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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.


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.


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

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 Burpee’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 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.

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.


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

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.

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Gardening Tip of the Day

  • Although popular, braiding garlic bulbs to hang in the kitchen for their ornamental value is not the best way to preserve the wonderful flavor of this cooking essential. Here’s a way to store garlic that not only retains flavor but actually improves it!
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    Use a decorative jar, some ribbon and a sprig of fresh spruce or pine for a creative holiday gift!