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Growing Hollyhock Plants in a Pot

hollyhock image by Vaida from

Hollyhocks (Alcea rosea) are flowering plants that mock the growth of a perennial plant because they are known for their ability to self seed. They are tall growing plants, usually reaching between 5 and 6 feet high. Hollyhocks produce brilliant, showy, 2- to 4-inch-wide flowers in a wide array of colors, including, rose, pink, white, yellow, violet and red. Hollyhocks can easily be grown in large ceramic pots or in wooden tubs or barrels.

Germinating Hollyhock Seeds

Fill up a planting pack with a good quality sterilized seed-raising mix. Plan on starting hollyhock seeds indoors about five to six weeks before the last spring frost date in your growing region.

Firm the mix down in the planting pack using your fingers, a fork or a spoon.

Place one to two hollyhock seeds on the surface of the soil in the cells. Push the seeds into the soil firmly to a depth of approximately 1/4 inch. Mist the seeds with water to ensure good soil-to-seed contact.

Place the planting pack in the brightest lit area in your home that is not going to provide direct sunshine. A south- or west-facing window is ideal and will keep the temperature warm enough the seeds should begin germinating in seven to 14 days. Keep the mix moist, but not soggy wet.

Transplant the hollyhock seedlings when each has two to three sets of leaves.

Transplanting Hollyhocks

Choose a suitably sized planting pot. Keep in mind hollyhocks can grow to 6 feet tall, so choose a pot that is large enough to accommodate two hollyhock plants plus planting stakes.

Place the planting pot in a location that is going to provide the hollyhocks with maximum sunshine. Hollyhocks dislike any amount of shade, according to Michigan State University.

Place potting mix into a large basin or wheelbarrow until there is enough to fill the planting pot about 2/3 full. Mix into the potting mix approximately 1 cubic foot of dehydrated compost, aged manure, leaf mold or peat moss.

Scoop the potting mix and organic matter mixture into the pot to fill it to approximately 2 inches from the top of the rim.

Dig two planting holes spaced about 8 to 10 inches apart that are the same depth and width of a cell in the planting pack.

Remove a hollyhock seedling from a cell in the planting pack. Place your thumb and index finger at the bottom of the cell and push upward gently.

Plant the seedling into one of the planting holes. Scoop potting mix in and around the seedling, firming it down as you proceed.

Mix into a gallon of water an appropriate amount of starter fertilizer such as 15-30-15, 16-32-16 or similar type. Follow the instructions on the label so you will know how much to use. Water each of the seedlings with approximately 1 quart of the fertilizer-and-water solution.


You can plant hollyhocks in planting pots at any time from May through September.

Push in a 3- to 4-foot-high planting stake near each hollyhock once they have grown to reach 6 to 8 inches tall.

Plan on watering container-grown hollyhocks about two to three times a week, depending on conditions. Provide enough water to moisten the soil at a depth of 6 to 8 inches.

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