The Q&A Archives: Hollyhocks

Question: My hollyhocks are finally blooming. Now I'm wondering about next year. Will they reseed themselves or will I have to replant?

Answer: Hollyhocks are perennials but most people treat them as biennials or even annuals. After the second year your hollyhock will bloom and if you allow some of the flowers to remain they will self-sow. The caution against allowing hollyhock plants to live past their second year is that they become much more prone to rust, which is really difficult to control - some of the newer strains are rust resistant so if you're growing a newer variety you may be able to keep it as a perennial rather than remove it from the garden.) I'd enjoy the flowers this year, allow the seeds to drop to the ground, then remove the plants this fall. If you dedicate a bed to hollyhocks and keep removing the oldest plants after they self-sow you'll always have hollyhocks in bloom.

Best wishes with your hollyhocks.

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