Holly Hock Flower Seeds (Mixed Colors) | 200 seeds | Pack of 2 PLANTING INSTRUCTIONS How and when to plant hollyhock seeds: Hollyhocks are easily started from seed indoors or out. Seeds can be sown directly outdoors about a week before last frost. Sow at just ¼ inch deep and about 2 feet apart. Hollyhocks have long taproots, so if seeds are started indoors, use tall, individual pots and transplant early to avoid damage. Start indoor seeds about 9 weeks before the last average frost date. Seedlings can be placed outside two to three weeks after the last frost. Also, bear in mind that some are biennials and may not bloom until their second year. Where to plant: Plant in a well-draining area with full sun to partial shade. Due to their height, protect from damaging winds and provide support such as a fence, wall, trellis or stake. Hollyhocks will readily self-seed if left to their own devices, so locate them in an area where this won’t be a nuisance. Also, hollyhocks are one of very few plants that can be planted in proximity to black walnut trees because they are tolerant of the chemical juglone that is leached into the soil by the tree HOLLYHOCK CARE Pruning: Hollyhock flowers can be removed when they fade and stalks can be cut back after flowering. This will prevent seed heads from forming and reseeding. Although, if you’d like to have seeds set for next spring, leave the flowers and a few stalks until the seeds have dropped. They’ll die back in winter and all stems and leaves should be removed to prevent rust disease from overwintering. Soil: Provide rich, moist, well-drained soil for hollyhocks. Amendments & Fertilizer: Hollyhocks can benefit from a light application of fertilizer or compost in the spring. Watering: Provide regular water and keep soil moist for starting hollyhocks. However, once well established, they are fairly drought tolerant. Water from below and avoid wetting the foliage, as this can lead to diseased leaves. Propagation: Hollyhocks are best, and easiest, grown from seed and they will readily self-seed if flower stalks are left in place. Diseases and Pests: They are prone to hollyhock rust, a fungal infection that first shows as yellow spots on leaves, then develops into brown or rust colored bumps on the underside of the leaves. Preventing rust is much easier than trying to tame an outbreak. Watering from below, good air circulation and thorough late fall cleanup will go a long way in stopping rust from forming. Any leaves that show signs of rust should be removed from the plant and disposed of to prevent further spread. There are cultivars that have been developed to be more rust resistant, such as Alcea rugosa varieties. Slugs, snails, spider mites and Japanese beetles can be problematic as well. Hollyhocks are seldom browsed by deer. Over-wintering: In areas that get hard freezes, hollyhocks can be grown as annuals, starting seeds in containers and over-wintering indoors. Water sparingly over the winter and gradually reintroduce them outside when the weather begins to warm up. In other areas where they can be left outside, prune them back to about 6 inches above ground level in the fall. Cover with 4 to 6 inches of straw or mulch over the root zone and base of the plant. In spring, gradually remove in layers to slowly acclimate the roots. Once new growth is emerging, remove all the straw or mulch. Recover in case of a spring freeze.