How to Grow Hollyhocks in Atlanta (and Harvest Their Seeds)

Updated on April 24, 2019
mgeorge1050 profile image

Alan is a veteran of the US Air Force, a master electrician, and a long-time hobby farmer.

A big, red hollyhock thrives in Atlanta. The mild winters of the city provide an optimal climate for this hardy plant with beautiful blooms.
A big, red hollyhock thrives in Atlanta. The mild winters of the city provide an optimal climate for this hardy plant with beautiful blooms.

Hollyhocks feel right at home here in the Atlanta area. Just a few hollyhocks can add an amazing vertical presence to any space in your garden. Our mild winters allow this hardy plant to maintain an impressive vegetative growth year round. Although cold nights can bite back your hollyhocks, a few warm afternoons will have them bouncing right back. Hollyhocks are as resilient as they are beautiful.

The foliage consists of rough, broad leaves. A full-sun location helps to encourage more robust stalks, which are covered with clusters of flowers each summer.

Although most hollyhocks are short-lived perennials, self-seeding is quite common. This self-seeding results in a never-ending supply of gorgeous flowers. The seeds appear in large clusters after blooms wilt away. They are easily harvested for expanding your existing hollyhock patch and sharing with friends.

How to Grow Hollyhocks

Hollyhocks start easily when planted directly in garden soil. Early spring planting is recommended, with blooms appearing the following year. Once planted, keep the seeds well watered.

When new plants reach 12 inches in height, thin to one cluster every two feet. This thinning provides room for blooming stalks to spread out, giving them access to more sunlight. Adding some fertilizer and mulch will also help the roots to improve over the winter, building a good foundation for some amazing blooms next year.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Small hollyhocks started from seeds.A healthy hollyhock leaf.
Small hollyhocks started from seeds.
Small hollyhocks started from seeds.
A healthy hollyhock leaf.
A healthy hollyhock leaf.

How to Stake and Prune Hollyhocks

When placed in a full sun location and watered well, hollyhocks tend to grow straight up with no pruning. While it is tempting to produce some 12-feet-tall giant flower stalks, hollyhocks seem to do better with some light pruning.

In mid- to late-spring, a strong vegetative growth will begin in preparation for summer blooms. During this vegetative cycle, the stalks should be pruned regularly to maintain a height of 4 to 6 feet. This ensures that during the blooming cycle the stalks will not be too slender. Tall, slender stalks will start to fall over soon after blooming begins, as they become loaded with flowers.

Of course, tall stalks can be tied or "staked up" to prevent falling over if the situation presents itself. To stake up individual plants, just drive a tall stake next to the stalk and tie the plant to it. To stake up several plants, or a patch of hollyhocks, the method is a bit different. Drive a tall stake at each corner of the flower patch. Using your favorite garden twine, or yarn, tie supports from stake to stake. Add more twine where needed until all of the plants are supported.

A big patch of yellow hollyhocks.
A big patch of yellow hollyhocks.

Harvest Hundreds of Seeds Every Year

While hollyhocks produce large amounts of beautiful flowers, they also produce even larger amounts of seeds. Every flower that blooms will leave behind a large seed pod filled with big, flat seeds. These seed pods are easily recognized and harvested. After harvesting, pods may be dried by placing them in a basket or on a mesh screen out of the weather for a couple of weeks.

In no time, you will have hundreds of seeds. It is always a great mystery wondering what next year's flowers will look like. Depending on their pollination, the seeds often produce a variety of colors.

These seeds are great for starting new hollyhocks in your own garden, sharing with friends and family, and trading. There are groups out there that trade seeds collected from their respective gardens each year. A bag full of hollyhock seeds could be a great way to trade around with like-minded gardeners for a unique variety of free seeds!

What About Heirloom Hollyhocks?

Heirloom hollyhocks come from some of the older original stock with blooms of only a single color. Most modern hollyhock varieties come in a wide range of colors, from bright to pastel. The heirloom flowers are generally a very dark, rich, deep color. There are a few heirloom varieties, with the most popular being crimson and black. Clusters of black flowers in full bloom on an heirloom hollyhock are enough to stop anyone in their tracks.

These heirloom varieties were a little hard to find only 10 years ago. Now, I am happy to say that many heirloom varieties are making a comeback. Some stores specialize in heirloom seeds, and this is probably a great place to start.

Heirloom varieties are classic favorites with some different advantages. Many of these exhibit very favorable characteristics such as unique colors, shapes, and flavor profiles. Some are naturally disease-resistant or drought-tolerant. There is a reason these particular varieties were passed down through families, from generation-to-generation. If you are looking for something a little different, heirloom hollyhocks could be right for your garden.

Do you plan to grow hollyhocks after reading this article?

See results

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2009 Alan

Let me know what you think!

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Soraya Y profile image

      Soraya Y 

      6 years ago from Atlanta

      Beautiful article and yes you are totally right about hollyhocks in Atlanta.

    • avorodisa profile image

      Anna Sidorova 

      6 years ago from Russia

      I live in Russia, near Moscow, and they grow hollyhocks here, too. That's interesting how plants can travel around the world.

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 

      6 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      Oh, thanks! very pretty Hollyhocks. I had them mixed up with Rose of Sharon. Thanks for straightening me out on that!

    • Levertis Steele profile image

      Levertis Steele 

      6 years ago from Southern Clime


      My mom raised nearly every flower I have seen or heard of, and she had the greenest thumb in our community. She read a lot and experimented with many things. Hardly anything she attempted failed. Her gardens and beds were conversation pieces among neighbors and other passersby. Spreading her beautiful harvests through sharing was a joy that she cherished for many years. Among her bounty were hollyhocks of several colors. She would have been thrilled to have had the black one.

      Now that she has dementia and is unable to walk, she still thinks that her gardens are thriving beautifully. Well, they really are still fancy in her mind, and we do not take that away from her.

      Your beautiful flowers and hub sent me down memory lane. I enjoyed stopping by.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 

      6 years ago from the beautiful south

      I love hollyhock and I have bought all kinds of seed of the heirloom, I am so sorry to hear I won't get flowers this year? How about a plant from the nursery? Same thing?


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)