The Q&A Archives: Hollyhock Falling Over

Question: Please don't be jealous of my problem....I don't know what I did right! Last year I transplanted 4 hollyhocks from a house about to be bulldozed. 2 white and 1 red came up beautifully. My problem is that one of the white ones is about 8-10 feet tall, and tipping. It also has 4 branches that are in bloom. I don't have stakes long enough to keep it from tipping, the ones I am using are about 5 feet long and keep it off the ground. I am only 5'3" and don't like ladders, which I would need if I did have longer stakes! My question is this: Would it harm the hollyhock if I cut the top off? Any other suggestions? The other white hollyhock is over 6 feet tall, and although staked, is also tipping. The red one is about my height and is doing fine with no stakes.

Answer: You did a great transplant job! It certainly won't harm it to shorten it, although you will lose some blooms. Most of the taller varieties of hollyhocks do need staking or are planted along the sunny side of a tall fence and tied to it. (This works best if the prevailing winds blow it against the fence and not away from it.) The only thing you can do to discourage extra height is to be sure not to overfeed the plants with nitrogen.

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