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Q.Why Are My Heirloom Hollyhocks Migrating To The Lawn Rather Than Staying In The Flower Bed?

Zone Minot, ND 58701 | Anonymous added on June 10, 2023 | Answered

I moved to an older home in a small town two years ago. The neighbors were very quick to point out that the hollyhocks on the side of the house were “heirloom hollyhocks” and that every year the previous owner had distributed seeds to townspeople and that they were a big deal. They were in a south facing bed on the side of the house approximately two feet wide and three feet long. The summer we bought the house the bed was FULL (probably ten or more stalks)…last summer the bed was a little sparser (probably about six plans total in the bed) and several hollyhocks had sprung up in the dirt between some cobblestones nearby the bed. This summer there are NO plants in the bed itself but about six plants are coming up in the grass/lawn right next to the bed. (They are next to some very, very vigorous tall yellow flowered plants that I had to cut back significantly last year — these plants also had a bug problem last summer but the bugs didn’t seem to transfer to the hollyhocks.) Two questions: 1. Why are they not coming up in the bed but in the lawn instead?? 2. How do I make sure I keep them alive and get them back into the bed eventually so that I am not the most hated person in town? Really don’t want to be known as the person who killed Miss Patty’s heirloom hollyhocks…

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on June 11, 2023

Hollyhocks are short-lived perennials which means they only come back two or three years. If the blooms are left on the stalk to go to seed, you can collect the seed in the fall and plant them again in the spring. If you don't collect them, they will fall and come up anywhere.

It sounds like yours have died out in the bed and you need to plant more seeds in the bed. So be sure to save some of the seeds from the ones flowering this season. The seeds won't ripen till late summer or fall. They




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