Growing Hollyhocks. (that bloom every year?
I live in Superior, WI I have been trying with little success to get a grove of Hollyhocks to grow. If I sow harvested seeds from a friends plant this fall and then sow more in the spring, will that result in blooming every year? How do I get them to grow in the first place and how do I winter them or the site where they are planted?
I live in Michigan and have a spectacular hollyhock that "volunteered" in my yard. But, it first showed up last year. Hollyhocks are usually biennial; they form a basal clump of leaves the first year and don't bloom until year 2. Afterward they die. They will self-sow or you can collect seed so you should have plenty by staggering the sowing over 2 years. If you cut the plant all the way down after blooming, it may live another year. They are very prone to rust infection which overwinters in the soil if the infested plant parts aren't removed promptly. Even so, rotating where you sow seed makes a lot of sense but do not save seed from heavily infested plants. Give them lots of room as air circulation reduces risk of rust, a fungal infection, as well as the risk of spreading it from one hollyhock to another (or other member of the Malva family like hibiscus).