I have many and wish they would more easily self propogate. The old-fashioned hollyhocks are hardy perennials but they are short-lived. The leaves are large at the base of the plant with a shape resembling a heart. Hollyhocks (Alcea rosea) belong to the mallow family. Hollyhocks only live for two or three years but are masters of reseeding themselves. I live in a 7B-8A climate so pretty perfect if they were going to easily propigate. 28. Hollyhocks (Alcea rosea) tower majestically at the back of a flowerbed on 4- to 5-foot stalks that bear 3- to 6-inch flowers in shades of white to pink to purple, and even yellow hues. Hollyhocks are traditionally planted in large clusters and left to spread on their own, which they will readily do. Excessive humidity or dampness encourages the spread of hollyhock rust among the plants. Ferns, on the other hand, spread via spores but they do so most sparingly. They form foliage the first year and don't produce flowers until the second year. Hollyhock mallow can reach 4 feet in height with a spread of about 1 foot. These stately towers of flowers bloom for a long time in summer in a wide variety of colors. Hollyhocks are the epitome of cottage garden plants. This means that the flowers shrivel up and turn brown. Allow the remaining spent flowers to go to seed. Chances are you’ve seen them alongside a barn, in front of a cute cottage-style house, or gracing the front of a white picket fence. Each flower lasts only a few days, but the season of bloom can be from four weeks to three months long. Reply. I think they may not bloom as well if you fertilize them or over water? Fortunately, even if plants of rust-resistant hollyhocks are rarely seen in garden centers, seeds of the “good hollyhocks” are commonly available in seed catalogs, both printed and virtual. The easiest way to propagate hollyhocks is from seed. Table Of ContentsBasic Facts about HollyhockHow This old-fashioned pass-along plant has absolutely caught the hearts of many. In my yard, the hollyhocks that do best are on a north-facing wall. The botanical name comes from the Latin word "altheo," which means "to cure," because some hollyhocks have medicinal properties. If you want to control the spread of the plants deadhead some of the spent flowers. Hollyhocks do best with morning or filtered afternoon sun. Short-lived, yet beautiful and impressive, hollyhocks are one of the easiest flowers you can grow. I do have a recipe for spray to keep the rust off but in NM the air is so dry and since I cut them back I don't use it! Not only do they spread rapidly, but they are not high maintenance at all! They’re offering you a pre-diseased plant! They are also usually planted as a backdrop to other lower growing flowers so may be against a fence. CapCarl says. 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