Hollyhocks, with their tall stalks of brightly blooming flowers, are a perennial favorite in many gardens. Many varieties bloom every other year, while some bloom yearly and others are grown as annuals. These hardy flowers can be grown even in growing zones as low as Zone 4a, where the temperatures can drop far below zero; as low as -30 degrees Fahrenheit. This means they can be grown even in some parts of Alaska, although they must be grown as annuals.
Choose a location that receives full sun. Hollyhocks in Alaska need as much sun exposure as possible in order to thrive. In many parts of Alaska, the sun does not set for very long in the summer. This extended exposure to sunlight is just fine--the hollyhocks will love it.
Make sure the soil is well-draining. Melting snow can cause soil to become overly saturated, which can lead to rust problems in hollyhocks. Do not plant the seeds in a location where the soil is very wet. If you don't have well-draining soil, plant your hollyhocks in a container with drainage holes. Containers are also great for hollyhocks in Alaska because you can use potting soil instead of trying to work the frozen ground.
Stake your hollyhocks. They can grow quite tall and even a slight Alaskan wind can cause them to break. Provide support by tying the flowers to a stake, or a trellis that has been placed against a wall.
Mulch the plants as soon as they sprout. Manure is a perfect mulch, as it provides both warmth from the cold Alaskan springs and nutrients for the hollyhocks. Water your hollyhocks when the top inch or so of the soil becomes dry.
Gather the seeds and take them inside when the plants begin to die down. Hollyhocks reseed themselves, but the cold winters in Alaska are usually too harsh for the seeds to sprout again on their own. Instead, save the seeds, bring them indoors and plant them next spring when the ground thaws. Remove the dead plants and clean up any remaining foliage to prevent fungal growth.