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Growing Hollyhock

Botanical Name:

Alcea rosea

Life Cycle:

short-lived perennial, biennial

Planting Time:

spring or fall


plants vary in size from 3' to 7' tall



full sun or light, part-day shade


average to rich, well-drained soil


biennial or short-lived perennial zones 2-9

Bloom Time:

late summer to fall


variety of color shades including pinks, reds, yellows, whites and maroon-blacks


green leaves on upright stems holding flower spikes



Suggested Use:

back borders, accents against walls or fences

Growing Hints:

Purchase plants or start from seed by sowing seeds directly into the garden in the spring to early summer. Plants will bloom the following summer. For possible first year blooms, start seeds indoors in late winter. Hollyhock seeds need light to germinate, so barely cover seeds with soil. Plants may live a third year if you cut off their flower stalks after blooming, otherwise plan to replace spent plants with seedlings to keep a crop blooming each summer without interruption.

Interesting Facts:

The hollyhock is a relative to the hibiscus. Children adore making dolls out of hollyhocks. Use a flower for the skirt. Use a bud to top the skirt with a head (attach with a toothpick) and put another flower on the head to serve as a bonnet.

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By guest (Guest Post)
June 13, 20060 found this helpful

I live in an old Western mountain town where hollyhocks have been established as long as the old mines have been closed down! So I gather seed in alleys and along median strips. The hollyhocks will try their best to grow, even when there's only a little soil on top of the granite!


Just did a blog post about our granites:

http://walkingp  ott.blogspot.com

Do come visit.

Granny J

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