Hollyhock Dolls and Growing Hollyhocks
See how to make hollyhock dolls out of flowers in 5 steps! This is an old-fashioned craft that’s been enjoyed by children for generations and a delightful decoration for the young and young at heart!
Hollyhock flowers are truly an old garden favorite, similar to hibiscus. In fact, hollyhocks (Althaea rosea) are part of the hibiscus, or mallow, family (Malvaceae). You might just call them the hibiscus’ cousin.
To make a hollyhock doll, first decide whether to use the traditional hollyhock or another similar flower.
How to Make a Hollyhock Doll
- Pick a nice bud with some color showing and a lovely open flower.
- Carefully peel away the small green sepals that enclose the bud. Stop when you reach the folded flower petals.
- With the point of a toothpick, carefully push through the bottom of the bud to make a small hole.
- Push the small stem of the opened flower (the skirt) into the hole at the base of the bud’s folded petals (the doll’s head).
- The dolls will keep for a day or two in the refrigerator—just gently place them in a bowl with a wet paper towel and cover lightly.
The dolls can make lovely decorations, garden party favors, or whatever a child’s imagination decides. Enjoy!
If you wish to grow hollyhocks, they are a long-blooming perennial and grow up to 6-feet high. Plant in early spring or in the fall. Select a sunny location sheltered from the wind. Hollyhocks tolerate almost any well-drained soil as long as they get plenty of sun.
Traditionally, hollyhocks are grown up against a building or fence. Or, cover that old shed with an orange trumpet vine! They do attract bees as pollinators, so we’d avoid placing too near the door of your house.
Tall spires of hollyhocks are breathtaking as cut flowers, and in a mixed bouquet, it’s easy to remove any scarred or damaged leaves. Arrange them with bellflowers, phlox, baby’s-breath, and roses for a cottage-garden-in-a-vase.
Plant hollyhocks in groups of 8 to 12, setting them about two feet apart. They will grow into a stunning solid mass, making a dramatic vertical statement on a grand scale. Many gardeners like the effect of single colors in a group. To orchestrate this, buy seeds of single colors and grow them apart.
Set off hollyhocks with a froth of baby’s-breath, clumps of daisies or black-eyed Susans, phlox, lilies, or sweet Williams. Include a few chrysanthemums to keep them company as summer turns to fall. In some old-fashioned gardens, dahlias were often grown in front of hollyhocks to hide their “shins.” Shorter annual hollyhocks are wonderful combined with climbing roses near a door or trellis, adding their jewel-bright tones to the splash of color.
If you enjoy natural crafts, learn how to make cornhusk dolls in autumn!