The Q&A Archives: Hollyhocks & Roses & Peonys!

Question: Dear Whom it may concern,
I would like to know how to get a seed out of a rose I know it is reccomended to do it differently how how do you get rose seeds??
I also would like to know about hollyhocks. How do you control the spread of them (hollyhocks). I would also like to know what type of plant they are such as annuals, or perennials? I would also like to know if there is any way that I can change the color of them. (beside spray painting them, hahaha). And is there anything speicial I need to do in the seasons we have (summer, spring, winter, and fall).
I also have a quick question on if I should mow my Peonys, and if I can when and if I can't how do I cut them off?
Sam Falk

P.S., I am a kid with permission from my parents to be on the computer so if there is any mistakes I'm sorry! I love flowers!!
Thank You for your hard work!

Answer: Rose seeds are contained inside the rose hips that form in the fall. A hip (fruit) forms at the base of each faded bloom. They are a bit like apples to which they are related -- rose hips are edible but very sour. Wait until fall when the rose hips begin to shrivel before you harvest them for seeds.

Hollyhocks are biennials (take two years from seed to bloom, then die after blooming) or sometimes an individual plant will live a little longer. They spread by self seeding. To prevent new plants, remove the faded flowers before they set seeds. There is nothing you can do to change the color on a hollyhock plant. Seedlings may have different colors from the parent plant though.

Hollyhocks do not require much care. You could mulch around the plants with several inches of organic mulch, and you might need to stake them if they become top heavy. Cut the plants back in the fall after frost kills the tops. They have an evergreen rosette at ground level, leave that alone and then tidy it if needed in the spring. Fertilize in the spring with a top dressing of compost and/or a general purpose granular fertilizer such as 10-10-10.

Do not cut down your peonies now. They need the stems and leaves to rebuild the plant's strength so it can bloom again next year. In the fall, after frost has killed the leaves, cut them off short.

We are glad to answer your questions. If you can limit yourself to one plant or question per Q&A entry, that would be helpful. We could give you more detailed answers to each question that way.

Enjoy your flowers!

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