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Hollyhock: Everything You Should Know Before Planting
How To Use
Hollyhocks can grow up to nine feet, so they are often used as backdrop flowers in order to not command all the attention in the garden. You can plant them in groups with other hollyhocks or companion flowers like clematis, black-eyed-Susan, sweet William, and roses.
How To Grow
As the plants need moist, well-draining soil, the main mistake that first-time hollyhock growers make is to plant the seeds or plants in soil that's too dry. You should space the plants about two feet apart and remember that hollyhocks are biennials, so you may not see flowers until the second year.
How To Care
Hollyhocks do best in full, direct sun, though some varieties can handle partial shade. While they should be watered regularly when starting out, the plants won’t need much water when established — in fact, splashing water on the leaves can cause leaf disease, so only water the base of an established plant.
Hollyhocks come in approximately 60 varieties with a rainbow of color options, single or double flowers, and shorter or taller stalks. These include the black-flowered Blacknight, the pink Majorette, Halo Series, Indian Spring, and the dwarf variety Queeny Purple.
Is It Toxic?
Hollyhocks are non-toxic for people and pets, but both humans and animals may experience some discomfort if their skin brushes up against the stalk or leaves. A common problem with hollyhocks is rust, a type of fungal infection, so it’s important to keep good air circulation amongst the plants.