Growing Hollyhocks

With fall around the corner for many of us, its time to think about buying plants, dividing plants or starting plants indoors. One of my favorite old-fashioned flowers is the hollyhock. And this week I will be transplanting perennial hollyhocks and starting hollyhocks indoors.

Hollyhocks are a member of the mallow family and grow in nearly all of the United States. The hollyhock was originally a transplant from Asia. Hollyhocks are normally tall flowers. Recently a new version of hollyhock has been developed that is smaller in height and can be used more in gardens and mixed with other flowers.

The traditional hollyhock is often used in the background of a flower garden or near homes or fencing.

Hollyhocks are easily grown and usually blooming the year after they are planted. But if started indoors early, so they begin to establish roots, they may bloom the same year they are planted.

Hollyhocks come in two types, perennial and annual. Most are perennials, and all of them will self-seed. This is how I started growing hollyhocks. A friend gave me several dried hollyhock tops, which I crumpled up in my hands and scattered the seed.

Hollyhocks prefer full sun, although they will tolerate some shade. Hollyhocks will grow best if the soil is always moist, but not wet.

This flower tends to bloom later in the year, July through September, when a lot of flowers are done. Its best to keep this in mind when planting them in your garden areas. I prefer to plant flowers in front of the hollyhocks. The hollyhocks emphasis the color of other flowers and makes a great background. Later when the hollyhocks are in full bloom there may be some color left in the flowers in front. You can make sure of color and texture by choosing flowers with colored leaves or mixing a few late blooming perennials in the garden area.

Even though these flowers are showy, they are not noted for fragrance.

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One response to “Growing Hollyhocks”

  1. Diana

    Great article on Hollyhocks Denise! Growing up I remember that my mother always had hollyhocks in her flower garden and it became one of my favorites through the years.

    Surprisingly enough, hollyhocks are easy to grow!

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