Anyone in USDA Zones 3 – 10 can enjoy most species of hollyhocks. Plants need full sun, average soil (no feeding is required), and staking where winds are high. If they are happy, hollyhocks will dependably self-sow; seedlings can then be transplanted to new locations for bloom the following year.
Spots on hollyhock leaves – Keep a clean garden. Leaf spot and hollyhock rust are caused by fungi that overwinter in the soil. In late autumn, cut back plants and burn or dispose of all foliage (don’t add it to the compost pile). When watering your plants, avoid splashing the leaves.
Hollyhocks least susceptible to rust – Look for ‘Fig’ Leaf or ‘Antwerp’ Hollyhock if you are troubled by unsightly foliage. The perennial strain ‘Antwerp Mixed’ has single flowers in pastel shades. This charming six-to eight-footer flourishes in well-drained soil. Consider also ‘Summer Carnival’, a biennial strain that blooms its first year.
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