Hollyhocks don't like the cool wet weather here on the northern California coast. The leaves get covered with rust, a particular caterpillar likes to much on them, and often times they will never make it to the bloom stage. Plus, they're picky about where they want their feet to be.
When I lived in the Sacramento Valley the hollyhocks would readily re-seed themselves and the ones that flourished the following summer germinated in the hottest and driest places in my garden. They liked it best up against a sidewalk or driveway where the radiant heat in the valley's 100+ temps could fry an egg.
Still, unfazed gardener that I am, I scatter seeds every fall, in and out of the greenhouse, to see just where they will take root and thrive. This year it's just inside the east-facing greenhouse door in dry-as-a-bone soil where they get morning light and are warmed by the greenhouse temps that top 80-degrees on sunny days.
They seem quite happy. And even though I have to leave the door to the greenhouse open so as not to disturb them, it's a minor inconvenience compared to the beautiful show of flowers.
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