Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Hollyhock Advice, Please....

"Mrs." absolutely loves hollyhocks, and we have had mixed success with them in the garden at the Big House, at best. There are lots of possible reasons, but I'd love to get input from anyone who grows them successfully in the South. As a transplanted Yankee, I'm never totally sure I've got the best instinct when it comes to the proper planting times for cooler weather blooms.

Some specific questions:
  • Any thoughts about planting in the fall from seed, rather than in spring?
  • Any opinions about putting out established plants vs. seeds?
  • We have drip irrigation in the perennial bed. I've heard that moist well drained soil is best, but my dad grows them in an area that is pretty dry naturally (but that's in New England).
  • The walled garden is very beautiful, but holds an incredible amount of heat on summer nights, which causes problems with certain flowers. Is hollhock one of those that needs cool nights?

I'd love to wow "Mrs." with an amazing display of hollyhocks in the spring, so if fall planting is needed, the sooner you can offer me advice, the better!

1 comment:

  1. Yes. Plant them now. They need to germinate now. They are a second year biennial. Feed them leaf mulch and water consistently. I had several white ones this year. I sowed the seeds in December, planted them out in February. They bloomed in early spring. Not all of them bloomed. Some germinated earlier than others. I've already scattered my seeds this year.

    Start spraying them in the spring before you see any rust. The rust took mine down. You have to stay ahead of the rust.

    Consider adding some malva "Zebrina" to the display. I had one plant this spring. It flowered for weeks. It's supposed to be a heavy reseeder, but I don't see any yet.