Good soil needed to suit best hollyhock growth

Although hollyhocks are more than capable of self-sowing in paving and gravel, they could grow to much greater heights if planted in good soil, it has been suggested.

Toby Buckland has written for the Daily Mail that the Victorian favourite can get on when positioned in desert-dry soil, but the results will be much more sparkling in a rich and crumbly compost.

When given the chance to luxuriate in better soil, Mr Buckland suggests that the flower spikes of hollyhocks can grow to as high as ten feet from the floor.

Meanwhile, this decision could also benefit the health of the plant as the good soil will allow the hollyhocks to retain moisture, which will help in the fight against fungal diseases such as rust.

Mr Buckland added: "The flower spikes teeter above bristly foliage and are studded with felted buttons, which pop open either into poppy-like bells or rosette doubles in shades of white, lemon, cola-cube or liquorice, depending on the variety."

Many gardeners tend to use hollyhocks as ornamental plants and they comprise about 60 species.