This humble mallow flower was known for decades as the flower that showed visitors where the outhouse was. It grows 6 to 9 feet tall, helping to show the way.
|Our Seed-started hollyhocks|
Summer Carnival, a lovely, double, pink hollyhock, has been around a long time. Gardens Ablaze has a nice article about them here.
Swallowtail Gardens has a large selection of colors and varieties. They could be started now in garden beds or in pots and allowed to grow their leaf clusters this summer. Next year they will shoot up and flower.
|Summer Carnival Hollyhocks - Jung Seeds|
These easy-to-grow lovelies get rust, mold, caterpillar damage, and a few other diseases and bugs, but, we grow them every year anyway. The problems can be minimized by planting them in full sun with air circulation all around the plant - which means not grouping them together in large plantings.
Hollyhocks re-seed themselves so once you get a few going, they will be around for decades, leading some people to think of them as perennial.
They will re-seed and re-seed, so if you want just a few, you have to be diligent about removing the extras or cut down the stalks before they throw seed. You can always give the extra baby plants to gardener friends.
Check out this list of questions and answers for fascinating queries and tips about hollyhocks. The author is extension agent and horticulturist Ron Smith at NDSU. Someone said that the roots made their dogs sick when they ate them.
If you want to save seeds from your plants, after they flower, Wintersown explains everything you need to know.
Great for the back of the bed, along a fence, as a specimin in the middle of a cottage garden or around your outhouse.