The tall flowering spires of Hollyhocks are eye-catching and when grouped, create a wall of greenery and blooms. Also known as Alcea, Hollyhock plants are easy to maintain, but can Hollyhocks grow well in pots? Hollyhocks are not well suited to growing in containers, but with the proper care and attention, it is possible to grow this perennial in pots.
Planting Hollyhocks in Pots
Plant Hollyhocks in the spring. This stunner blooms during the spring and summer, so get an early start but wait until the risk of frost has passed. Cold weather is damaging and can kill the tender plants before they even get started. Hollyhocks need space to promote air circulation around the plants, reducing fungus risk. A rectangular or narrow planter is a good choice for Hollyhocks since it allows multiple plants to grow in one pot. Containers must have drainage holes so the soil will not become soggy. Place the container in a protected area that receives full sun.
Best Soil For Hollyhocks in Pots
Select a potting mix that is fertile and high in organic matter. Rich soil supports rapid growth and abundant blooms. Hollyhocks prefer soil that has a pH level between 6.0 to 8.0. The soil must allow for drainage because Hollyhocks cannot handle wet conditions.
Caring For Hollyhocks in Planters
Hollyhocks are not a common choice for planters, but that doesn’t mean this plant cannot comfortably live in a container. Plants grown in containers have similar care requirements as plants grown in a bed or border, but they need more water and feeding. Extra care should be taken when selecting a container; choose a large container, so the plants are not crowded. Water the plants when the top inch of soil is dry and place the plants in a sunny spot near a building or structure that will shield the plants from strong wind.
Watering Hollyhocks in Pots
Water potted Hollyhocks when the top inch of the soil is dry. Saturate the soil until water drains through the holes in the container. It may not be necessary to water plants if there has been a lot of rain, but feel the soil to gauge the dryness. Plan to water Hollyhocks daily and possibly more during periods of drought.
Fertilizing Hollyhocks in Pots
Rich, fertile soil helps Hollyhocks thrive, and potted plants also benefit from fertilization. Balanced, water-soluble fertilizer is a good option for Hollyhocks and can be applied during routine watering. Potted plants need this extra boost of nutrition because watering rinses away nutrients in the soil over time.
Winter Care For Hollyhocks in Pots
Hollyhocks are perennials that die back in the winter and reemerge each spring. Growth should be trimmed back in the fall, and the container can be placed in a protected area, away from the elements. A basement, garage, or shed are good places for potted Hollyhocks to overwinter so they are out of the cold.
Growing Hollyhocks Indoors
Due to their size and care needs, Hollyhocks are not the best indoor plants. Some varieties can grow 6 to 8 feet tall, which can easily overwhelm an indoor space. There are dwarf cultivars that do not get as large and are a better size for indoor life. Hollyhocks need a lot of sunlight and do best in full sun when grown outdoors. Most homes do not receive the light necessary for this plant to thrive.