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A few seeds and a couple of warm weeks, in the bed or in the house. That's all it takes for young hollyhocks to grow up. There are several time periods for sowing hollyhocks.

In a nutshell

  • prefer indoors from February or March, then hollyhocks often bloom in the year of sowing
  • fill one pot per seed with potting soil, keep moist, keep warm and sunny, plant out from mid-May
  • Direct sowing is possible from April to September in a sunny, wind-protected location with permeable and nutrient-rich soil
  • Sowing depth is 1-2 cm, the distance for direct sowing or planting out is 40 to 60 cm
  • Seeds can be collected from your own plants or bought in stores

Direct sowing in the bed or pot sowing?

Hollyhocks, scientifically Alcea, can easily be sown directly in the garden. However, it is also possible to prefer hollyhocks indoors. In order to find the ideal time for sowing, you must first make this fundamental decision. The following points can be decisive:

  • hollyhocks that are brought forward can already flower in the year of sowing
  • directly sown hollyhocks are more resilient
  • however, they do not bloom until the second year

time for advancement

If you sow hollyhocks indoors, the young plants must be big enough by the time of the ice saints to be planted out in the garden. Only then is the danger of frost banned. Because even if hollyhocks are hardy in themselves, this does not yet apply to the plants freshly grown in the house. Therefore, pulling and planting out very early makes no sense. The month of February is considered the ideal time for sowing seeds indoors. March also offers a good growth lead.

Time for direct sowing

If you sow hollyhocks in the bed, you can generally do so between April and September. Whereby the high summer with its heat is not so optimal. The period for direct sowing is divided into two optimal time windows:

  • from April to mid-June
  • sow in harsh areas after the ice saints
  • from mid-August to late September

Tip: Dry and slightly overcast days are ideal for sowing. Rain can wash away the light seeds, while strong sun quickly dries out the soil.

Find an outdoor location

Hollyhocks form long taproots and should not be transplanted. They are sown where they will later stand and flower. That is why it is important to choose the right place so that it is also suitable for the next year.

  • as sunny as possible
  • Half shade still acceptable, avoid full shade
  • good is the proximity to walls or fences
  • North walls, however, are taboo

Tip: Since hollyhocks can grow up to 2 m high, it is advisable to look for a place that is sheltered from the wind. If one is not available, you should at least support the plants early enough so that the flower stalks do not snap off.

The floor

The soil at the location where you sow hollyhocks or plant early hollyhocks must not tend to waterlogging, otherwise these mallow plants will suffer from so-called mallow rust. Impermeable soil must be dug up before sowing and loosened up with coarse sand or gravel. If there is a lack of nutrients that plentiful flowering hollyhocks cannot do without, compost must also be added. Ideally, you should carry out this preparatory work a month before sowing and then leave the bed to rest.

Tip: Loosen up the bed deeply and remove larger stones so that the deep roots of the hollyhocks can grow unhindered.

Substrate for pot sowing

The ideal substrate for pot sowing is the well-known and proven potting soil. It promotes germination and early growth of the seedlings. The hollyhocks only stay in the pot for a short time anyway. After that, they are expected in the garden by a nutrient-rich soil. If roots are sticking out of the pot holes in the meantime, you can transplant the young plants into a larger pot with potting soil.

Sowing in the bed

This is how you should sow hollyhocks whose seeds are dark germs:

  • moisten soil
  • Put seeds on the ground
  • Maintain a distance of 40 to 60 cm
  • Cover 2-3 cm with soil
  • Keep soil slightly moist throughout

After about three weeks, the young hollyhocks will be visible.

Notice: If you have sown seeds too densely, you should thin them out early. Leave only the strongest specimens. This also applies if a hollyhock has seeded itself.

Sowing in the pot

  1. Fill a pot with potting soil for each future hollyhock.
  2. Put a seed about 2-3 cm deep in the substrate.
  3. Moisten the soil and continue to keep it evenly moist.
  4. Place the pots in a warm and sunny spot in the house.

frequently asked Questions

Where can I get seeds for sowing?

You can harvest seeds from your own plants in the fall or buy them commercially. Wherever various seeds are usually offered. If you would like to sow rather rare hollyhocks, you will certainly find what you are looking for in an online shop or a well-stocked garden center.

Which is better, direct sowing or preferring?

Whenever you can be patient, no-till is a better choice. The plants become stronger and more resilient. Although flowering does not take place until the following year, it leaves nothing to be desired.

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