|I purchased 3 hollyhock plants from Burpee last year. They
are not growing in height, rather seem to be spreading
out. Is there something I can do about this? The plants
look very healthy but are only about 5 inches tall with
no center stem.
|I love hollyhocks! Since you're plants seem healthy, I won't go into soil improvement or fertilizing, but hollyhocks do take full sun and like adequate moisture. Are they receiving at least 8 hours of sun each day and regular, deep soakings?
Also note that some of the newer hybrid hollyhocks are shorter than the old-fashioned heirlooms. You didn't say which variety you planted, but that's something to check out.
Most hollyhock varieties don't bloom until their second year. They do have large leaves and tend to grow in a low clump for a year, and can create quite a mound. They don't always start growing upwards until they're getting ready to bloom. Since it's early in the growing season, I wouldn't worry about it. If things don't change, please feel free to write again.