Hollyhocks are a tall, majestic flower that can grow to a height of 10 feet tall. Their tall, slender stalks are adorned with showy leaves and flower blossoms from summer into fall, which makes them a gardener's choice for a flower bed backdrop or a border plant along fences and walls. Hollyhocks are a no fuss plant and will provide you with more blooms year after year. Getting them started is a basic process, and can be done indoors, in late winter, or directly in the ground in spring.
Starting Seed Indoors
Start hollyhock seeds indoors for a head start on the growing season. While many hollyhocks do not bloom until their second year, there is a good chance you will get a few blooms the first year if you start them early. Plan to start your seeds 8 weeks before all danger of frost has passed for your area.
Fill 2-inch seed pots with a commercial seed starter soil mix.
Set the hollyhock seed on top of the soil, and then cover with 1/4 inch of additional soil.
Water until the soil is moist, and cover the trays with a pane of glass or a sheet of clear plastic wrap. Set the tray in a warm area of the house with bright light. Leave the cover in place until seeds germinate.
Transplant the seedlings to an outdoor location after all danger of frost has passed. Select a location that has full sun and well drained soil.
Direct Sow Into Ground
Select a location for your hollyhocks that receives full sun and has good soil drainage.
Loosen the soil to a depth of 3 inches and add a 1-inch layer of compost to the site. Turn over the soil and work the compost in with the dirt. Rake the soil out smoothly when finished.
Lay your hollyhock seeds on the ground, 6 inches apart, and cover with 1/4-inch of soil.
Water seeds gently so the soil is moist. Keep seeds moist until germination occurs.
Thin the hollyhock plants to between 18 and 36 inches apart once they are 3 to 4 inches tall.
About this Author
A freelance writer for more than 12 years, Traci Vandermark has written extensively on health and fitness topics. She is a student of health, fitness and nutrition at the International Institute Of Holistic Healing, certified by the American Association of Nutritional Consultants. Her articles have appeared in Catskill Country Magazine, The Lookout Magazine, Capper's, Birds and Blooms and Country Discoveries, to name a few.