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Planting Hollyhock Flowers

Hollyhock truly is an old garden favorite, with a long blooming season. Usually considered a short-lived perennial in Zones 3-8, but may live for several years if stalks are cut off at their bases after the flowers fade. Makes an excellent screening plant to hide unsightly places. A good background companion for shorter plants. Hollyhock is very easy to grow, preferring a warm, sunny location sheltered from the wind. Will tolerate moist conditions. Bloom midsummer-early fall.

HOLLYHOCK FLOWERS:

Four inch double flowers borne on wand-like stems. Blooms start near the base of the stem and move upward so that 1-1/2 to 2 feet of each stem is covered with bloom throughout the season.

HOLLYHOCK FOLIAGE:

Hairy leaves, 6-8" across, borne in low clumps. Hollyhock plants grow up to 6 feet in height.

SOIL:
Hollyhock will do well in almost any soil but prefers a well-drained soil with pH 6.0 - 8.0, from slightly acid to alkaline. If you are in doubt of your soil acidity, make a soil test with one of Burpeeā€™s Soil Test Kits listed in the catalog, or contact your local County Agricultural Agent about soil sampling procedures. A soil test will indicate what fertilizers or elements are needed in your soil.

PLANTING HOLLYHOCK:
Planting hollyhock may be done in spring or fall. Select a sunny location sheltered from the wind. Try to have the soil worked up at least one week before planting time.
Spring plantings will be safer in areas where winters are severe. Plant as soon as nursery stock is received. If plantings must be delayed, place the hollyhock in a cool, shaded area and keep the roots moist. Hollyhock seedlings are grown in a special planting mixture to promote fast growth. Do not pull this material away from the roots, but set the top of the planting material level with the soil line. Firm the soil around the plants and roots by pressing the soil with your hands. Water well to eliminate air pockets that may form around the roots.

PLANT SPACING:
Eighteen inches apart. If planted in rows, space rows at least 3 feet apart. Depending on how hollyhock grow in your area, some plants may require staking to support fragile stems in windy areas.

MOISTURE REQUIREMENTS:

Will tolerate moist conditions if soil is welldrained. Water thoroughly during hot, dry weather. Keep water off leaves when watering, to prevent disease problems.

HOLLYHOCK PRUNING REQUIREMENTS:
Remove any seed-heads that may form, so hollyhock will continue to bloom for several years. Most plants will live and bloom for several years in Zones 3-8 if stalks are cut off at the base after flowers have faded. They will not be as vigorous as new seedlings. Once established in the garden, hollyhock often grow voluntary from seeds dropped during the summer. These chance seedlings may and should be transplanted elsewhere in the garden.

See all our Hollyhocks.

Read the next Article: Cashew Dressing Recipe

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Gardening Tip of the Day

  • Several options are available to overwinter a favorite geranium. The first is to cut it back and pot it up as a houseplant for the winter to replant outside in the spring. The second is to pull it up, brush off any clinging soil, and hang it upside down in a cool, humid basement until replanting in spring. Or, you can cut 4-inch lengths of new stem and put them in water or damp vermiculite to root. Once rooted, transfer to individual pots and treat as houseplants.