The Q&A Archives: Hollyhocks Not Blooming

Question: This year I purchased Country Mix Hollyhocks from Burpee and I'm disappointed they haven't bloomed yet and it is about mid-July! They are planted in prime tomatoe space in my garden and receive full sun and regular watering. After searching your library for an answer I discovered that Hollyhocks don't bloom till the second year. Is this true? Burpee should have told me this in their catalog or through a package insert. Shouldn't they mail out 2 year old plants? Any suggestions??? Thanks. I love this website! I visit many garden sites and this is very user friendly and the best!

Answer: In my experience, hollyhocks do not transplant well in their second year because of their need to establish large root systems, so it is usually better to plant younger plants and allow them ample opportunity to become healthily established in the garden. Hollyhocks as a rule are considered to be biennials, althought the occasional plant will bloom the first year and the occasional plant will persist as a perennial depending somewhat on their variety and growing conditions. I'm sorry you are so disappointed. They are lovely and many gardeners think they are worth the space ... and the wait while they become established. It is possible that yours could maybe throw a few flowers this year, but if so it would be towards the end of their normal bloom season, which would run roughly from mid July through August or so. If you would like to discuss the plants and planting instructions directly with Burpee, their customer service telephone number is 800-333-5808.

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