Originally from the Mediterranean, the hollyhock, or Alcea, is a flowering plant that reaches up to 9 feet in height when fully grown. Hollyhocks prefer full sun, but thrive in a variety of soil conditions.
Hollyhocks grow well in nutrient-poor soil. In spite of this, they perform best in fertile soil, according to the National Gardening Association. Annual spring fertilisation and top-dressing with 2 to 4 inches of compost create the best possible soil for hollyhocks.
Hollyhocks survive in dry to average soil moisture. Regular watering to provide moderately moist soil encourages the best growth in hollyhocks, although soil must drain well. This makes unamended clay soil problematic for growing this flower.
The tolerance of hollyhocks for such a range of soil conditions makes them ideal for novice gardeners hesitant to try their hand at maintenance-intensive plants, as well as for those who love gardens but simply lack the time to care for finicky flowers.