These spectacular perennials regularly reach 8 feet—and taller!
1 of 6Photo: Ralph Lee Anderson
Light: Full sun
Soil: Moist, fertile, well drained
Fertilize: In spring and summer
2 of 6Photo: Ralph Lee Anderson
Hollyhocks, unlike most perennials, don't have varieties. They're typically sold in a seed mix of assorted colors, so you don't know what you're going to get until they bloom.
3 of 6Photo: Ralph Lee Anderson
Weed out any unwelcome colors by pulling up the spikes before they set seed.
4 of 6Photo: Ralph Lee Anderson
When They Will Bloom
Started from seed in spring, the plants grow only foliage the first year and then bloom in spring and summer after that. If you purchase a one-year-old plant in a pot this spring, it will bloom right away.
5 of 6Photo: Ralph Lee Anderson
Flower spikes sprout from the base of the plant and elongate until they can stand 6 to 9 feet tall. They're usually planted in the back of a border and staked for support. Spikes bloom for weeks, opening from bottom to top.
6 of 6Photo: Ralph Lee Anderson
After a spike finishes, cut it off at the base and a new spike may grow to replace it. However, be sure to save some seeds to plant the following spring. That way, when the original plant eventually dies, you'll have new plants ready to go