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I've had hollyhocks this year for the first time ever. Is it possible to plant the seeds once they've died back and grow some more? They have a lot of what appear to be seed pods.
Those nobbly buttons are seed pods.
Hollyhocks should be perennial (last for several years). The seeds can certainly be used to raise new plants, although the new plants won't necessarily be the same colour as the parents. If you simply leave the seeds pods by themselves they may self-seed. Whether they will self-seed depends on what kind of soil you have. I have a clay soil, so hollyhocks don't grow well here, and don't self-seed easily here. It's probably more reliable to collect the seed, and raise some small plants, then you can put the new plants where you'd like them to go.
The good news is that mine do come back the following year and you can collect seeds and sow them. As with all seed collection it is the timing that is the difficult bit and mine get a bit untidy while I wait.
So do I collect the seed pods now or wait? Do I split the pods open or plant them as they are? And would it be ok to just plant them in pots in ordinary compost to wait for next Spring? I sound like a complete idiot but I've waited for years to have hollyhocks and would like to have them again, if I can. I don't have a greenhouse or shed, by the way.
I wait for them to go brown and then harvest them, a pod should split into lots of seeds. I would mix some sand/grit/perlite in with the compost. I do both I sow some now to see if I can get an early start and protect them in a cold frame/greenhouse. I also have sown them in spring and one year they flowered that year.
I love Hollyhocks but every time I try them they get rust.
Are there some varieties that are rust resistant?
I haven't considered them for some years, but would like to give them another go.
I love hollyhocks. I think they are the quintessential cottage-garden flower. I prefer the single varieties, which are hard to buy as plants, so I've raised all mine from seed, from T&M.
I've also taken many snaps, of hollyhocks growing in other people's gardens, throughout Warwickshire. This is not my front door, it's a house in the main street in Henley-in-Arden....
Can't you just hear the bees buzzing when you look at that pic!
I planted hollyhock seeds for the first time last year and they would have looked magnificent this summer if it had not been for slugs, snails and rust. Had to remove all the leaves and just had the flowers which was not so good. However, have just purchased a packet of seeds (50% off) which says are rust resistant. Hopefully, all I have to do next year is protect from slugs and snails.
This year I started using slug pellets on Valentine's Day and made sure to use them on a regular basis and it really seemed to help - I don't think I gave them a chance to breed. So will do the same next year.
I think Carol Klein told us that hollyhocks are in the mallow family and slugs don't like them. Am I remembering correctly. It was on a recent GW programme. I've grown some from seed this year and they are all un-munched.
A few weeks ago, I visited my son's house early evening, after a day of rain, and decided to wander around his garden where I found seven huge snails munching the leaves of his hollyhocks which are the same variety as mine. I wonder if slugs sometimes eat different types of leaves to snails, and Carol was referring just to slugs. However, I frequently walk thro' a village where beautiful hollyhocks grow in profusion at the side of the road and there is not a sign of rust or shredded leaf in sight. Next year I'm following Supernanauna's advice and creating my own St Valentine's Day massacre!
message for lovetogarden who mentioned rust on hollyhocks. I have now found the 50% reduced, packet of hollyhock seeds I recently bought. They are produced by Thompson and Morgan and are Antwerp Mixed and it says they are hardy perennial.
Thanks very much break23, will look out for them when next at the garden centre.
break23 wrote (see)
... Thompson and Morgan and are Antwerp Mixed ...
... Thompson and Morgan and are Antwerp Mixed ...
T&M's Antwerp Mixed are the ones I've grown for several years. I've never had a significant problem with slugs or rust. I don't use any pellets. Though that doesn't mean other gardens will have the same experience.
Thanks Gary for that optimistic note. Intend to plant the seeds this afternoon but can't believe I'm getting ready for next summer as still waiting for summer 2012 to arrive.
You do need to be careful of slugs with any small plants. I'm merely saying that hollyhocks are not as tempting to slugs as many other plants are, especially lupins.
Another reason I like Antwerp is that they are single. Most (all?) hollyhocks sold in garden centres are double, and not as attractive to wildlife.
T&M are also offering a new variety of singles this year called Halo. I think that T&M were offering also Halo as mini-plug plants earlier in the year. That's actually a good way to buy them. I was tempted, but didn't actually purchase.
Here is a link to a blog I look at occasionally for advice on flowers and seed collection. There are some good photos of the seeds:
Sprinkle some Corn meal around the Hollyhock in Feb and that stops rust. Not had any where the Corn meal was sprinkled but loads on some where no Corn meal was used.