Answer: Hollyhocks must establish a root system first, and then they can produce the stalk(s) of flowers you love so much. Often they are planted in the fall to give them a chance to establish a system during the winter months. While other plants are loafing and going into dormancy, the hollyhock foliage is still green! When spring arrives, your fall planted babies will burst into growing and produce blooms that summer. This is why most people plant them in the fall, but it is not a must. Some gardeners prefer to sow their seeds in the spring because then you can see them growing, and you know they are growing, and if you need to, you can move them into their permanent positions before they get too comfortable. Though the spring planted may not bloom that year (some varieties do, but not much of a show) They have the entire season to grow root systems and foliage. The next spring, look out. Your plants will be HUGE and the number of flower stalks increased.
Choose a sunny area and cover the seeds with one-quarter to one-half inch of soil. Be sure to keep them watered if you sow in the spring; if you sow them now, the fall rains will settle them into the soil and they won't need any attention until they germinate in the spring.
Best wishes with your hollyhocks!
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