Starting Hollyhocks

Kearney, NE(Zone 5a)

I use to live in an old rental house and had tons of great old-fashion hollyhocks along the back fence. Now we are in a new house and I am wanting to plant some along the south side of the house. I've tried planting bulbs and they never came up. Is it better to start with a small plant or the bulbs when planting hollyhocks? Any thing else I need to know about them? Any good places to get them online? Thanks!

Belfield, ND(Zone 4a)

Hollyhocks are super easy to start from seed. They really don't like to be transplanted, so starting them directly in the garden works best. They are normally biennial, so they probably won't bloom the first year, but will the second year. They also reseed pretty readily, so once they are established, you will always have some.

Here is a list of ideas for where to order them.

Good luck!

Taft, TX(Zone 9a)

I don't know about your zone, but I start mine from Joan said....really Sept and put in ground in November...they are getting ready to explode into blooming right now.....I just grow 'Carnival' and 'Indian Spring' have many choices if you are in zone 8 and lower...have fun...

Lincoln, NE(Zone 5b)

I started mine from seed also. I sprinkled seed on the south side of my house one spring and watered regularly to get them established. Once they were up, I used some mg and darned if they didn't bloom that year. My mom had tried seeds several times with no success. I gave her some of my fresh seeds and the next year she had hollyhocks as well. I'd give some seed a try. Good luck!

Kwajalein, Marshall Islands(Zone 11)

I'm a little late checking out this thread - but just in case you are still watching I wanted to share my holyhock experience - from my home in Colorado, not out here. I had planted some seeds about 3 years ago - and they came back year after year - BUT! - they self seed and grow everywhere! If you don't get the babys - they are very hard to pull out - and because they get so tall - you have to pull them out from edges of sidewalks - front of garden beds - etc. In strong winds they tend to fall over and make a huge mess. So....stake them, put them where you don't mind some self seeding, and keep a handle on the spread - and you will have beautiful flowers for years. These pix were taken 6 weeks apart! really fast growers!

Thumbnail by Islandshari
Kwajalein, Marshall Islands(Zone 11)

Here is the after pic:

Thumbnail by Islandshari
Lincoln, NE(Zone 5a)

daltri.....I'm in Lincoln too! How do you deal with the wind. I just moved here and the wind can be a bother!!!!

Mchenry, IL(Zone 5a)

i bought theese from walmart 4 $5,00. they were tubers. i really didnt expect much but look at them! hollyhocks seeds need to be wintered over. thats why you spread them in the fall. i also start them in peat pots.

Thumbnail by kathy1955
Taft, TX(Zone 9a)

This picture is 3 weeks old......they are in full bloom now.....

Thumbnail by gessiegail
Cordele, GA(Zone 8a)

Gail, where did you get the seeds for the red ones? Do they grow true color from seed?
Those are just goreous!

Crosbyton, TX(Zone 7a)

kathy...i got the same hollyhocks at walmart ...i am glad you are showing yours that are doing good...mine have been in dirt for one week and they are starting to come exciting...thanks;)

Taft, TX(Zone 9a)

kathy, that is an awesome color!!!
Cordeledawg, I grew those from seed in September and put out in the ground...the only two cultivars that we grow successfully down here are 'Carnival' and 'Indian Springs '.....being in zone 8, you have the choice of anything you want.....I love the small French hollyhocks called 'Zebrina'....they are a purple bi-color.....I lived in zone 8 and saw how beautiful they were...we have few choices down here.
I got the Indian Springs from
she carries a lot of heirloom seed
I got the 'Carnival' from Seeds of Change

I don't think they are hard to find....right now I have lots of red, pinks and even yellows, apricots

Saint George, KS(Zone 5b)

I also just bought some of those Hollyhocks from Wal-Mart.
I'm so encouraged to get mine growing. You mentioned starting them in peat pots. Then did you just stick them in the ground after they got going? I plan to plant mine around the outside edges of a playyard fence that DH and I are building this weekend. So, I'd like to get them started and not have to wait! Never thought of doing it that way!
Please share more details!
Thanks in Advance,

Fort Worth, TX

Some body please please please help me> I promise i planted a Holly Hock over 3 years ago and the leaves just get bigger and bigger and no buds no nothing. I am so fustrated so i went and bought 2 more babies and planted them on the northside of my home. I saw all the pictures you guys sent in and i am so jealous and excited.

I want to be jolly with my Holly! any ideas. thanks in advance

Mchenry, IL(Zone 5a)

flourpwr, im sorry i left out that i started my hollyhock seeds in the peat pots.they germinate in about 3 days in my little greenhouse. the tubers from walmart i just threw in the ground. (my kids spilled soda on my keyboard and it doesnt work right so x cuse any spelling errors... no time to buy another one) i have started my hanging begonia tubers in pots inside and they are doing well.they were also from walmart.this year i bought some double hollyhocks in light purple from there. i will plant them this weekend. i have seeds if you would like them( of the ones in the pics.)
stephh, is your area where you planted the hollyhocks in full sun? also maybe too much nitrogen in the soil that would cause lots of green and no blooms. buy a little soil test kit. maybe you need some pot ash or phosphouros or potasium. those make flowers bloom. best of luck

Taft, TX(Zone 9a)

For whatever it is worth, whenever i move and start all over with new soil, I add bone meal, blood meal, gypsum , high nitrogen and till in the soil before i begin to grow flowers.....after they all come up and germinate, I go back and use Preen to keep weeds from coming up and it also continues to feed flowers...( I always keep Miracle Grow foliar feeding around, too)

Havelock, Canada

Please help. This is the second year I have lived here and I have beautiful huge hollyhocks. Problem is the bottom leaves get brown and withered and it progress up the stalk. Does anyone know how to prevent this without spending a fortune or what causes this? Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks for much. Love the thread. So glad I found it. BTW I collected all kinds of seeds and will be planting them soon. Some are already coming up that self-seeded.

Please HELP!!!!!


Smyrna, DE(Zone 7a)

I've lost some leaves on mine, but it's part of the life cycle. I have red hh and also what i believe to be Nigra (black). The first flower spike on Nigra was over 7 feet tall! WOW! One plant sent up 5 flower spikes. I was impressed. The black ones are so impressive in color that I've started more from seed to replace the one that will die this year. Anyone else have Nigra and love it?

Avon, IN(Zone 5a)

all i did was sprinkle the seeds onto the dirt and water... they didn't bloom this year, but should next year!

North Providence, RI

We bought 3 plants from Home Depot and they were planted in early summer. The plants are thriving, but, of course, no flowers yet.

Alamogordo, NM(Zone 7b)

Hi, I just throw the seeds out of let them fall and reseed. Once they have flowered all the way up the lower leaves start to look a bit worn and I cut them down to the ground and they start over again. Hollyhocks are really easy and like no special treatments. I do have a recipe for spray to keep the rust off but in NM the air is so dry and since I cut them back I don't use it! I think they may not bloom as well if you fertilize them or over water? This is a relative to a hollyhock, smaller and I love the bloom.

and here is a link to a photo of my hollyhocks this spring as I can't find the photo to upload it here!

Thumbnail by cactuspatch
Havelock, Canada

cactuspatch - isn't that malva? I grew it this year. It think it was called Zebrina malva if I remember correctly. Ilove, love, love the plant and have saved seeds from mine to plant again. Thanks for the info. I never thought about cutting them back. Makes sense though. If you ever find the recipe for the stuff to use to avoid rust could you please let me know. Thanks for all your help and your beautiful pic!

Hugs Elaine

Havelock, Canada

JoanJ - Thanks for the info and the site. I had no idea and now I'm smarter than I was before. As long as I remember this info. lol.
Thanks for the response and the help. Always appreciated!

Hugs Elaine

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