How to grow hollyhocks - hollyhocks growing at the back of a border

Best hollyhocks to grow

Love hollyhocks? We've picked 10 of our favourites to grow.

Hollyhocks are cottage garden stalwarts, with tall spires bearing distinctive, slightly cupped flowers that open in sequence up the stem.

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Although hollyhocks (botanical name Alcea) are short-lived perennials, they’re more often grown as biennials to avoid the worst of the fungal disease hollyhock rust, which appears as brown-orange spots covering the stems and leaf undersides. To reduce likelihood of your hollyhocks succumbing to the disease, ensure they have plenty of water and are grown in a rich, moisture-retentive soil. Alternatively, grow rust-resistant hollyhocks like those in the ‘Halo’ series.

As well as cottage gardens, hollyhocks also suit wildflower and wildlife gardens – those with single blooms are attractive to bees and other pollinators.

More on growing hollyhocks:

Browse our pick of beautiful hollyhocks to grow, below.


1

Hollyhock ‘Sunshine’

10 hollyhocks to grow - hollyhock 'Sunshine'
10 hollyhocks to grow – hollyhock ‘Sunshine’

This single-flowered cultivar has fresh, pale-yellow flowers. ‘Sunshine’ is part of the ‘Spotlight’ series, which are characterised by their single flowers held on tall, sturdy stems. It’s a good choice for growing as a perennial, as it will reliably regrow each year.

Height x Spread: 1.8m x 50cm


2

Hollyhock ‘Peaches ‘n’ Dreams’

10 hollyhocks to grow - hollyhock 'Peaches 'n' Dreams'
10 hollyhocks to grow – hollyhock ‘Peaches ‘n’ Dreams’

‘Peaches ‘n’ Dreams’ is a double-flowered hollyhock with balled blooms largely made up of ruffled, peach-pink petals. Bear in mind that this double-flowered variety doesn’t provide nectar and pollen for pollinators.

H x S: 1.8m x 60cm


3

Hollyhock ‘Creme de Cassis’

10 hollyhocks to grow - hollyhock 'Creme de Cassis'
10 hollyhocks to grow – hollyhock ‘Creme de Cassis’

With bi-coloured mauve and cardinal purple, ‘Creme de Cassis’ makes a spectacular addition to summer beds and borders. Interestingly, each plant will bear a mix of single, double and semi-double flowers.

H x S: 1.8m x 60cm


4

Hollyhock ‘Blacknight’

10 hollyhocks to grow - 'Blacknight'
10 hollyhocks to grow – ‘Blacknight’

Like ‘Sunshine’, ‘Blacknight’ is part of the ‘Spotlight’ series. It has sumptuous, very dark purple flowers that have a lovely, silky appearance. Great as a focal point in borders, or planted with contrasting plants.

H x S: 2m x 50cm


5

Hollyhock ‘Halo Red’

10 hollyhocks to grow - 'Halo Red'
10 hollyhocks to grow – ‘Halo Red’

‘Halo Red’ is part of the ‘Halo’ series of hollyhocks, known for their beautiful, bi-coloured flowers and resistance to rust. It has single, raspberry-coloured flowers with warm yellow centres.

H x S: 1.8m x 50cm


6

Hollyhock ‘Halo Apricot’

10 hollyhocks to grow - 'Halo Apricot'
10 hollyhocks to grow – ‘Halo Apricot’

Another member of the ‘Halo’ series, ‘Halo Apricot’ has dusky pink blooms with dark purple centres punctuated by a creamy central column of fused stamens that surround a central pistil.

H x S: 1.8m x 50cm


7

Hollyhock ‘Halo Lavender’

10 hollyhocks to grow - 'Halo Lavender'
10 hollyhocks to grow – ‘Halo Lavender’

Despite the name, the flowers of ‘Halo Lavender’ are a richer, deeper purple than lavender flowers, though no less beautiful. Warm pink centres provide subtle contrast.

H x S: 1.8m x 50cm


8

Hollyhock ‘The Bride’

10 hollyhocks to grow - 'The Bride'
10 hollyhocks to grow – ‘The Bride’

With pure white, double flowers, this variety is fittingly named ‘The Bride’. The petals have an attractive, crinkled appearance like crepe paper. bear in mind that pollinators won’t be access the pollen and nectar from these flowers.

H x S: 2m x 60cm


9

Hollyhock ‘O Hara’

10 hollyhocks to grow - 'O Hara'
10 hollyhocks to grow – ‘O Hara’

This double variety of hollyhock has rich crimson flowers with a broad saucer of outer petals, studded in the centre with a pompon-shaped arrangement of petals. It gets its name from Gone with the Wind‘s Scarlett O’Hara.

H x S: 180cm x 60cm


10

Hollyhock ‘Banana’

10 hollyhocks to grow – hollyhock ‘Banana’
10 hollyhocks to grow – hollyhock ‘Banana’

‘Banana’ is a double-flowered hollyhock, bearing masses of fully double, pale yellow blooms, on tall stems. Flowers may be spoiled by wind and rain, so choose a sheltered spot if possible.

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H x S: 2m x 60cm

Spotted hollyhock rust?

If you’ve spotted the telltale spotty pustules of hollyhock rust on your plants, remove the infected leaves and burn immediately to destroy the spores. Clear away and burn old foliage in autumn to reduce the amount of spores overwintering. If the stems are bare or unsightly, disguise them in the border by planting around them.

Watering can