Can Hollyhocks Be Grown In Pots?


You don’t always have the space to have a full-size flower garden, but potted gardening, or container gardening, is becoming increasingly popular.

Not all plants thrive in containers, and you should read up on specific plants before putting them in a pot. 

Hollyhocks pink flower in a garden
Hollyhocks pink flower

This brings us to hollyhocks; can hollyhocks be grown in pots?

They can, but they shouldn’t. Hollyhocks grow very tall and develop large root systems that aren’t great for pots. There are, however, dwarf versions of hollyhocks that can be grown in containers. 

Why They Shouldn’t Be Grown In Pots

Hollyhocks are beautiful flowers, and they can grow to be over six and a half feet tall.

To support their height, they grow massive taproots that grow straight down. They also grow plenty of lateral roots to keep the plant stable. 

There are very few pots that are large enough to give the hollyhock roots the space that they need. 

Keep In Mind – Planting hollyhocks in a pot would also take more effort than hollyhocks in the ground. They need plenty of water and survive best in well-draining soil with lots of organic matter.

Planting hollyhocks in a garden will give them nutrition, and access to water without having to spend extra time caring for them. 

Other Options

If you love hollyhocks, and you are don’t have any option but to use a pot, there are some other options for you. 

Starting Hollyhocks in Pots

Start growing hollyhocks from seeds in pots.

Growing Hollyhocks in pots
Growing purple Hollyhocks

When they get too large:

  • you can plant them outside
  • give them to a friend
  • donate them to retirement homes
  • or sell them! 

Hollyhocks produce plenty of seeds, and they are easy to harvest.

All you have to do is remove the seed from the seed pod, clean the seed pod and let it air dry, and then store it in an airtight container until you are ready to plant. 

Choosing a Different Strand of Hollyhock

There’s more than one type of hollyhock!

If you want to have hollyhocks in a pot, you should choose a dwarf strand such as Queeny Purple. 

Beautiful yellow Hollyhocks flower in a garden
Beautiful yellow Hollyhocks flower

This strand will only grow about half as tall at around 3 feet. The roots will still grow quite a bit and you will still need a pretty big pot.

The pot or container will need to be about 24 inches wide and about 16 inches deep. 

Pick a Different Flower

If you like the look of hollyhocks, but you want something a little easier to care for, then petunias might be the better option.

They do very well in pots and containers, and the pots don’t have to be very big. 

Petunias also have the same delicate petals that hollyhocks have if that is the look you are going for. 

How You Can Grow Them In Pots

Still determined to grow hollyhocks in a pot?

Yeah, I figured that’s why you’re here. 

Starting Hollyhocks in pots
Hollyhocks can start growing in pots

You might live somewhere the weather drops below 70°F and you need to be able to bring hollyhocks indoors, or maybe you live in an apartment building and you only have a balcony for gardening. 

It’s not recommended to use a pot for hollyhocks, but you can do it if you set everything up properly first. 

Picking The Right Pot

The biggest thing to focus on (pun intended) is the pot.

They need to be extremely deep, and fairly wide. A whiskey barrel is about the right size you’ll need for hollyhocks. 

Whichever pot you pick, it needs to have good drainage.

Hollyhocks don’t like sitting in water, and if the roots extend down to the bottom of a pot, they’ll end up drenched if there’s no way for water to leave the pot. 

Using The Right Soil

Choosing the right soil to fill your pot will also be important.

Is your potting soil bad
Mixing potting soil

There are:

  • Lightweight: The soil needs to be lightweight so the roots have the space to grow. Compacted soil will stop root development. 
  • Well-Draining: The soil you plant hollyhocks in needs to be well-draining. If the soil is holding onto too much water, the hollyhock roots will drown and your plant won’t survive.
  • Moisture Retention: In addition to having lots of drainage, hollyhocks are thirsty plants and they do need access to plenty of water. There should be water-retaining additives in the soil for your hollyhocks. 

The perfect soil blend for hollyhocks is a 1:1:1 ratio of peat, perlite, and loam.

This will make a lightweight soil that has plenty of drainage, but perlite will hold onto the water without leaving the soil soaking wet. 

This soil will need a lot of attention.

Because the soil and the pot has a lot of drainage, you will need to water the hollyhocks in a pot more frequently, roughly two to three times per week until the top six to eight inches of soil are damp. 

Supporting The Plant

Your hollyhocks are going to need a lot of support.

Their roots anchor them into the soil, but without other plants for fences to support them when they start getting tall, they’ll be too weak to hold themselves up. 

Planting hollyhocks in pots process
Planting hollyhocks in a pot

If you grow your own hollyhocks from seeds, give each plant a 4-foot planting stake or support when the plant is 6 inches tall. 

Your Choice: There are different types of supports from ring supports to single stem supports. It doesn’t matter what type of support you use, as long as you use it!

Final Thoughts

There you have it. 

Hollyhocks are not a plant that should be grown in a pot.

They need the support of other plants or fences to be able to stand upright when they grow to reach over six feet tall.

They also put out large root systems that take up more space than can usually fit in a pot. 

That isn’t to say you can’t grow hollyhocks in a pot if a pot is your only option for the beautiful flowers.

If you have a pot that’s big enough, use the right blend of soil, and give your hollyhocks support while they grow, you can grow hollyhocks in pots.

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