What to do with finished Hollyhock plants

richdelmoAugust 14, 2005

I have several hollyhocks that just finised blooming. Not sure what type they are but I planted them from seed last year and they came back this season. They were red and purple ish.

My question is can I pull the large stalks from their roots to make room for new fall plants, or will that hurt them. And as for where the flowers used to be are these now seeds that will grow again next year.

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ljrmiller(z7 NV)

NOTHING short of tactical nukes will hurt hollyhocks, and I doubt even that would do a lot of damage...

I just cut my plants back almost to the ground once they have finished blooming. If you want self-sown seeds, let them stand until the seeds mature (seed heads turn brown). The seed heads are those kind of cheese-wheel-shaped things where the flowers used to be. Just be aware that if you let the hollyhocks self-seed, you will have hollyhock seedlings EVERYWHERE.

If you pull them out roots and all, they might not return, but cutting off the stalks won't faze 'em one bit.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2005 at 6:12PM
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rivers1202(Z8a South Carolina)

I thought mine were finished flowering and cut them down to the ground. Well, they sprouted loads of new growth and they're blooming again. To be honest, they look better now than they did when they bloomed the first time around. I already have seedlings 'everywhere', too.


    Bookmark   August 15, 2005 at 12:11AM
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My hollyhocks have those cheese wheels. I love your description. Since anything to do with food usually does. Anywho I have babies at the base. I know there for next year. I don't think they will bloom again here in the NY metro area. I guess down south they would. Are these double bloomings common down there? Anyway I'm nuts about hollyhocks. Had the most beautiful pink ones this year. Will try to post pics.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2005 at 2:42AM
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ljrmiller(z7 NV)

I've got some repeat bloom here in Nevada (Zone 7, Reno area). I also dug out three big hollyhocks last night--it's not like I don't have lots of them. Talk about WORK! It's kind of like removing tree stumps. I was beginning to consider dynamiting the things.

I dug out these three because they really don't contribute much to the overall garden effect and I have a heap of new dryland plants and some irises in need of space.

My hollyhocks bloom in a range of pink shades, from baby pink to magenta. They are incredibly pretty when at their peak, even though the pink-to-magenta scheme is hardly my first choice. I prefer scarlet-deep purple-lime green-orange color schemes, but that doesn't mean I don't enjoy everything I grow regardless of color.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2005 at 2:07PM
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rivers1202(Z8a South Carolina)

hollyhocker~ this is my first year growing hollyhocks, so I'm not sure if repeat blooming is usual here in the south, or not. Anyway, I do know they have a long bloom season here if you can manage to save them from the rust. Mine appeared to be finished blooming and I was forever pulling off rust-infected leaves - that's why I cut them to the ground. I was surprised that they came back from such rough treatment and have bloomed again so beautifully. However, I'm about to shovel prune them because they are covered in rust again. Nothing I did the last time around stopped the spread of the rust, so I know these plants have to go...roots and all this time. It's so humid and rains nearly every afternoon here in the summer, so it's darned near impossible to grow them rust-free. If anyone knows the secret to keeping that nasty stuff off hollyhocks in the south, please do tell. Or, at the very least, if not a preventative, maybe a treatment that can stop it from spreading once it is on the hollyhock. I go through the same thing with my crepe myrtles except, with them, it's powdery mildew instead of rust. They get it every year, without fail, no matter what I do. I've read that spraying them with a mixture of milk and water will prevent them from getting PM, but I haven't tried it. Maybe next year.

1jrmiller~ if you like the darker reds, as opposed to the pastel pinks, there is a hollyhock that is such a deep shade of scarlet/maroon that it looks black. It sounds strange, but it's really gorgeous. I saw it online somewhere, but can't remember where. I haven't seen any at the local nurseries. If anyone knows the name of this hollyhock, please post it.


    Bookmark   August 16, 2005 at 1:42AM
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ornata(London UK (8/9?))

I think the near-black hollyhock is Alcea rosea 'Nigra'. You can get seeds quite easily.

My hollyhocks also get disfigured by rust. I have heavy clay soil and they grow monstrously huge, ugly leaves which look even uglier when covered with orange pustules and going brown. Even the Alcea ficifolia (fig-leaves) varieties, which are supposed to be rust-resistant, get rust in my garden (although they do have more attractive leaves than other hollyhocks). I think in future I'll just appreciate them in other people's gardens.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2005 at 7:09AM
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Thanks for all the info all. Since Hollyhocks are so easily propogated, can I just cut the stalks and place them in some location of my yard and expect them to grow as is next year. Or would it be best to pull the seeds out and spread them in a new location. I'm assuming I don't need to start them indoors as I did for my initial plnts.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2005 at 10:35AM
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This aft I noticed some new buds on my hollys. When I checked them. I don't think they will bloom as profusely as the first time. Would it be ok to cut off the "cheesewheels" between the buds. Would that affect new blooms. I'm probably going to collect some seeds to plant these beauties elsewhere also. Some of my leaves get a little ugly I just pull them off. Though I don't think it was a severe infestation.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2005 at 11:37PM
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