HOLLYHOCK PRUNING REQUIREMENTS: Remove any seed-heads that may form, so hollyhock will continue to bloom for several years. They live two years. They will not be as vigorous as new seedlings. Blooms first appear in June and continue flowering through the summer, usually finishing in August. Diseases and Pests: They are prone to hollyhock rust, a fungal infection that first shows as yellow spots on leaves, then develops into brown or rust colored bumps on the underside of the leaves. If you are buying large plants, they should be plenty old enough to start blooming the first year you plant them. These stately beauties belong to the Mallow (Malvaceae) family, which includes an unbelievable 1500 different species out of which 27 genera are found throughout North America. Perennials are being bred to flower more quickly. Cut the perennial hollyhock in half after it has bloomed for the first time. Wait until the second year and they should flower. Hollyhocks are old and lovely plants that look great in farm and cottage gardens. Hollyhocks are included among the black flower species, prized for their dramatic blossoms. Hollyhocks are best, and easiest, grown from seed and they will readily self-seed if flower stalks are left in place. Hollyhocks originated in Asia and the area around the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. While the embryo of hollyhock seed has not been shown to carry the fungus, the flower parts where the seed grows might. If you need to transplant a larger hollyhock plant, move it when it is not blooming, in the fall or winter. Most plants will live and bloom for several years in Zones 3-8 if stalks are cut off at the base after flowers have faded. This should happen sometime in the spring. The first year they produce leaves, they overwinter, and then the second year they produce the gorgeous flower stalk. Hollyhocks in my yard arrived on their own. Some are nine feet tall. Sometimes leaf removal is enough to slow the rust long enough to enjoy the flowers and get seeds. Should I have pruned the top of the growing stem when they were shorter, to promote flowering… Hollyhocks are usually biennial. I know gardeners (super hollyhock fans) who manage the situation by keeping the least infected plants and removing the rest. If your hollyhocks do not flower in the first year, do not pull them out. I did not plant them, but I like them. Moreover, the holding stalks range from 6 to 9 feet. Flowers can be single or double and grow upward along the stem. Q. Hollyhock Problems I planted some hollyhock seedlings about nine months ago and have plenty of leaves but no sign of flower stems or flowers. There are some perennial types, but they don't live long either. Yours are on their way out, while your neighbor's are second year plants. Then they die. Culture Hollyhocks appreciate well-draining soil in full sun. Because hollyhocks are biennial, flowers do not appear until the second year of growth. Thus, consider your color preferences as well as your space and height needs before opting for seeds. Gently pull out or dig up the plants and place them in a bucket of water until you transplant them. The stems produce many flower 'buds', but very few of them blossom into a flower. Hollyhocks bloom from the bottom up. Also, the leaves on one plant have ben attacked by something which has caused very small holes all over the leaves, making almost a 'lacey' effect. Keep the area around your hollyhocks weed-free and water them weekly. The flowers may be white, yellow, pink, red or black. Biennials, like hollyhocks, do not usually bloom at all their first year and then fade away shortly after flowering in their second season. For hollyhock flowers, you have a variety of colors to choose from, such as white, pink, red, yellow, and maroon. 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