Plant With Maya


Zones: 3-8     Height: 6 – 8 feet tall    Exposure:  Full Sun

One of the favorites in my cottage garden are the classic hollyhock (Alcea Rosea) flowers.  Hollyhocks are not only beautiful but they also provide the vertical element in the garden.  With different varieties of colors, the single or double bloom flowers cover the tall spikes from the top to bottom of the stem, towering above everything in the garden.  

Once the hollyhocks are well established in the garden, these plants require little maintenance at all.  The stalks can be cut down once all the flowers are done for the season or alternatively let the seeds drop naturally to reseed.

Hollyhocks are part of the ecosystem in the pollinator-friendly garden as they attract bees, butterflies and hummingbirds.  A cottage garden is not complete without hollyhocks.


Most varieties of hollyhocks are biennial, meaning that its lifespan will only last for two to three years.  In my experience, it may take 2-3 years before the plant blooms from seeds.  Thus, it’s important to let it reseed for continuous planting.

Here is the planting instruction that I learned throughout the trial and error of starting hollyhocks from seeds.

  • It is best to soak the seeds before sowing them, especially if you have the seeds stored for a long time prior to sowing.
  • Soak with warm water for at least an hour to 12 hours. I have also tried soaking the seeds overnight prior to sowing.
  • Seeds can be started in spring either indoors or outdoors, however, I find it best to start the seeds when the weather starts warming up in early summer. The warm temperature will help the seeds germinate.
  • I used a 10 x 10 seed tray with holes to sow the seeds in with a well-drained soil mixture of potting soil and perlite.
  • Water the soil thoroughly before sowing the seeds about ½ an inch deep and cover them lightly with soil.
  • Water the seed tray every day during the warm/hot weather and do not let it dry out.
  • Once the seeds sprout and get to about an inch or so in height I transfer them carefully to individual pots until they are ready to be planted in the ground.
  • Place the transplanted seedlings in a sunny location.
  • Keep the plants well-watered, not letting the soil dry out.

NOTE: Others suggest sowing the seeds outdoor in the Fall; however, I find it difficult for the seeds to germinate this way because hollyhock seeds need light in order to germinate. I have been successful germinating seeds during the warm weather and have the roots established before the winter and will likely produce flowers in the first growing season.

Maya Henderson

Maya Henderson

This Blog is about finding and being with a community of plant people with the same mindset, who live, breath, and dream of plants and are happy to share our love and passion with one another.



    Thank you so much. I used to have different colors. Thank you for the good info. I love all flowers to me they are like sunshine from God. I have a friend that send me flowers everyday on fb

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