The hollyhock is an old fashioned flower that is very colorful and will add a lot of brightness to a garden. They grow in most climates and are relatively easy to care for. Below are instructions on how to plant hollyhock seeds in your garden.
Step 1 - Get the Seed
You can get hollyhock seeds from a seed catalog or local gardening store. These flowers grow best in zones 3 through 9. Another method is to start growing hollyhock seeds indoors before the growing season begins. In most parts of the country these flowers bloom from July to September. You should plant the seeds about 6 to 8 weeks before the last frost, especially if you are planting perennials. Perennial hollyhocks don't bloom the first year, but if you start the process indoors they may do so.
Step 2 - Type of Seed
Hollyhocks can either be annual or perennial. Both varieties need the same growing conditions but will look different in your garden. Annual hollyhocks grow base leaves and flower stocks in the same year. Perennial hollyhocks produce base leaves the first year and flowers the second.
Step 3 - Find a Spot
Find a spot in your garden that is sheltered, sunny, and well drained. It's also a good idea to make sure the spot you choose will let the seeds and plants grow undisturbed. Hollyhocks can grow up to 8 feet high, so it's best to plant them at the back of a flower bed, especially if the wall receives a lot of sun. Too much wind, or soil with bad water runoff, high humidity, or poor air circulation can inhibit the growth of hollyhocks.
Step 4 - Stalks
For perennial hollyhocks, it's a good idea to leave the flower stalks intact to allow for reseeding. This is because the life of perennial hollyhocks is short. Perennials usually reseed the same color.
Each spring you should add a few new plants to your garden even if it causes a bit of crowding at first. This will ensure you don't experience huge gaps in your garden.
Step 5 - Soil and Pesticides
Keep in mind that hollyhocks thrive in rich soil. Adding a lot of compost to your garden may help them grow even more beautiful. Hollyhocks grow very long roots, and they need a lot of nutrients from the soil. Although they have long roots, you don't have to plant them too deeply in the ground.
If you need to spray pesticides, make sure you wear protective clothing, don't apply the pesticide on a windy day, and keep children and pets away from flowers that have just been sprayed to ensure their safety.
Step 6 - Color Selection
Hollyhocks come in a wide range of colors, including red, rose, white, and even black. It's quite easy to grow hollyhocks from seed so it makes sense to give it a try.