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How to Grow Hollyhock from Seed

Updated on July 7, 2017
The Dirt Farmer profile image

Jill volunteers at community gardens & learns about gardening through the MD Master Gardening Program & MD Master Naturalist Program.

Spring and fall are the best times to start biennial hollyhock (Alcea rosea) from seed. The entire process, from sowing to transplanting seedlings, takes about 9 weeks.

Hollyhock (Alcea rosea) tends to grow true from seed, even hybrids like this double pink.
Hollyhock (Alcea rosea) tends to grow true from seed, even hybrids like this double pink. | Source
Source

An easy-to-follow guide for

  • prepping hollyhock seeds for germination
  • sprouting and growing hollyhock seedlings
  • transplanting hollyhock seedlings
  • getting hollyhock to bloom
  • collecting hollyhock seeds and
  • saving hollyhock seeds.

Growing Hollyhock Flowers from Seed

Hollyhocks are well loved for their spires of papery petaled flowers.
Hollyhocks are well loved for their spires of papery petaled flowers. | Source

Germinating Hollyhock Seeds

How to Prep Hollyhock Seed for Germination

Water treatments are commonly used on seeds with hard shells. The water softens the seed casing, breaking the dormancy of the embryo inside and encouraging germination.

Because hollyhock seeds are large and have fairly tough seed coats, soaking them in warm water or hot water prior to sowing increases the percentage of seed that germinates. It also causes those that do sprout to do so more quickly.

When to Soak Hollyhock Seeds

Giving hollyhock seeds a water treatment is a good idea if you're using store-bought seed or seed that you've collected, dried & stored.

If you sow hollyhocks by breaking & scattering dried seed pods outdoors at the end of the growing season, there's no need to soak the seed beforehand. The rains, snows, frosts & thaws of autumn, winter & spring are all the water treatment the seed needs to prep it for germination.

Warm Water Treatment

Prior to sowing, give hollyhock seeds a warm water treatment by soaking them in water that is approximately 113 degrees F (45 degrees C) for roughly 12 hours.

Hot Water Treatment

Rushed for time? Try a hot water treatment. In the late 1960s, botanists at the National Botanic Gardens in Lucknow, India found that soaking hollyhock seeds in hot water anywhere from 60 to 70 degrees F for 30 minutes greatly improved their germination rate.


Growing Hollyhock Flowers from Seed

From bud to bloom, Alcea rosea is a show stopper.
From bud to bloom, Alcea rosea is a show stopper. | Source

Sowing Hollyhock Seed

Will you grow hollyhocks (or any other flower) from seed this spring?

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Sowing Hollyhock in Spring

Indoors

To start hollyhock seed indoors in the spring, begin in late winter, about nine weeks before the last predicted spring frost in your area.

It's best to start the seed in individual pots, as hollyhocks (even seedlings) can develop long taproots that don't transplant well.

If possible, sow hollyhock seed in biodegradable containers, such as peat pots, newsprint pots or paper towel and toilet tissue rolls (cut into three-inch lengths).

Although some gardeners recommend biodegradable egg cartons or even eggshell halves, they probably aren't deep enough to give hollyhock seedlings a good start.

Sow the seed in seed-starting mix with a little sand mixed in. Cover it lightly with soil, as hollyhock seed needs light in order to germinate. Place the pots on a sunny windowsill, under grow lights or in a cold frame, and keep the soil slightly moist throughout the germination process.


Biennial Hollyhocks

Unlike perennial hollyhocks (Alcea pallida and A. rugosa), biennial hollyhocks A. ficifolia and A. rosea require two periods of cold weather before they will flower.

The first year, biennial hollyhocks grow vegetatively; that is, they produce only stalks, stems and leaves—no flowers. The following year, they bloom, unless brutal winter weather kills them.

To force biennial hollyhocks to flower the first year, treat them with gibberellic acid, a flower inducer that takes the place of a cold period. Planting them in fall may also induce hollyhocks to bloom the first year.

Outdoors

Hollyhock seed also may be directly sown outdoors in early spring.

Scatter seeds where you want the hollyhocks to grow, preferably by a doorway, along a fence or at the back of a flowerbed. (Remember, hollyhocks are tall! And they don't transplant well, so be sure to sow them where you want them to grow.)

When temperatures reach anywhere from 59 to 68 degrees F, the seed will germinate; however, the resulting plants probably won't blossom for another year.

Starting Hollyhock in Fall

The best time (and the easiest time) to sow hollyhock seed is in the autumn.

Simply sprinkle the seed onto soil that's been amended with lots of rich compost and cover it very, very lightly with soil. (As noted above, hollyhock seed needs light in order to germinate.)

In spring, the seed will sprout and, because it will have experienced bouts of winter cold, unlike spring-sown hollyhock, the plants will likely produce flowers in the first growing season.

Growing Hollyhock Flowers from Seed

Hollyhocks are well loved for their tall spires of multiple flowers.
Hollyhocks are well loved for their tall spires of multiple flowers. | Source
Because of its height, hollyhock is perfect for the back of a bed or border.
Because of its height, hollyhock is perfect for the back of a bed or border. | Source

Transplanting Hollyhocks

Transplanting Hollyhock Seedlings

It's best to plant hollyhock seedlings outdoors when they're small, before they develop long taproots that don't transplant well.

As recommended previously, for good transplanting results, sow the seed in individual pots so that transplanting causes less distress to the roots.

For the best results, sow seed in individual biodegradable containers. That way, you can plant hollyhock seedlings in their containers outdoors without disturbing the roots at all.

Be sure to transplant hollyhock plants into fertile, well-composted soil in a sunny location.

Because hollyhocks are tall, they are excellent plants for the back of a border or flowerbed. They are also traditionally grown along fences, by gates and next to doorways.

Growing Hollyhock Flowers from Seed

Source
Biennial hollyhock planted in spring is unlikely to bloom the first year.
Biennial hollyhock planted in spring is unlikely to bloom the first year. | Source

Caring for Hollyhock

Hollyhock Maintenance

After transplanting seedlings into fertile soil in a sunny spot in the garden, keep the young plants moist. After a few weeks, when their roots are established, the hollyhock plants will need little care.

If blooms develop the first growing season, the stalks may need to be staked to prevent them from falling over under the weight of the plant's full, heavy flowers.

To keep hollyhock growing from year to year, allow established plants to self seed, or scatter the seed yourself in the autumn, at the end of the growing season. (See directions for harvesting and saving hollyhock seed below.)

Growing Hollyhock Flowers from Seed

Hollyhock seeds are large and have fairly tough seed coats.
Hollyhock seeds are large and have fairly tough seed coats. | Source
Young hollyhock buds are tender and green, with a shape similar to its drying seed pods.
Young hollyhock buds are tender and green, with a shape similar to its drying seed pods. | Source

Harvesting Hollyhock Seeds

How to Save Hollyhock Seeds

Collecting and saving hollyhock flower seeds is a simple process. In fact, it's so easy that it's an ideal garden activity for children.

Hollyhock seed pods are big and fuzzy, the seeds themselves thick and large—and very easy for little fingers to handle.

To collect and store the seeds, you'll need

  • brown paper bag(s)
  • paper towels
  • empty seed packets or envelopes
  • resealable glass jar(s)


Flowers "go to seed" when they are left on the plant. As the flowers die, the petals fall, and pods form, dry and begin to open. At this point, they are ready to harvest. Because they're dry, the pods easily break away from the plant.

If the flowers are allowed to wither and dry on the stalk, hollyhocks will seed themselves.
If the flowers are allowed to wither and dry on the stalk, hollyhocks will seed themselves. | Source

Harvesting

First, allow the hollyhock flowers to "go to seed."

When the flowers have devolved into large, brown pods, snap them off and drop them into an ordinary paper sack, such as a brown lunch bag, for safe keeping. While in the sack, they'll dry out further.

After a few days, remove the hollyhock pods, breaking them open onto sheets of paper towels. The seeds inside the pod will be stuck together, so you'll have to break them apart as well.

So almost every year I pick the most mature green seed pods and bring them inside to dry. If the pods are spread out on a flat surface in a warmish room for a few weeks, the seeds can easily be removed from the pods. I have found that seeds from green pods dried this way have an astounding germination rate, even after several years of storage.

Drying

Place the individual seeds flat on the paper towels, removing the chaff with your fingers or with tweezers. Unlike snapdragon seeds, which are black and fine, hollyhock seeds are large and course, so you'll have little trouble differentiating bits of stem, pod and other chaff from them.

Be sure to remove as much chaff as you can. Not only does chaff retain moisture, which could cause seed to rot, but it may also harbor fungal spores and viruses.

When left on the stalk, hollyhock flowers form soft, fuzzy seed heads that break off easily.
When left on the stalk, hollyhock flowers form soft, fuzzy seed heads that break off easily. | Source

Storing

Seeds contain plant embryos that must be kept alive in order for them to germinate.

As a general rule, fresher seed is more likely to germinate than older seed because the embryos in them are more likely to be alive; conversely, older seeds are less likely to contain living embryos and are therefore less likely to sprout.

If purchasing hollyhock seed, check the date on the packet in order to select the freshest seed available.


To keep the embryos of seeds that you collect alive longer, store dry seed in air-tight glass containers in a cool place, such as the refrigerator or freezer.

Either place the seed in small glass jars or place packets of seed in a large, sealable glass container before refrigerating or freezing it.

Make sure the seeds are completely dry before storing them, as they have a tendency to mildew.

Adding a packet of silica gel to the container, like the dessicating packets found in new leather shoes and purses, will absorb any residual dampness in the seed and prevent it from molding. A teaspoon of powdered milk wrapped in Kleenex or a paper towel will do the same.

Allow harvested seed pods to dry in paper sacks for a few days.

Although germination rates drop as time passes, hollyhock seeds can remain viable for up to nine years.
Although germination rates drop as time passes, hollyhock seeds can remain viable for up to nine years. | Source

Break open the pods, releasing the hollyhock seeds.

After they're released from the pod, hollyhock seeds tend to stick together; however, they're easily separated with your fingernails.
After they're released from the pod, hollyhock seeds tend to stick together; however, they're easily separated with your fingernails. | Source

After removing the chaff, arrange seeds on paper towels to dry.

Because hollyhock seeds are large, it may take a week to dry them well before storing them. Don't leave them out too long, however, as they'll soak up moisture from the air, defeating your purpose.
Because hollyhock seeds are large, it may take a week to dry them well before storing them. Don't leave them out too long, however, as they'll soak up moisture from the air, defeating your purpose. | Source

Store seed in sealable glass containers in the freezer or refrigerator.

Refrigerating seed increases its viability. If saving multiple types of seed, place them in labelled packets and then place the packets in a lidded glass jar prior to refrigeration.
Refrigerating seed increases its viability. If saving multiple types of seed, place them in labelled packets and then place the packets in a lidded glass jar prior to refrigeration. | Source

How to Propagate Hollyhock by Division

Source

Dividing Hollyhock

Hollyhocks can be propagated by division as well as by seed.

In winter, spring or fall (when the hollyhocks are not blooming) loosen the ground around established plants and then gently pull stalks out of the ground, retaining their long roots, and place them in a bucket of water.

Once you've collected all of the rooty stalks you intend to collect, immediately transplant them into your garden. As when sowing hollyhock seed, be sure to choose a sunny, rich-soil location that's right for a tall, tall plant.

© 2013 Jill Spencer

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    • Athlyn Green profile image

      Athlyn Green 3 months ago from West Kootenays

      I love Hollyhock. When we lived out in Alberta, they used to self-seed and would pop up all over the yard and were truly beautiful.

      I'm now living in a different area of Canada and find they don't self-seed.

      I like the different varieties, too. Shared.

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image
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      Jill Spencer 3 months ago from United States

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      bill stevens 3 months ago

      very nice article. Can someone tell me where to find gibberillic acid?

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image
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      Jill Spencer 3 months ago from United States

      What a wonderful story, Betty. Wish you'd write an article about it and post your pictures here on HubPages. I'm anxiously waiting for a new hollyhock I planted last year to shoot up flower stalks. I have no idea what color they will be (they were a gift from someone else's garden) but am hoping for black. Again, thanks so much for sharing the wonderful story. Fingers crossed for that future row of giant hollyhocks! Best, Jill

    • profile image

      Betty 3 months ago

      I live in the harsh desert terrain along the southern Ca/Az border, zone 9b. Just outside of my husbands mancave (former back porch) this past winter, an interesting little plant popped up. The area where it sprouted abuts the alley and it's the most dry, crusty, inhospitable dirt you can imagine; weeds barely grow along that strip of dirt, so you can imagine my surprise when the little "not a weed" plant popped up. I have a vegetable garden in my yard, on the other side of the house, and I grew pumpkin last year, so, when it appeared out of nowhere, my husband asked if I had dropped any pumpkin seeds (as the young hollyhock leaves closely resemble the leaves on the pumpkin plants). I reminded him of exactly how much compost, etc it took to amend the ground where my garden is planted, so I doubted any vegetable seeds would survive in that desolate area beside the alley. Of course, I had wondered about the little plant, because it did have big pumpkin-like leaves... but then, it wasn't a vine, it had a bunch of long stemmed leaves, but that was about it. Well, my husband deemed it his plant (garden envy), put a little protector fence around it, and let it grow. It was about 4 feet tall when the region was blessed with some drought-ending, truly heaven sent rainfall; the next thing I know, the 6 foot tall stalks are almost 2 inches wide. It's now taller than my house (somewhere around 15 feet, in my opinion), with big, beautiful flowers painted in the most gorgeous color of faded pink, like you'd find when looking at antiques. My husband is so proud!! I'm happy; I'm waiting for the flowers to die so I can harvest some seed and plant all along the alley beside my house!! Thanks for the wonderful article!!

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      Robin Pappas 4 months ago

      How do you prevent the holly hock stems and leaves to stay healthy and green? Mine always seem to stival up and die

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image
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      Jill Spencer 11 months ago from United States

      I just now saw your comment! Sorry. In all probability, your plant will not produce flowers the first year if it's planted in spring. It will, however, put on a beautiful show during year two.

    • profile image

      hMh 14 months ago

      Thank u for great info! If I have a tiny plant with roots will it flower in the first year or do I have to wait till year two like from seed ...I live in Zone 4b so am desperate to get baby roots in the ground! Thanks!

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      Jill Spencer 2 years ago from United States

      Good luck to you, Dave! Thanks for stopping by. Jill

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      Dave in okc 2 years ago

      Love hollyhock. Can't get them to germinate but still try every year. The water treatment is a great idea I will try this year. Curiously, some seeds I planted last year did not germinate but are coming up this spring. I remain hopeful.

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image
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      Jill Spencer 2 years ago from United States

      Hey, Sierra! Go to my profile page, click "Fan Mail" and then, instead of sending fan mail, click "Send The Dirt Farmer a Message." I think that's how you get to it. I'll keep a lookout for your email. The HP messages usually go to my spam. Later, Jill

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      sierra 2 years ago

      I will picturesvwhen i get home. How can i get them to you?

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image
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      Jill Spencer 2 years ago from United States

      I'd love to see pictures, Sierra. Are you sure it's a hollyhock?

    • Sierra Woods profile image

      Sierra Woods 2 years ago from Albuquerque, New Mexico

      I have a gorgeous volunteer Hollyhock that is a stunning dark burgundy.

      The flowers are almost over and I had intended to save the seeds for next year as this was the only one that was this color.

      However, when I went to pick the seed pod, I discovered it's very different than the other ones in my yard. The seeds are incredibly tiny and very hard to get out. Could this be a hybrid that I won't be able to reseed?

      Any suggestions? I have pictures if that would help as well.

      Thanks

      Sierra

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image
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      Jill Spencer 3 years ago from United States

      carter06, thanks so much! Appreciate the positive feedback--in fact, I can't stop smiling. All the best! Jill

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image
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      Jill Spencer 3 years ago from United States

      Good luck to you, Dolores! In my experience, once you get them started (cross your fingers) they go, go, go for years. --Jill

    • carter06 profile image

      Mary 3 years ago from Cronulla NSW

      It's no wonder this stella hub won HOTD! Just found this comprehensive and so clearly explained hub & had to comment..I even think I with a green thumb could do this:) love hollyhocks!

      Thanks for sharing this beautiful (photos are awesome) hub..Cheers

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 3 years ago from East Coast, United States

      I love hollyhocks but have not been successful with them. I must try your suggestions. Next year!

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image
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      Jill Spencer 4 years ago from United States

      Oh, I see! Very clever! They'd make sweet little decorations for place settings. Thanks for mentioning this, ExpectGreatThings!

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image
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      Jill Spencer 4 years ago from United States

      I'll take a look, too, ExpectGreatThings. I'm intrigued!

    • ExpectGreatThings profile image

      ExpectGreatThings 4 years ago from Illinois

      I just checked and there are tons of photos on Google images of hollyhock dolls. They are really cute!

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image
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      Jill Spencer 4 years ago from United States

      Hi landocheese--Now with so many people using landscaping fabric and other barriers, self-seeders can have a tough time! It's always a good idea to hold a few seeds back and help nature along. Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment. Nice to hear from you, Jill

      Hi pinto2011--Awesome! The world can always use one more beautiful flower. Thanks for commenting! --Jill

      ExpectGreatThings--I've never heard of a hollyhock doll but would love to see one. Hope you do a hub! Take care, Jill

    • ExpectGreatThings profile image

      ExpectGreatThings 4 years ago from Illinois

      I love hollyhocks! And your photos are gorgeous! Congratulations on HOTD; you totally deserve it. Thanks for the motivation to try these this year. We have friends who make hollyhock dolls for my kids each year :) Maybe I could grow them and make the cute little dolls for others...

    • pinto2011 profile image

      Subhas 4 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Your hub has tempted me to grow one. Very nice and informative.

    • landocheese profile image

      landocheese 4 years ago

      Nice article. I love Hollyhocks and wish I had room for more, but must keep it to a small areas. They do love to self seed, but you have done a very nice job of showing people how to save Hollyhock seeds for transplanting next year, which will offer more control of where they end up.

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image
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      Jill Spencer 4 years ago from United States

      Hi skye2day! Thank you so much for your lovely comments. I appreciate them very much! --Jill

      Hi Stephanie! Hollyhocks really aren't that much effort if you start them outdoors. And they sure are pretty!

      Hi embarrett91 -- Luckily, seeds don't cost much, so you can always experiment, and flowers are lots of fun to grow. Thanks for stopping by! --Jill

    • embarrett91 profile image

      Erika 4 years ago

      This is a great hub! I want to get more into growing this year, I tried squash last year and failed miserably, I think to start with some flowers would be best for practice. These flowers are very beautiful, perhaps I will try them out using your guide on how to grow them! Thank you for the thorough detail!

    • StephanieBCrosby profile image

      Stephanie Bradberry 4 years ago from New Jersey

      This is a very interesting process. I am not to the stage of growing much from seed, but hopefully that will change. The beauty of this plant seems like it would make it well worth all the effort. But waiting two seasons requires a lot of patience.

    • skye2day profile image

      skye2day 4 years ago from Rocky Mountains

      farmer, Loved your hub dear one. Thank you for all the info. Awesome hub with fantastic step by step how to!

      Beautiful pictures love pink wow stunning.

      useful hub for one to start sowing a garden and reaping a harvest of hollyhocks~

      interesting. Lots of tips and ideas. In reading the comments I like the idea of getting a plant a year old to start~sweet.

      I had a home 10 years ago and it had a hollyhock that grew at least 6 fee. t I had no idea what I had. They are a beautiful flower in Gods creation. At harvest I had a stunning plant with robust lavender/ blue hollyhock flowers

      Blessings to you farmer. Great to meet you. I j joined your rank of fans . Love your writing style. Up all the way and shared

      WIth Love, Skye

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image
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      Jill Spencer 4 years ago from United States

      Hi Nettlemere. Thanks for the kind words. Glad you stopped by.

      Thanks, Kathy! Always good to hear from you.

      Appreciate it, Sheri. Thanks!

      @ Suzie HQ--If you grow sweet peas, hollyhocks would be just the thing to set out, too--another sweet cottage flower. Thanks for sharing the article!

      Hi Thelma! Appreciate your comments. Thank you. Have a good one! --Jill

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 4 years ago from Germany

      Beautiful Flowers! This is a thorough, useful and very informative hub. I love hollyhock. Thanks for sharing this information.

      BTW, Congrats on the HOTD award.

    • Suzie HQ profile image

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Jill,

      Well deserved HOTD! Gorgeous hub from start to finish, your Hollyhocks are simply stunning. Really inspired me to try them at my new home in the countryside and love sweet pea so keen to try that too! All the votes and pinned to my gardening!

    • Sheri Faye profile image

      Sheri Dusseault 4 years ago from Chemainus. BC, Canada

      Congrats on HOTD. Very useful and lovely photography!

    • savingkathy profile image

      Kathy Sima 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Just popping in again to say congratulations on your Hub of the Day!

    • Nettlemere profile image

      Nettlemere 4 years ago from Burnley, Lancashire, UK

      amazingly thorough and informative!

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image
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      Jill Spencer 4 years ago from United States

      @ ThelmaC-- Thank you, Miss Thelma! I love hollyhocks, too. --Jill

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 4 years ago

      Such a beautiful, professionally done hub with such gorgeous photos. You certainly deserve the HOTD. I love hollyhocks, I guess because they bring back such wonderful memories of my grandmother’s farm. I’ve tried to grow them from seed and failed miserably. I am glad to read your tips because I never knew about soaking the seeds. I just put them out. The last time I sowed them on the ground like they had fallen naturally, and it still didn’t work. Of course, the birds may have eaten them. I did have success from plants transplanted from my aunt’s farm, and they reseeded themselves for several years. I’ve bought some plants to try again this year. I’ve just been waiting for the freezing weather to go away, and then the rain started so now I’m waiting for a dry day. Voted you up+++.

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image
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      Jill Spencer 4 years ago from United States

      Hi Patricia! Like zinnia seeds, hollyhock seeds are really easy to germinate, so they're good ones to try, even if you're not feeling lucky. Hope you find some pretty ones to plant. Have a good one! Jill

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 4 years ago from sunny Florida

      Hi Jill

      I have not hadhuge success in grwoing plants from seeds but this sounds like something I can do

      These are such gorgeous plants ---I am in town today so will look for some seeds. Thanks for sharing..I always love stopping by as I know you have great ideas and helpful hints for me to know.

      Sending you many Angels this morning :) ps

    • ThelmaC profile image

      Thelma Raker Coffone 4 years ago from Blue Ridge Mountains, USA

      Great step by step instructions and beautiful pictures. I just love hollyhocks!

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image
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      Jill Spencer 4 years ago from United States

      Hi moonlake! You're going to have to bum some hollyhock seeds from all those folks you gave them to! You must have an ideal area for them. Appreciate your comments & votes. Thanks so much! --Jill

      Hi Roberta. Dividing is definitely the easiest--or should I say it provides the quickest, most visible results. Sorry to hear about your cat. Perhaps you can dedicate your bird-friendly garden to him; it would be the ideal hunting ground. Take care, Jill

      Heidi, really appreciate your comments. Thank you!

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image
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      Jill Spencer 4 years ago from United States

      Awesom, LeTotten! Good luck to you. I'm sure your hollyhocks will do well.

      Hi Stephanie! It's tough (make that impossible) to control nature, isn't it? Still, we gardeners try. I'm starting hollyhocks in a new area of the yard this year. (Wish me luck!) I really did snag lots of pink hollyhock seed last fall--more than enough to share!

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 4 years ago from Chicago Area

      Absolutely gorgeous photos! I like gardening, but don't have the time or ambition to do something like this right now. But glad to see I'll have this hub to refer to in the future. Nice job and congrats on Hub of the Day!

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey

      This is so helpful, answering my question on what to do now and how to plan for the future. Learned a lot here, but am especially glad to learn about dividing hollyhocks.

      Congratulations on your well-deserved Hub of the Day award and beaucoup thanks! :)

      Pinning to my Gardening: Flowers and Birds. Now that our cat is no longer with us I am adding more flowers that birds love.

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 4 years ago from America

      Great hub. I had a friend seed me some seeds and I did nothing to them just planted the seed in the garden when we put the vegetables in. They are still growing I think they're about 4 years old.

      I once had the double hollyhocks and I was always giving seeds away everyone wanted seeds, pretty soon my hollyhocks didn't come up. Thanks so much for sharing this information. Voted up and congratulations on HOTD.

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image

      Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA

      Congratulations on your Hub of the Day! Hollyhocks are some of my favorite old fashioned flowers and bring to mind my grandmother's garden and the beautiful hollyhocks that she grew. I have grown hollyhocks from seed, but mostly I've let them sow themselves, though you do lose control of what might come up next year. It would be great to gather seeds from some of the beautiful double hollyhocks that you showed in your photos! Loved your pictures! Voted up, useful and beautiful! Shared and pinned.

    • LeTotten profile image

      LeAnna Totten 4 years ago

      Great Hub! I am going to give this a try.

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image
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      Jill Spencer 4 years ago from United States

      Hi Athlyn! You must have had good, rich soil in Alberta! So often people confuse biennials and annuals w/herbaceous perennials, not realizing that the plants are re-seeding themselves. Not a big deal really, I guess, so long as the plants are healthy! Good to hear from you, Jill

      ComfortB, thank you! Presentation's everything, huh? Have a good one, Jill

      GlimmerTwinFan--Yep, it's that time of year! I'm going to plant our hollyhocks along the fence tomorrow. Good to hear from you & thanks, Jill

      Hi Giselle. Sounds like you're a green thumb! Sorry you didn't like the foliage. Sometimes it is rather ugly, but then ... hollyhocks are back-of-the-bed plants. I think there are some varieties with prettier, thinner leaves. Thanks for commenting & happy gardening! --Jill

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      Giselle Maine 4 years ago

      Great hub! I grew hollyhock from seed last year. I didn't actually know then about the water treatment you talked about, so I just put the seeds in the ground as is with a little potting mix and watered them daily. They did actually germinate, grow and flower. However, I personally didn't enjoy the look of the plant very much especially the leaves (although the flowers were stunning!). So I won't be growing them this season, but they were certainly interesting to grow. Thanks for writing a well-written and beautifully laid-out hub on how to grow these.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Congrats on your HOTD! I love this hub and it's perfect timing with everything warming up.

    • ComfortB profile image

      Comfort Babatola 4 years ago from Bonaire, GA, USA

      Beautiful, and very well detailed! You've done a very good job with this how-to hub. Congrats on the HOTD award.

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image
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      Jill Spencer 4 years ago from United States

      Thank you, purl3agony! Appreciate it.

      Rebecca, now's the time to plant 'em! Hope your hollyhocks do well this year. Have you noticed how much insects love to munch on them? But they're so big & beautiful, the damage is hardly noticeable. Take care, Jill

      Toytasting, a farmhouse sounds like the perfect spot for hollyhocks. Informal places are just their style. Thanks for your kind words! All the best, Jill

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      Athlyn Green 4 years ago from West Kootenays

      I love hollyhocks. Where we used to live in Alberta, they would self-seed so each year, we were treated to a display in our back yard. Wonderfully put together hub. FB and Tweeted.

    • Toytasting profile image

      Toy Tasting 4 years ago from Mumbai

      The Dirt Farmer, firstly congratulation on HOTD! Truly, well deserved. I love the pictures, your plant looks beautiful. Unfortunately in India we do not have big garden spaces outside our homes. Well, but your hub has inspired me to plant a Hollyhock in my farmhouse :) Thank you!

      Voted up and sharing!

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      How pretty these are. My grandmother use to grow hollyhock, I have not tried yet. This really has be itching to get ready for spring gardening. congratulations!

    • purl3agony profile image

      Donna Herron 4 years ago from USA

      Great hub, as always!! Congrats on your Hub of the Day!!!

    • Miss Mellie profile image

      M.S. Ross 4 years ago

      Ha! Inspiration breeds inspiration! ;)

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image
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      Jill Spencer 4 years ago from United States

      Hi Miss Mellie. It took me a year to write this hub after you mentioned in an email that I should do it. (I had to collect the seeds and the get pics.) I should really dedicated it you! Hope your hollyhocks are a success. If I were you, I'd buy a year-old plant first time, and try growing from seed later. All the best, Jill

    • Miss Mellie profile image

      M.S. Ross 4 years ago

      For years, I've wanted to plant Hollyhocks, but never got around to it. You have inspired me to get some in now! It's not a variety we see much out here where I live, so it'll be a somewhat unique accent for the front garden. Hm, might try placing some Sweet Peas in front of 'em too, as you suggest. Up, Useful, and following this hub!

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      Kathy Sima 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thanks for that info, Jill. Maybe I'll have to give them a try again this year!

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image
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      Jill Spencer 4 years ago from United States

      Hey Glimmer Twin Fan! Hope you do enjoy growing hollyhocks. Start them inside about mid-March. It's nice to see a bit of green early! Take care, Jill

      Hi SavingKathy! Rust was more of a problem with old varieties of hollyhock. These new biennial ones are fairly rust resistant. There's a similar plant, a lemon yellow A. ficifolia (Siberian hollyhock) that's more impervious to rust that A. rosea. Take it easy! --Jill

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      Kathy Sima 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Great hub! I love hollyhocks, but I haven`t grown them for a few years as I kept having a rust problem with them that destroyed the leaves and made the plants look awful. Do you have any suggestions for avoiding rust with hollyhocks?

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      With our mini ice storm going on right now this is a lovely break. Such beautiful photos Jill. Hollyhocks are so lovely, but it is one plant I have never tried growing. This has inspired me. Great hub!

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image
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      Jill Spencer 4 years ago from United States

      Hi Pavlo! Although some types of hollyhocks have more interesting foliage, none of it's really pretty, at least to me. You definitely grow hollyhock for the spires of blossoms. Nice to hear from you! Take care, Jill

    • Pavlo Badovskyy profile image

      Pavlo Badovskyi 4 years ago from Kyiv, Ukraine

      I like its flowers, but as a plant it looks a little bit specific (at least to me:-). Of course flowers are terrific at full blossom. Interestig hub!

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image
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      Jill Spencer 4 years ago from United States

      You can do it, Nell! Hollyhocks would be lovely behind some sweetpeas.

      Hey aviannovice. You're wise to wait, but ... it must be killing you! Of course, you probably have some great garden plans. Glad they include hollyhocks. They're real beauties!

      Thanks for commenting! --Jill

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Fantastic, Jill. I'd love to save this and get some seeds when I have properly cultivated and enriched the soil here, most likely another year.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

      Hi, this is such a useful hub, I am totally useless at growing any plants, so to have great info like this is brilliant. I love Hollyhocks they are so beautiful. I have tried planting sweetpeas over the last couple of years, and fingers crossed they came out great, so I may just branch out and have a go, voted up! nell

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