rosea.


We begin with a general description of this plant. We can know it by several names, such as royal mallow, hollyhock (without referring to the famous Valencia beach), mad mallow, etc. It is originally from China although it is already widespread in many countries where the climate is favorable.

Alcea rosea  belongs to the Malvaceae family, being one of the most cultivated plants within the Alcea genus . 

Do you also want to know a well-known plant of the Malvaceae family ? Well, a very ornamental plant that we have also touched here at Gardenprue, the hibiscus rosa sinensis ,  also known as the China rose (the national flower of Malaysia).

It is not a common-looking plant with others with similar blooms, as Alcea rosea can grow up to 2 meters. Its leaves are shaped similar to the fig tree (where you can see its cultivation here ). This curious leaf shape has a name (like everything in the botanical world). It is known as palmatilobada .

And what about its cultivation?



Hollyhock is usually quite hardy. They grow with full sun exposure, temperatures between warm and warm (15 to 25 ºC) on average. In fact, like the previous photo, you can see it growing without shady areas and in harsh environments, such as urban ones (imagine in August, with car smoke, closed heat, poor aeration, etc.), and without however there it is …


It does not present special problems regarding the type of soil, structure, porosity, etc. Special attention should be paid to the levels of organic matter . If necessary, mix the soil well with compost or manure prior to planting (the more decomposed the better), and make amendments once Alcea rosea is already planted, especially during flowering.

You will also have to be careful with watering, that it is not excessive (that the soil can absorb it well with its drainage), avoiding puddles and controlling soil moisture.


If we have a hot summer, it will be necessary to supply enough moisture to the soil. The risks will be frequent but not excessive. Every 2 or 3 days on average, in winter to gradually decrease the volume and frequency of irrigation.

As we always say, instead of establishing an exact amount of irrigation (since with the hose you cannot know the amount), it is to control the moisture concentrated in the soil. Neither excess nor defect is good.


Its sowing takes place between spring and early summer, from May to July . We can sow it in pots or seedbeds, with a separation distance of around 20 cm, and transplant once the royal mallow has developed its first 3 true leaves. Flowering will occur in the following summer season.

Depending on the climatic conditions, Alcea rosea can be affected by some fungi, especially if the moisture content is high and the temperatures are favorable for its development.

In this particular case we are talking about  rust  or insects such as  aphids , bed bugs, red spider (which forms a web around the plant), weevils , etc. Pests that tend to have a large host range.


Although the main use that is given to Alcea rosea is ornamental, even for parks and public gardens, due to its wonderful summer flowering, it also has other medicinal applications.

It is not very common but its leaves can be used as expectorants and emollients (reduce inflammation). Also, depending on the intake it can cause diarrhea, so its consumption must be controlled. The roots have diuretic and astringent potential).

Not only outside of agriculture the royal mallow has applications, because like the cochineal ,  it can also extract dyes, as well as sweeteners for food.

You know, if you want to increase the potential of your garden, don’t think twice and buy Alcea rosea seeds . A simple, rustic crop that is perfectly adaptable to a medium garden. Success assured when flowering arrives!

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