Alcea, more commonly known as Hollyhocks, are lovely flowering perennials that tower over most garden plants. Plant Hollyhock near the back of a bed to add height and bold color during the spring and summer when the flowers bloom. Established Hollyhocks are relatively self-sufficient but still require basic care for healthy plants.
What You Need To Plant Hollyhocks
- Compost or manure
- Garden spade
- Good location
- Water source
Where to Plant Hollyhocks
Location is essential for all plants, but this is particularly true for Hollyhocks. This stunner needs bright sunlight to grow and thrive. While Hollyhocks can live in partial shade, the stalk may not grow as tall or strong. Strong wind can be an issue for this plant, and Hollyhocks tend to do better when grown near a building or other plants that can offer wind protection. If growing Hollyhocks from seed, place the seeds about ¼ inch deep. Sprouted plants should be positioned with the top of the root ball level with the surrounding ground.
Hollyhock plants do not need support, but placing the plant near a building or trees that can protect the stalk from strong winds is helpful. A trellis is another option to block a breeze while also providing an opportunity to tie the plant to the support if needed. Space plants 18 inches apart, which allows air to flow around the foliage, reducing the risk of fungus and mold.
Steps To Plant Hollyhocks
Choose a protected spot with full sun and rich, well-drained soil. Give each plant plenty of space, with approximately 18 inches between plants. Seeds should be planted at a depth of ¼ inch, while established plants should be planted, so the root ball is even at the ground level.
Step 1 - Select a sunny, protected spot
Step 2 - Dig a hole slightly larger than the root ball and amend the soil with organic compost or manure
Step 3 - Position plants so the root ball is even with the soil level
Step 4 - Place the plant in the hole and backfill with soil
Step 5 - Firmly press the soil into place
Step 6 - Place mulch around the base of the plant and water deeply
When to Plant Hollyhocks
Plant Hollyhocks in the spring, so the plant has time to acclimate and bloom by the end of the season. This perennial will die back in the fall, so plant early so you can enjoy this beauty in bloom.
Hollyhock plants last for about 2 to 3 growing seasons. This plant is a prolific self-seeder, so while individual plants will die back, it is still possible to maintain a collection of Hollyhocks for many years. Transplanting Hollyhocks grown from dropped seeds is a good idea because this plant does best with some space. Fungus is a common problem when Hollyhock plants grow too close together, so gently dig up seedlings and relocate them with about 18 inches of space between plants.
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