Taking Care of Hollyhocks


Hollyhocks are flowers in the mallow family that grow from early spring until late fall. The flower's long blooming season makes it a popular plant for the home landscape. Hollyhocks are edible, and may be used in sugared candies or salads, although the white portion at the base of the flower is bitter and should be removed before preparation. Hollyhocks are a very low-maintenance plant. The largest issues affecting the plant are rust and leaf miner insects.

Step 1

Plant hollyhock seeds in full sun and well-drained soil by scattering the seeds and covering them with ¼ inch of soil. The seeds may be planted at any time during the growing season. Once the plant becomes established, it will re-seed yearly in USDA hardiness zones 5 through 9.

Step 2

Fertilize hollyhocks with a granulated rose-fertilizer that is low in nitrogen and high in potassium and phosphorous. Spread the granules in a ring around the outer root zone of the plants. Use the amount recommended on the package. The amount will vary depending on the brand of fertilizer.

Step 3

Insert a stake into the ground next to a hollyhock plant. Tie hollyhocks to the stake to keep them upright as they grow.

Step 4

Spray hollyhocks with a fungicide to remove rust.

Step 5

Dose hollyhocks with a pesticide to combat leaf miners.

Step 6

Mulch with well-rotted manure.

Step 7

Water hollyhocks only during drought conditions so that the ground is only as wet as a wrung-out sponge. Hollyhocks are drought resistant and do not need watering very often.

Things You'll Need

  • Hollyhock seeds
  • Shovel
  • Granulated rose fertilizer
  • Plant stake
  • Fungicide containing chlorothalonil
  • Pesticide containing acephate
  • Well-rotted manure
  • Garden hose


  • University of Minnesota Extension: Hollyhock Rust
  • NC State University Extension: Alcea rosea
  • University of Minnesota Extension: Edible Flowers

Who Can Help

  • North Dakota State University Extension: Questions on: Hollyhocks
Keywords: planting hollyhocks, growing herbs, edible flowers

About this Author

Tracy S. Morris has been a freelance writer since 2000. She has published two novels and numerous online articles. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers, including "Ferrets," "CatFancy," "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World."