How to Grow and Care for Hollyhocks

Hollyhock is a plant I am sure everyone who has visited a country garden has experienced. In this post I share the Hollyhock in my garden and easy ways to grow your own.

hollyhock next to the house in Ohio.

When we first moved into our home in the country I was very excited to see that hollyhocks were on the property.  However, the previous owner didn’t pick the ideal location for these old fashion easy to care for flowers.  I first fell in love with the hollyhock at my mother in laws home.  She had them planted right up against the house.  People plant them so close to the house because the structure works as a great wind block.  Some gardeners will stake them in the garden or plant them next to a fence.

sarah and hollyhocks
My daughter attempting to smell the hollyhocks at her Aunts home.
little one outside grandmas house
A little one outside Grandma Haas’ home observing the hollyhocks.

Saving The Seeds

hollyhock seeds
This is what the hollyhock seed looks like inside the dried pod.

My mother in law use to deadhead the hollyhocks along the side of her house and just drop them into the ground below all summer long.  I’ve done this and it works great.  Giving the seeds to friends I am drying the pods and opening them up to only save the actual seed.

(video soon)

The assortment of mauve, pink, and white hollyhocks was located up against the house.  In the past few years I’ve taken a few of the seeds and transplanted them in other places in the yard but these original bloomers stay reseeding themselves each year in the same location where I’ve added a few of my favorite landscape shrubs. The seeds are easy to spread and are a cheap way to add spectator color to any landscape or garden.  The image above shows the 3 different tones of pink and white that have been blooming in my garden for over 8 years with little maintenance.

pink hollyhock

Pretty in Pink – Whats Not to Love

Pest Control

Ohio Spring Garden 2012

Another Fan of the Hollyhock Perennial is the Japanese Beetle

Unfortunately, I’m not the only fan of the hollyhock perennial.  The Japanese beetle loves to fest on this flower from last July on.  It is best to set up a beetle trap somewhere in your yard away from the hollyhock so they will stay clear of this tender bloomer or you can also spray the plant starting in early July.  When using an organic insecticidal soap product you must spray the bug or it rarely works.  I do recommend a homemade insecticidal soap but they have to mix fresh (do not let them sit in sprayer too long or the soap crystalizes.  It is also important to remember with the organic products you have to apply after rain or watering.

How To Plant Hollyhocks

Hollyhock and hibiscus are in the  Malvaceae (mallow) family.  This is why the blooms look so similar.  I am a huge fan of the Rose of Sharon ( Hibiscus) is a genus of flowering plants in the mallow family, Malvaceae.  It is super easy to plant hollyhocks in your garden.  The perennial is basically maintainace free onces it gets established.

 

My suggestion to you if you would like to add hollyhocks to your garden is to be creative and not afraid to mix the colors.  Direct sow (planting the seed directly in the ground) is really the best way to plant this perennial.  I have had mine bloom the first year after planting seeds in Autumn the previous year.

Hollyhock Resources

  • https://www.extension.iastate.edu/osceola/sites/www.extension.iastate.edu/files/osceola/April%2030%20Hollyhocks.pdf
  • http://extension.msstate.edu/newsletters/garden-tips-newsletter/2013/hollyhocks

Let’s Connect

Are you a fan of Hollyhock?  I hope you will take the time to share this post using the social media links provided.  Be sure to connect with me by commenting on my contact page featured on this website.

Happy Gardening,

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