Hollyhocks for Pollinators

by Em
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Because I hadn’t grown hollyhocks for more than a decade, I had forgotten how popular they are with honeybees, bumblebees and other pollinators who need our help.

A photo of a bumblebee on a hollyhock flower
A photo of a honeybee on a hollyhock flower

For the past two summers now, I’ve been growing ‘Summer Carnival’ hollyhocks which reach 5 to 8 feet tall and come in shades of red and pink and yellow, plus white.

Hollyhocks are not without their issues. Japanese Beetles like to chomp on the leaves, and the plants can be susceptible to rust, a fungal leaf disease. But the beetle populations have been waning in my area, and so far I haven’t had to battle rust because our last two summers have been hot and dry. You can help prevent the disease by giving the plants plenty of air circulation and keeping water off the leaves.

I love the old-fashioned flowers, and they look gorgeous anchoring the back of a flowerbed.

A photo of a honeybee on a hollyhock flower
A photo of a yellow hollyhock
A photo of hollyhocks blooming in a flower garden
A photo of pink hollyhocks in bloom
A photo of dark pink hollyhocks blooming in a garden

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