From a distance, the dark color of The Watchman is as black as the moonless night sky, but on closer inspection you can see its rich, purplish burgundy cast. Seductive towers of flowers for bees and butterflies make an excellent backdrop for pink, red, yellow, or white flowers. Fairly drought tolerant but performs best with ample moisture. Hollyhock flowers are edible, but very bland; however, the large, colorful petals are lovely garnishing salads or desserts. (The flower's central disk, while edible, can be bitter.)
Botanical Name: Alcea rosea
Native: Origin unknown
Hardiness: Biennial, hardy in USDA zones 2–8
Plant Dimensions: 5'–7' tall
Variety Information: 2″–4″, deep burgundy (almost black) flowers
Exposure: Full sun
Bloom Period: Summer
Attributes: Attracts Pollinators, Fairly Drought Tolerant, Edible Flower
When to Sow Outside: RECOMMENDED. 1 to 2 weeks after your average last frost date, or 2 months before your average first fall frost date.
When to Start Inside: 6 to 8 weeks before your average last frost date. Roots are sensitive to disturbance; sow in biodegradable pots that can be planted in the ground.
Days to Emerge: 10–14 days
Seed Depth: Press into surface
Seed Spacing: A group of 3 seeds every 24″–36″
Thinning: When 3″ tall, thin to 1 every 24″–36″