Hollyhocks are a typical cottage garden plant and produce hundreds of large flowers that are super popular with pollinators. Better yet, they’re incredibly easy to grow and are an attractive solution for balcony privacy.
So, here’s what you need to know to grow hollyhocks on your balcony.
Hollyhocks grow in USDA Hardiness Zones 3-8, making them a versatile plant suited to most climates. They can grow up to 6ft. tall in the right conditions, although you’ll need to stake them for support.
The flowers come in all the colors you could want, ranging from standards like red and yellow to black. Importantly, hollyhocks are non-toxic, so are fine to grow if you have pets or kids.
Hollyhocks come in single and double flower varieties. All this means is that the flower stems either grow buds in pairs or individually. However, there is some variety in the style of flowers they grow, so make sure you check both kinds out.
Important Things to Know
Sunlight: Full sun with shelter from the wind
Grow in pots: Yes – as large as possible. Ideally, they should go in flowerbeds
Grow indoors: No
Soil type: Well-draining
When to plant: Spring after the last frost or directly in the ground around May or June
Hollyhocks are easiest grown from seed, which you can pick up in gardening stores. Alternatively, you can buy plug plants, which you should grow in a 4-inch pot until the root system is established.
- Fill your nursery pots with soil and put in either a few seeds or the plug plant. Cover with soil and spritz with water.
- Keep moist until the seeds germinate. Grow indoors in a warm and sunny spot.
- After about a month, you can transfer to larger pots and move outdoors.
- As the stems grow taller, you’ll need to support them with bamboo canes and gardening twine.
Hollyhocks work best towards the back of a planter due to their height and striking colors. You could try growing them against a wall or balcony railing, which you could then use to support the tall stems in late summer.
Maintenance and Care
You won’t need to fertilize hollyhocks because they don’t take much care. Water once a week or so, perhaps more during hot weather.
Prune off flower stems after the seed heads have burst and then cut back the plant in fall once it’s died back. If you’re careful, you could keep the seeds for next year!
Hollyhocks are perennials, so you should move the pots somewhere sheltered over winter and ensure the roots still get some water. If cared for properly, the plant should sprout again in spring.
Final Thoughts on Hollyhocks
Spend some time shopping around for hollyhock colors, as there are plenty available. You should be able to find a variety that complements your balcony décor and color scheme with little difficulty!