Gladiolus Vs Hollyhock: Which To Choose?

Finding new plants for your garden can be an exciting process. Are you stuck between whether gladiolus or hollyhocks will look better in your space but have no idea which of these flowers are better overall? Which plant will grow faster? Which is more vibrant?

Luckily, we've done some research and have all these answers for you below. Let's discuss!

Between gladiolus and hollyhock, this comes down to your flower preferences. For example, gladiolus tends to have more blooms overall than hollyhocks, which might be enticing for you.

Both of these flower species will typically bloom in their first year, so they are the same in that respect. Also, both of these flowers can withstand cold temperatures (down to 5-10 degrees), which is impressive.

So there isn't one superior plant between the two, so this comes down to aesthetics.

As we begin, we will cover all things flowers and discuss whether gladiolus or hollyhocks are better for your yard. If you're trying to get an idea for summer gardening or waiting until next spring, we're here to help. With that said, let's dive right into this topic!

Collaged photo of a Gladiolus and Hollyhock flower blooming at the garden, Gladiolus Vs Hollyhock: Which To Choose?

Which Is More Colorful: Gladiolus Or Hollyhock?

For those wanting to find a super vibrant flowering plant for their garden, look no further! Luckily, both hollyhocks and gladiolus' will be colorful.

Between the two, hollyhocks tend to have more muted flowers, but they are still gorgeous. Typically, gladiolus will be bright white, yellow, pink, lavender, rose, burgundy, purple, and green.

These stunning flowers can also be a mix of two colors, which makes them stand out.

On the other hand, hollyhocks are also quite colorful, ranging from blue, pink, purple, red, white, yellow, and black. A black flower is unique, so this may be a better idea for a gothic garden.

Gladiolus flowers blooming at the garden at a sunny day

Again, both of these flowers have eye-catching blooms, but between the two, gladiolus tends to be more full and vibrant in hue.

Furthermore, gladiolus has more of a bulb appearance, while hollyhocks are more traditionally shaped, so if you want something funky, we say go with gladiolus.

Which Flower Grows Faster: Gladiolus Or Hollyhock?

When it comes to growth speed, these two flower species are very fast. Generally, you can expect a hollyhock to germinate within 10-14 days and then another 3-4 weeks before they're ready for pricking.

For gladiolus, you can expect them to flower within 70-90 days, so they are a bit slower. However, this can vary based on the weather, your plant's health, and how much water it gets.

A blooming Gladiolus flower at the garden

You also want to consider how many seeds you're growing. For example, if you lay down 200 hollyhock seeds but only 100 gladioli, you could see more growth on the hollyhock side.

Therefore, keep the seed amount equal if you want to grow both in your garden. It might even be a nice idea to mix the flowers within the same bed or plot of land if you prefer a burst of color.

Again, everyone is different, and there's no one correct way to grow your flowers.

Gorgeous red colored Hollyhock flowers blooming at the garden

Outsidepride Indian Springs Hollyhock Flower Seed

This pack of hollyhock seeds comes with 1,000 seeds, is GMO-free, includes a variety of colors, and has a growing zone recommendation of 3-9.

Check out these hollyhocks on Amazon.

Mixed Gladiolus Flower Bulb Value Bag

This bag of gladiolus seeds comes with 30 bulbs per pack, has mixed colors, promises to attract butterflies, and has a growing zone recommendation of 3-10.

Follow this link to see them on Amazon.

Do Gladiolus Need Full Sun?

Gladiolus flower plantation photographed at the garden

If you want to grow gladiolus in your yard, make sure your flowers get plenty of sunshine. Generally, these flowers need full sun daily to grow and stay healthy, so that's something to consider.

With that said, you can also see some flowering from gladiolus in partial shade, as long as your plant gets 4-5 hours of sun throughout the day.

On top of that, gladiolus is winter hardy enough to grow in USDA zones 7-10 if you have them in the full sun. That can make a massive difference for anybody north, so give your flowers sufficient sun exposure.

According to Longfield Gardens, you can grow gladiolus as annuals in colder regions. So, even though these flowers are typically perennials, you might have to replant them each year if your garden gets cold during the fall/winter months.

Moreover, you may want to move your gladiolus inside during the colder seasons so they don't die outside. If you have a garage or greenhouse, those are great places to store your flowers, but you should also be fine placing them around your home.

If you have a screened porch/patio, that's another good place to store plants during winter, so your options are endless.

Do Hollyhocks Need Full Sun?

Like gladiolus, hollyhocks will also grow best in full sun. Generally, these flowers require at least six hours of direct sunlight daily, so make sure to plant yours somewhere unobstructed.

MasterClass states how the more sunshine a hollyhock receives, the stronger it will be, often producing more flowers in the springtime.

Of course, if you're somewhere very hot during the summer, you may want to grow your hollyhocks in partial shade, so this will be different for everybody.

Typically, this flower species can handle shade, although too much could affect its blooming.

Hollyhocks are a favorite among gardeners because they're so easy to grow and manage, so it's not the end of the world if your garden is partially shaded throughout the day.

You also want to consider how cold your winters are and if it gets cold enough to freeze. Like gladiolus, hollyhocks should either go inside during cold spells or be grown as annuals.

How Often Do I Need To Water Gladiolus?

Gorgeous beautiful colored Gladiolus flowers blooming at the garden

You generally want to give a gladiolus about an inch of water each week. This is a standard flower watering amount, so you don't have to change your routine to maintain gladiolus.

That said, if you are in the desert or experience drought, you will need to water gladiolus more frequently. Although these flowers are pretty hardy, they don't do well without being hydrated.

If your gladiolus flowers are newer, you may even need to water them three times per week. Again, this isn't uncommon for flowering plants, so expect to need to add more water to your gladiolus 1-3 times weekly.

Furthermore, this flower species prefers drier, sandier soil, so don't overdo it with watering either. If you overwater a gladiolus, expect root rot or even a dead plant altogether, so this can be serious.

It's also imperative to give gladiolus well-draining, nutrient-rich soil, so we recommend a loamy mixture. If your garden is clay or more compacted, you might need to mix in sand or gravel manually before putting your seeds in the ground.

Is Gladiolus Drought-Friendly?

As your gladiolus matures, it will become less dependent on water. Of course, that doesn't mean you can ignore your flowers for weeks on end, but you can cut your watering schedule back a bit.

Generally, gladiolus will need water at least once weekly throughout the year. If your plant grows in the full sun, you may need to water it twice instead.

According to, the best way to encourage drought-friendly gladiolus is to divide them every 4-5 years. Doing this can establish more self-sustaining hollyhocks throughout your garden, ultimately saving you water.

It might also be worth adding compost/mulch around your flower bed to retain moisture during the hotter, drier summer season. Regardless, newer gladiolus plants and seeds will need 1-3 waterings each week until they get bigger, so keep that in mind.

How Often Should I Water Hollyhocks?

Blooming red hollyhock flowers at the garden

You want to water hollyhocks 1-3 times per week on average. Like gladiolus, your hollyhocks won't typically need more than an inch or two of water every seven days.

In addition, these flowers will become more drought-tolerant as they mature, saving you money in the long run. Considering that some flowering plants can be water-reliant, finding a variety/species that won't be as needy is always important.

The amount of sun your hollyhocks get can also affect their watering schedule. For example, a flower in full sun will need more moisture in its soil than one in partial shade.

Moreover, your hollyhocks may not need as much water if the weather is moderate, so this will constantly change.

Hollyhocks also tend to require the most water during their spring/summer growing season, so make sure to give them some extra TLC during that period.

Can You Overwater Hollyhocks?

It is possible to overwater hollyhocks if their growing conditions aren't ideal. As we covered, these flowers don't need more than an inch of water each week, so anything more won't be helpful.

Since hollyhocks will become less water-dependent as they age, you don't need to keep their soil moist constantly. Additionally, hollyhocks don't respond well to "wet feet," meaning they should never sit in a pool of water for long periods.

Luckily, this shouldn't happen if you grow them in full sun, but it's always possible if you go overboard with your watering schedule.

To Finish

Collaged photo of a Gladiolus and Hollyhock flower blooming at the garden

Whether you need new ideas for your garden or have hollyhocks and gladiolus growing, it's imperative to understand their benefits. We found that both of these flowers are easy to grow and can handle drought and colder temperatures.

That said, gladiolus tend to produce more blooms and be more colorful, so we prefer them aesthetically. In addition, these two plants will grow relatively fast, often blooming within 2-3 months.

Regardless of your choice, give gladiolus and hollyhocks plenty of sun and about an inch of water each week.

Made it this far? Check out these helpful related garden posts below!

When To Transplant Delphniums [And How To]

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Gladiolus Vs Hollyhock: Which To Choose?

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