Any garden is suitable for planting hollyhocks. Here you will learn everything you need to know to grow and care for the colorful mallow plants.
The hollyhock is also called the peasant rose. As the name suggests, it fits well in cottage gardens. Hollyhocks are biennial plants that self-seed. So if you take good care of the plants, the flowers will stay with you longer.
You can use hollyhocks in a variety of ways – for example, to plant on walls or as a pretty privacy screen. To plant hollyhocks, there are just a few things to keep in mind.
Planting hollyhocks: The perfect location
When you plant hollyhocks, you should make sure that the location is as sunny and warm as possible. A bed against a wall or house façade is particularly suitable, as the plants like to be protected from the wind.
Here you can find out how to choose the perfect location for your hollyhocks:
- Always plant hollyhocks on a south-facing wall. Here the plants get plenty of sun. A wall facing north, on the other hand, is less suitable as a location for hollyhocks.
- In windy conditions, hollyhocks can quickly bend over. Therefore, you should always plant them as protected from the wind as possible. Alternatively, you can also attach them to a plant stick.
- Avoid waterlogging. If you plant the hollyhocks in a substrate that is too wet, the plant can quickly become moldy or suffer from mallow rust. To loosen the soil a bit, you can simply mix in some gravel or sand. Because hollyhocks need fertile soil, you should always mix in some compost.
Tip: You want to combine hollyhocks with other summer flowers? Then plant them next to lupines, daisies and delphiniums, because they are best suited as neighboring plants.
Planting hollyhocks: how to sow them correctly
If you want to plant hollyhocks, it is best to use organic seeds. You can find hollyhock seeds in any garden center or hardware store. You can simply sow them directly in the bed, where they will overwinter and reproduce themselves.
- Do not scatter the seeds too closely. Hollyhocks grow best in loose rows and groups. A small spacing of about 40 centimeters is important so that the individual plants grow as vigorously as possible and rainwater can evaporate from the leaves.
- The best time for sowing is in late summer. Loosen the soil a little beforehand and press a small depression into the soil. Before that you should make sure that the bed is free of weeds. This will make it easier for the hollyhocks to plant and germinate.
- Do not forget to tamp down the soil. Sprinkle the seeds into the hollow and then heap some soil over it, which you tamp down with a small shovel. This will help the roots take hold more quickly later.
- Water carefully. Especially in the beginning, be careful not to wash away the seeds. Keep the soil moist at all times.
- In warm weather, hollyhocks will germinate after about two weeks.
Proper care for hollyhocks
Once you plant hollyhocks, they will self-propagate. If you want to better control self-seeding, you should consider pruning. Otherwise, however, hollyhocks need relatively little care.
- Prune hollyhocks: The longer a hollyhock grows and blooms, the more its floriferousness will eventually diminish. It is best to cut back the flowered plants and collect the seeds from the flowers. You can then use these as seeds for new plants and thus plant new hollyhocks again and again.
- Sufficient water: Especially in summer you should water the hollyhocks regularly. If you want to prevent the soil from drying out too quickly in hot weather, you can spread a layer of mulch over the soil.
- Prevent self-seeding: If you don’t want hollyhocks to spread their seeds on their own, you can simply cut off the dry flowers after they’ve finished blooming. By doing so, you can even encourage the plant to bloom again in the spring.
- Wintering: As a rule, hollyhocks do not need any special winter protection. If you still want to support the plant during the cold season, you can cover it with some autumn leaves or brushwood.