Hollyhock heirloom seeds

dazed77(6)June 2, 2005

HAs anyone grown these heirloom hollyhocks? Are they difficult to propagate from seed?

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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)


What do you mean by heirloom hollyhocks as to specific name and possible source?

I grow my grandmother's heirloom ones which date to the late 1800's. Yes, I'm that old. LOL Her mix is the white/pink/burgundy one with and without eyes. I don't like yellow ones and sometimes they are in a mix as well.

I forgot to look and see where you live but in my zone 5 area they self seed when happy.

For a new planting just sprinkle seed where you want plants in the fall and rake in the seeds and they'll come up in the Spring. They have long tap roots so don't transplant that well.

YOu canm harvest seed in the Fall but you have to break apart the seeds which look like a stacked deck of pennies. LOL

Where happy and somewhat protected they can be a short term perennial but should be considered as annuals most of the time, depending on where you live and garden.


    Bookmark   June 3, 2005 at 4:13AM
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Carolynn--I don't know if u will notice this post, its been quite awhile! What I wanted to ask about is the indian spring mix. I got the seeds just yesterday. I live in the Bahamas. The weather has not been too hot. Actually we've been having alot of rain down here. Are these perennial in warmer climates? Will they bloom the first year they are planted?


    Bookmark   July 1, 2005 at 1:46PM
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wayne_5 zone 6a Central Indiana

My self seeding hollyhocks.....perhaps dating back a hundred years ...seem to have a full mix of colors in their genes.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2005 at 11:02PM
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Indian Spring hollyhocks will bloom the first year if started early. They are one of the strains that is sold as an "annual hollyhock" for this reason.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2005 at 3:03PM
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Thanks for your replies!

Cecilia, sorry for this very basic question, but can you tell me what you mean by started early? I sowed the seeds 5 days ago and they have already sprouted. Does that mean it will bloom this year? Also you mentioned annual hollyhock. Would that mean that I have to replace the plants next year?


    Bookmark   July 5, 2005 at 3:50PM
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"Early" here the Mid-Atlantic US means starting the seeds indoors in January or so, but I'll bet that in the Bahamas, with your long long growing season, your hollyhocks should bloom this year. Most hollyhocks are biennials (Indian Spring is just called "annual" because it blooms the first year), but if they're happy where they are planted, they will perennialize. Plus, they reseed themselves like crazy, so if for some reason the individual plants don't survive, you will still have new plants next year.

Of course, my information is based on my own growing conditions. I'm not too familiar with the weather in the Bahamas, but from what I understand, it's pretty moderate. I guess you'll have to stake the plants, though, with the trade winds and the hurricanes!

I haven't seen anybody else from the Caribbean on this forum, but perhaps someone with a similar climate could provide more info on how the plants will behave for you. Anybody care to join in the conversation?

    Bookmark   July 6, 2005 at 12:50PM
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suze9(z8b Bastrop Co., TX)

He's in a frost free climate with two 'seasons'. If I recall correctly, winters there are generally in the 70's, and summers are in the 80's. So, his hollyhocks should bloom this year.

Even here, hollyhocks are generally perennial and semi-evergreen (even the supposedly biennial varieties).

I'm also going to mention that in areas where there aren't really hard frosts, hollyhocks can be especially prone to fungal diseases (rust and powdery mildew) if good sanitation practices aren't observed. Keeping the area well-mulched to prevent soil splashback (fungal spores) and keeping old plant material cleared from the area makes for the healthiest plants. An occasional spray with neem oil is also helpful.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2005 at 6:04AM
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flowersandthings(MidAtlantic 6/7)

Hollyhocks are easy to propagate from seed. :) "Heirloom" types may be named but many are unamed. Most unnamed blacks are heirlooms. Most fig leaved are heirlooms. And most single mixes that don't have hybrid names are heirlooms. One "heirloom" (single) (I don't believe most doubles/triples are heirlooms) with a "name" is Antwerp mix. Pinetree garden sells it. I've had a little troulbe (slow delivery) from them this year but they are an okay (safe to order from if not the best) company overall. But whatever you do GROW HOLLYHOCKS! I love love love them! They are one of my favorite plants. And if you want to try perennial ones Alcea rugosa (russian hollyhock) is BEAUTIFUL! I see it grown around here more and more. There's even a patch at a local shopping center. Beautiful/pale butter yellow blossoms.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2005 at 1:54AM
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spacific(z10 SoCalCoast)

Since I bought my 1917 bungalow 12 years ago, I've been pulling out things I thought were weeds. Well, this year, a few escaped. I now have a very large fig-leafed bright pink hollyhock growing in the yard that's taller than the garage. It's incredibly beautiful. So lots of questions... I'd like to grow these in a more organized way. Any words of wisdom? What do I do with this 15-ft. flower after it's done blooming? What do I need to do to harvest the seeds?

    Bookmark   July 26, 2005 at 9:20PM
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I wish we could keep this thread going...I have hollyhocks that go back to my husband's grandmother who has been gone for many years now. Every year some pop up somewhere on our acreage. The dark burgundies are my favorites. Haven't seen any of those in a few years. My problem is the color choices are dwindling.White seems to be the predominant color. How to reinvigorate? It doesn't do any good to save seed because you have no guarantees of color due to bees and cross-pollination. Any thoughts out there? Also, this year was really hard on my hollyhocks--many died out because we had an open, cold winter in early December. This is zone 4 and windy. Perennials need snow cover. The only one that is blooming is a beautiful, coral-pink that has a fig leaf and was purchased from a nursery in VT. I bought them last year, planted them, and lost 2 out of the 3 over the winter. Since there are plenty of baby hollyhocks growing out there I will be much more careful to mulch and protect this year.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2005 at 12:58PM
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helen4, seeds for the single, dark burgundy heirloom varieties are readily available - usually they're sold as "black hollyhocks" or under the name Alcea rosea nigra.
Thompson and Morgan carried a double "black" version a few years ago called Black Currant Whirl, but I'm not sure whether it's still available.

I've noticed that most of the volunteer seedlings from my black hollyhocks have been bright, deep red - which is nice, too.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2005 at 2:54PM
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jordjikat(z7 California)

I realize it's been awhile since the last post on here but I have to add my 2cents also. Hollyhocks are my absolute favorite and here in zone 7 I have some that are several years old, they are completely undemanding and happily spread themselves everywhere(which I do Not mind at all!). After they bloom and begin to set seeds, you can cut them back and they will boom again. I usually get two or three bloom periods. If I want to save seeds I try to remember to get them off the second bloom otherwise we might run into an early cold spell. They grow almost anywhere in the poorest of soils, shade or full sun. They never fail to make me smile. Well, there's my 2cents!

    Bookmark   September 10, 2006 at 2:52PM
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Hi you all!! Just a few questions, a distant family member of mine sent me a plastic bag full of hollyhock seeds, all different colors and such. He has a garden of hollyhocks that I had always admired. Anyways, I'm in zone 5 and my questions are: 1. Do I throw the seeds in the ground now (it's late Sept)and cover? 2. If so, do I put mulch over the seeds now or wait until next summer? 3. If I'm lucky and they do flower next year, when they get real tall, how do I keep them from falling?

I know that's asking a lot of silly questions but, I really love this flower and would love to have it in my back yard along my fence that faces west. Tia Diane

    Bookmark   September 27, 2006 at 12:48PM
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I know this is an old thread, but let's try. At what point do you take the seed pods off the stalk?
John A

    Bookmark   July 21, 2012 at 2:33PM
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