The Q&A Archives: Hollyhocks Multiplying/invasive

Question: NOTE: I'm so happy to have heard about your website on HGTV.

I was just about to plant some Hollyhock plants that I had ordered when a friend who has 'Double Pinks' told me she started with 4 plants (not seeds) 3 years ago and now has 10 plants and some growing in the neighbors yards. She also started them against her house and they have moved two feet out onto her lawn. She went on to say, she tried to did them up to move but found they had 4ft roots and were difficult to dig up.

Before I plan the rest of my garden space and before I make a mistake I will regret:
. Can the hollyhocks move from where you plant them?
. will the hollyhocks multiply?
. can the seeds fly into other parts of my garden and the neighbors gardens and selfsow?

I look forward to your reply. I will not plant my hollyhocks until I hear back from your experts.

Best Regards,

Answer: Hollyhocks normally grow as biennials or possibly short lived perennials and thus are traditionally allowed to self sow in order to replenish their patch. As with any plant that is allowed to set seed, the seeds may in fact blow from the original planting location, but the seedlings are not difficult to pull up when they are still small.

Keep in mind, too, that a single happy, healthy, mature hollihock of one of the larger varieties can be quite huge. They prefer full sun and will lean outward away from a wall or fence in search of light. This will cause any seeds to drop further away from the base of the plant.

If you are worried about this, you could deadhead the plants routinely, but allow a few stems to set seed, watch them and when the seed is fully mature harvest it before it blows away. Then, plant the seeds where you would like to have hollyhocks grow. This would solve the problem.

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