The Q&A Archives: Propogating Hollyhock Mallow

Question: This year I ordered 3 hollyhock mallow plants from a catalogue and planted them in April. They are doing very well and I read that I can take stem cuttings and plant them in the fall. How do I know how much to cut off, and when in the fall can I plant them? Also, where do I keep them this summer, indoors or outdoors? Thanks!!

Answer: Hollyhock mallow or Malva alcea should be a perennial in your area, so it should overwinter successfully in the garden. This plant is usually propagated by seed, and in fact usually self seeds in the garden near the parent plant. These seedlings can easily be transplanted in the spring when they are just a few inches tall. If you want to propagate a particular plant by stem cuttings you would take the cuttings and root them in midsummer, then plant the rooted cuttings in the garden in early September so they can become well established and deeply rooted before winter. You might mulch around these (not over top of them) in late fall with an organic mulch to help protect them against heaving during periods of oscillating temperatures. In my experience it is usually a good idea to keep a few seedlings coming along in the garden to replace the original plant as they do not seem to be very long lived. I think they bloom so much they exhaust themselves. Enjoy your malvas!

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