We did a total re-do of our front landscaping this year, and for the first time I have Hollyhocks. I love them- purple/black with yellow centers.
I have looked in my gardening books and on the web, but I am STILL unclear about how to care for them. They are on a hill- with plenty of drainage- and they have done really well. Keeping them sprayed to keep rust away etc.
My question is -- do I cut them back after the flower stock is done blooming? Do I deadhead the pods where the flowers were? Every book- guide seems to give different suggestions.
|In the past I've cut down the long stalk once the blooming is done and the seed is set. The mound of leaves that is left over has sometimes stayed green all winter.
I have a small shredder. I shred the stalk and use the shredded material as mulch. Sometimes new hollyhocks come up where the seeds have been put downl.
It seems that the plants last several years and then don't come back up so the re-seeding helps.
|They grow like weeds around here....|
They grow like weeds around here....
|oh i love hollyhocks! i would give anything to have them...... there was a house down the road and they dug them all up to put in a new fence. they never have come back.....
they remind me of an english flower garden.......
you'll have to send pictures!
|Reason you are getting conflicting nature of the plants is they grow differently around the country.........ARGH!
In cold areas they are annuals but if protected with a nice mulch, flowering a second year is possible. The secret is a good mulch cover and a not so fridged winter.
They don't flower the first year from seed unless specially treated young plants are given a winter chill before their sale. Normally the seed germinates and a low rosette of leaves stays close to the ground, no flowers. There are some exceptions, some hollyhock will flower that first year and include the Majorettes and Pinafores.
Anyway, the second year is when they go to town. If you let some seed fall, next year you'll have the young plants down on the ground, the first year babies, and hopefully your flowering plant will flower a second time in year three. Don't expect more than 2 blooming years from plant. But if you get it, you are set. Remember those seeds from the second year? Hopefully they will flower in year 4 and the year 3 babies will flower in year 5. Now you have blooms every year!
So what do we call them? Annuals.......some are, you have to know what you are buying. Biennials (2 years to bloom).....yeah a lot are like that. Perennial....short lived for sure, maybe you'll get 2 blooming years, 3 if the stars are with you. So books are confused too because depending on the soil and winter climate, they can be short lived or long.
Hollyhocks like well drained soil, they get nasty if in wet soggy soil.
|Thanks Sheepieboss!!! Now it all makes sense! Do you grow them??
I have the old fashion single variety--- and just love them. I hope I can get the "domino" effect going with them! Lots of seed seems to be dropping from the spent pods. Keep your fingers crossed!
Grandma had them all around the farm, and they always seemed in bloom. She must have had the touch!
Ali- I'll post pictures of the front landscaping. I just love the way it turned out.
|I have them too, and we love them.
They do a good job of reseeding themselves for me. I also save some seeds in the fall for reseeding in the spring for a new location or filling in bare spots in the beds. Put them in a paper bag or envelope - they will rot in plastic (voice of experience).
Also, if some reseed next spring outside the area you want them in, you can move them to other spots. Do it as soon as possible when they are very little and make sure there is plenty of soil around the roots. For some reason they aren't the easiest to transplant otherwise.
got sheep wrote:
For some reason they aren't the easiest to transplant otherwise.
I believe they have a long tap root and if its disturbed they aren't happy - which is why you can buy started plants and plant them from a cell, but not easily translpant them.
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