according to Eileen Powell;s book "From Seed to Bloom", there are two types of hollyhocks: althaea and malva. Both of them have indicators for annual and perennial, and both say start indoors 6 to 8 weeks early in spring, or outdoors: Althaea in July, and Malva in early autumn. Althaea germinates in 10 to 14 days, Malva in 5 to 21. Hope that helps.
MKjones - you have blooms from seeds? Please give me you secret! I can't seem to get mine past the sprout stage. I think Hollyhocks bloom late summer to fall. Some germinated by seed won't bloom the first year...some will.
Hollyhocks are Biennials that have to be in their second year to give you blossoms. They sometimes do bloom the first year and often self seed. Then you have them year in and year out. They are the backrow tall plants. I got Hollyhock 'Chater's Double Appleblossom Pink' (Alcea rosea) off of the half price rack at L's with buds on it.
Well when those big fluffy flowers got weighed down with rain, they broke over. The buds still opened, so I'm leaving them alone until that's over. Then I'll let the seeds reseed naturally there.
In your zone I would plant them as soon and let them get established. They may bloom next summer if you do.
So if my Summer Carnival Hollyhocks, that I started from seed in March, are blooming now at 3' tall, will they bloom again next year at 6' tall?!??! I sure hope so! 3' isn't much! I guess it's like a perennial, where the best blooms are usually in the 2nd year, though you may have a few small flowers in the first? Am I right?
I planted some hollyhocks( from seeds given to me) last year. Originally these hollyhocks grew near a wood pile near a house and plants would come up year after year from seeds that dropped. I planted some of those seeds last year and they grew, then died back during winter,then they come up bigger and stronger this year(like sugarweed said they are biennial) and about took over our front porch! I transplanted them out where they have more room and we can see our porch this summer. Some have white blooms and some are pink. I collecting some of there seeds this summer and hope to plant a few more. They have loads of seeds once they start blooming.
I bought a hollyhock seedling and it took 2 years to bloom, then died back. I also purchased two black hollyhock plants and they both died back before they ever bloomed. I suspect those two are history.
Sidney is right,
I have a picture of my Hocks in my Journal. I start mine right now- to bloom next spring. I always plant extras.
They're pretty sensitive to fungus. Starting them now will give them just enough growth to go through winter. I usually keep mine in full sun on the front porch, then cover them when there is danger of frost. The coolness of wintering helps keep the nasties off of it - fungus.
The ones in the pictures are 4th generation - I bought a seed packet 4 years ago - and then saved the seeds from the offspring- which there is an abundant supply.
I don't have enough sun for hollyhocks but tried anyway. I planted the seed last year, but forgot about them. Then one day my spousal unit was climbing up and down my terraces and saw these things growing. Since we have foxglove nearby, he thought that's what they were until I saw them and told him they were hollyhocks. Well, they grew, and grew, and grew and got up to 10' but at least they bloomed.
Now I can't remember how deep to plant the seed or if they need to be on top of the ground. Can anyone remind me?
Beautiful Hollyhock Woodspirit!!!!!!! I just planted a bunch myself. I starte d mine in seed trays though and put on top of soil , gave a tiny push to make sure it stays on the dirt and covered with between 1/4" and 1/2" I foudn the ones that accidently got planted a bit deeper have not come up yet. They may but it gonan be a logn time I think. So, I'm rediggign them up and gonan replant them closer to the surface.
I started hocks from seed last year, and they wintered over beautifully. I have red and black-- the black sent up an 8 foot flower spike this year. The red is a nice shade... they are all done blooming, but I collected a ton of seed. I have more plants going to replace the ones that will be done this year. I'd love to try some pinks if anyone has some seed to spare!
Mkjones, read what sugarweed said again. They will very likely bloom beautifully for you next spring, outside next summer. Those huge leaves are storing up lots of blooming energy. They're really not tough-to-grow plants, they just take some patience for those first blooms - you're lucky you're in such a warm climate that they will continue to gather that energy for quite a while.
It's not their fault that you didn't start them last winter, lol! Don't be over them!