Hollyhock Flowers (Alcea): Types, How to Grow and Care

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Short-lived, yet beautiful and impressive, hollyhocks are one of the easiest flowers you can grow. Not only do they spread rapidly, but they are not high maintenance at all!

This type of flower comes in a wide range of colors: pink, yellow, white, and even crimson. 

peach and red hollyhocks

Continue reading this article and discover everything you need to know about growing hollyhocks.

Basic Facts about Hollyhock

dark pink hollyhock
  • Hollyhocks are native to the Asian continent, however, nowadays it is perfectly normal to see them being cultivated all over the world!
  • Its scientific name is Alcea rosea, and they belong to the Malvaceae family of plants.
  • Although most hollyhocks are perennials, albeit the short-lived type, some hollyhocks fall into a biennial category of flowers.

How to Care for Hollyhocks

pink hollyhock

Many gardeners and enthusiasts alike ask themselves how to grow and care for hollyhocks. Follow these tips, and you will grow hollyhocks successfully.

How to Grow Hollyhock Plants

light pink hollyhocks

The good news is that hollyhocks are easy to grow flowers. They do have some specific requirements, but if the right growing conditions are met, these flowers will reseed themselves for years to come!

Hollyhocks need moist soil. They can be directly grown outdoors, a week or two before the last frost of the region, or you can start some seedlings at least three weeks before the last frost.

However, if you are following the second way, you should wait a week after the last frost to sow the seedlings outdoors!

All hollyhocks should be at least 2 feet apart from one another; this way they will all grow healthily, especially in zones 3-8.

yellow hollyhock

Propagating Hollyhocks

Hollyhocks are self-seeding; this means that they will release some fertilized seeds into the soil, right before they die. Depending on the variety, some hollyhocks will release the seeds during the second year of life, that is why they are called biennial flowers.

On the other hand, other varieties of hollyhocks will only reseed themselves after the third year of life.

Fertilizer and Mulch

hollyhock bud with insect

Hollyhocks do not need fertilizers, but they do need mulch! In fact, you could easily cut all the already faded flowers and leave them on the soil and use them as mulch. 

Temperature Needs

white hollyhocks

Hollyhocks need to be placed in sunny locations. The most important thing to remember is that they need well-drained and rich soil.

In fact, the soil should be amended before sowing hollyhocks. This could be easily done by adding a layer or two of mulch or compost. Ideally, you would place this at the beginning of spring.

Watering Requirements

hollyhock with dewdrops

Hollyhocks need water, but it would be best to avoid overwatering them as this could make them rot.

If you live in an area where there are long periods of drought, then it is advisable to water them every other day, depending on their location.

Light Requirements

pink hollyhock flowers

As stated previously, hollyhocks love the sun, full sun! However, the dwarf varieties of this plant should be placed in partial shade.

Many new gardeners will think that their hollyhocks have died because they look brown and dried during their first year. This is a normal behavior of hollyhocks, as they will tend to go like this during that time.

It is advisable to trim these areas and let them on the ground as mulch. Then, during the second and third years, these same hollyhocks will resurface healthier than ever before!

Types of Hollyhocks Flowers

There are several varieties of hollyhocks:

Alcea rosea

alcea rosea

This type of hollyhock is the most common one. This flower will bloom from the end of spring until late summer. They will grow up until 8 feet in height, and they come in yellow, white, pink, purple, and red.

Alcea rosea flowers will reseed themselves every year, which is great news for pollinators who come after their nectar year after year. 

Chater’s Double

chaters double hollyhock

These hollyhocks are versatile! They come in red, white, dark purple, and pink. They are very romantic as well and will look great if placed at the back, behind other colorful and shorter flowers.

As its name suggests, all double hollyhocks have double flowers that are very frilly. The most important aspect is that they will self-seed during consequent years, and they will do so for at least another three years.


icicle hollyhock

This doubled-petal flower has striking white flowers that will make any garden look incredible! They will grow up to 5 feet tall and are slightly scented.

Halo Blush

halo blush hollyhock

As its name suggests, this variety of hollyhock has a strong fuchsia halo right at the center of the flower. These flowers are either pink, yellow, or white.

Peaches and Dreams

peaches and dreams hollyhock

The peach variety sometimes has double petals. They are not as common as other types of hollyhocks, and this makes them extra special!


blacknight hollyhock

These are the darkest types of hollyhocks in nature! They will look elegant in any garden. Although its name suggests the color of this flower to be black, in reality, it is a very dark purple.

Majorette Mix

This is a dwarf hollyhocks’ variety. Their size is an advantage because this means they will usually bloom within the first year of sowing. The Majorette mix comes in orange, pink, yellow, white, or red. They will only grow up to 2 feet tall, and sometimes they will have double petals as well.

Crème De Cassis

This stunning hollyhock will sure catch everyone’s attention! They have two-colored petals, which are usually pink and white, pink and yellow, purple and white, or purple and yellow. They will grow up to 4 feet in height.


The Scarlet hollyhock has dark-colored petals. They can grow up to 5 feet in height, and they will grow even in the most difficult place, as they tend to create vines that allow them to make their own path. 


Here are some of the most asked questions about hollyhocks:


Hollyhocks are one of those flowers that everybody loves! Not only are they pretty to see, but they can provide shade as well, especially if they are left unattended and have formed vines.

In addition, hollyhocks are good for the garden and the environment, as they also welcome many pollinators that need the flower’s nectar to survive.

Hollyhocks are great for making a flower screen, especially when there are places that need a ‘’natural curtain’’ or screen. This type of flower is very easy to maintain once you get the hack of it, and they will resist even the hardest of climate conditions!

Don’t forget to explore our blog for more flowers you can plant.

Up next: Hollyhock Flower Meaning and Symbolism

*Image by aimful/depositphotos

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