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hollyhock question

Chicago, IL(Zone 5b)

So some of you were talking about hollyhocks in the Summer Blooms thread. Cececoogan asked if it was normal for hollyhocks to tower over her, and CountryGardens said hers were up to the eves of her shop . . . I put in 3 small plants this spring that I ordered from Bluestone and they seem to be doing well (growing) but are nowhere NEAR the size of the ones pictured. They have humongous leaves but aren't putting up a lot of height yet (they're probably about a foot tall right now). Is this normal for new baby ones or is something wrong? They are 'Old Farmyard Strain', btw.


Chicago, IL(Zone 5b)

AAAAHHHH . . . I was just reading on the Cottage Gardening forum and Artemiss answered my question without my even having asked it over there . . . yay! I knew my hollyhocks wouldn't bloom this year but I wasn't sure how tall they were supposed to get . . . sounds like they're behaving normally and next year they'll take off. :)

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

yanno -- i just got home after being gone.. a while.. anyhooo - when i was out back my neighbor, who i gave my WS'ed HH's to a few months back -- and she never planted them til a few days ago.... well, they are blooming!!

are there any strains of HH's that will bloom first year?? even though these obviously did.

I believe they were "Country Romance"

I'm still looking for my Charters Double Reds.... and all the other seeds i pushed into the ground last fall.....


Waukesha, WI(Zone 5a)

I don't know mine didn't bloom last year nor did they get any where near as big as they are now. I have buds on them. I thought rather was under the impression that if the seeds are direct sown in the fall the first year HH will bloom and each year after that if allowed to self-seed themselves. I was also under the impression that any biennial sown early enough will bloom the first year. Is there any one out there that can tell me if my assumptions are correct or am I way over the top?

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

cece -- i dont think you are over the top.... I may check a HH forum [do we have one?] or Cottage Garden

I did think it was odd that they bloomed... I'm almost bummed that i gave them away.... the plants are only about 18" tall with lil blooms on them.

>>the impression that any biennial sown early enough will bloom the first year

yes- from what i understand, this can/will happen. I should check my records to see when they germinated... I honestly didnt think they'd bloom this year.

Mount Prospect, IL(Zone 5b)

I have a bed of HH I let reseed, and sometimes a first year plant will have a few blooms - even though the plant is less than 3' tall. Then the next year it comes back, grows to it's full size of 7 or 8', and blooms like crazy. I think of the first year flowers as "test blooms" the plant is putting out!

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

thanks m_t... that does make sense.

I checked all my WS pots this morning... all my other HH's did not germinate. So disappointing. Mostly the Black Current Whirl I bought in a Co-Op.

Also, Double Red, White, and Yellow, and single Black ... all no germination... so bummed.

Waukesha, WI(Zone 5a)

That is why I quit attempting WS'ing . Tried 3 years in a row and never nothing. So didn't even attempt it this year. Maybe in a few years I'll try again. Who knows

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

cece -- i'd have to literally count and calculate... but I'd guess i had about 60-70% of my containers germinate.

some containers that did... i got ONE seedling. BUT -- i still find it cheaper than going out and buying all those plants.

for the HH's ... I'm going to direct sow some ... but i do think on most i've used up all my seeds.


McGregor, IA(Zone 4b)

What do you do to keep hollyhocks looking presentable? Mine start out looking do beautiful, but inevitably end up looking awfully bedraggled and hole-ridden.

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