Hollyhocks (Alcea rosea) are easy to grow, tall annual flowers with low water and fertility requirements. We were frequently struck by their appearances on roadsides and fallow fields before we finally decided to grow some ourselves. The results were spectacular.
Hollyhocks are survivors. This pink flowered strain was grown with very little water and no fertilizer. The blossoms of this variety are medium sized, three to four inches in diameter with weeks of sustained bloom. Plants can grow well over six feet tall. Our experience was that substantial watering can make the plants top heavy, thus moderate trellising may be necessary. Bees are absolutely rapt with hollyhocks; on any given evening we pass by the stands and they resemble the sound of a beehive. Hollyhocks are also heavy seeders, so expect follow up stands for years to come. Or, gather the seeds and spread them in fallow areas to start wildflower meadows. Dried stalks can also be used for handmade rope/cordage.