Hollyhocks belong to the Malvaceae family of flowers. Hollyhocks are indigenous to the Eastern Mediterranean regions and are related to the flowering Hibiscus and Rose of Sharon. They come in many colors, including pink, red, apricot, white, rose and purple. They are tall growing specimens--older varieties often achieve heights of nine feet--with flowers three to six inches in width.
Planting Hollyhocks in the Ground
Hollyhocks love sun, and fertile soil with has good drainage. To plant them right into your flower garden, turn over the soil several times with a shovel, and work in plenty of compost, then use your rake to rake the area level and smooth. Make sure to remove any weeds, rocks or sticks from the soil. Water the soil thoroughly, and let drain.
Plant two to three hollyhock seeds approximately eight to 10 inches apart. Cover up the seeds with approximately 1/4 inch of soil. Make sure to keep your hollyhock seedlings well-watered, but not drenched and water them gently using a fine mist of water, too heavy a spray of water can displace the seeds. Germination for hollyhocks seeds is generally seven to 14 days.
Thin out your hollyhock seeds to about 16 to 20 inches apart when they reach approximately four inches in height.
Starting Hollyhocks in Pots
Fill each planting receptacle 3/4 full with seed starting mix. Water each thoroughly, let the water drain off and set pots aside until they are no longer dripping water.
Place two hollyhock seeds into each planting receptacle, and cover with 1/4 inch of the seed starting mix. Keep in a warm, sun-filled area. Check the seeds every day, and water them when the soil starts to dry out, but don't let them get soggy.
Once your hollyhock seedlings are approximately three inches high, you can plant them outside in your garden.