Don’t you want your garden to stand out? Don’t you want that people should be attracted to your garden when visiting you? If yes, then there can not be a better alternative than the biennial plant of hollyhock.
Hollyhocks have elegant and long stems which makes them a perfect fit for your garden. Do you know when to plant hollyhock bulbs? Done worry we have you covered.
Hollyhocks originally originated in Asia and around the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. These plants belong to the family of the Mallow plant (Malvaceae family). This family contains approximately 1500 plants out of which 27 genera are found in North America.
In this article, we will discuss everything about planting and nurturing hollyhocks in your garden. So let’s dive in.
These are some basic data about the hollyhock plant:
- Zones: 3 – 8
- Height: 6 to 8 feet tall
- Spread: 1 to 2 feet wide
- The exposure required: full sun or partly shady
- Time of blooming: Around June and August
- Color: Hollyhocks come in a variety of colors including blue, pink, purple, red, white, yellow and black
- Characteristics: These plants bloom on top spikes and have little to no stalk. The tall spikes are completely covered from top to bottom with blooms. Hollyhock leaves are large and coarse.
- Toxicity: Hollyhocks are not known to be toxic. However, the stem can cause irritation of the skin in some people.
Remember that only reading the seed manual is not enough to plant the hollyhock bulbs. You must know the different factors that can affect its growth. These plants are quite responsive to environmental conditions. Be careful, extreme weather conditions and rainstorms can kill your plant.
When To Plant Hollyhock Bulbs?
The best time to plant hollyhock bulb is a week before the last frost. It is generally planted in the month of spring.
Where To Plant?
Plant the root in a well-draining area. Hollyhock also requires full sun to partly shady conditions. These are quite wide plants. Remember to plant each root with a gap of 30 to 60 cm apart. Do not plant the root in any windy area. It can damage the root. Keep the plant away from all nuisances.
How To Plant The Root?
Choose a spot where you would like your hollyhock to grow. Prepare a hole. Plant hollyhock root in the hole. Make sure the hole is wider than the root and deep enough to facilitate the growth of the root downwards.
Care should be taken that the taproot should be pointing downwards while planting. Gently press the root downwards and cover the soil. If you are planting hollyhocks roots in the spring, then cover the root with a box or newspaper to protect it from warm weathers.
What Care Is Required?
Pruning is a practice of removing selected parts like branches, buds or roots from the plant to help it grow better and more beautiful. Hollyhock plants can be pruned when it fades out. This will not allow for reseeding.
However, if you want to keep seeds for the next spring, leave the flowers and its stalk till the seeds start dropping. They will die out in winter. All the stems and leaves must be removed to prevent rust diseases because of overwintering.
Type of soil required
Provide nutrition-rich, well-drained and moist soil for hollyhock plant.
Hollyhock plant needs regular watering. In the growing stage, moist soil is indispensable. However, once they have grown, they are quite tolerant of drought. Protect the foliage from watering from above and below the soil as this can lead to diseased leaves.
It is beneficial to use a light amount of fertilizers and compost in the month of spring.
Seeds are the most preferred way to grow hollyhock. It can even reseed itself if flower stalks are left out.
Hollyhock Fungal Diseases
It is quite true that Hollyhocks don’t need much maintenance. As long as they get sufficient sunlight, proper rainfall, moisture and room to grow, everything goes well.
Since you cannot control the extreme weathers and rainfall, hollyhocks may suffer from some fungal diseases. Some common diseases are as follows:
Rust is the most common disease affecting the hollyhock plant. The fungus responsible for hollyhock rust is named Puccinia malvacearum fungus.
This disease starts from the lower leaves of the plant. The leaves closer to the soil are more prone to get soaked. Over the rest of the summer, the fungus spreads to the upper leaves. This infection first shows as little orangish-brown colored flecks and later develops into brown or rust-colored flecks.
The best preventive measure against hollyhock rust is fungicidal treatments. Use Copper Fungicide, Safer Brand Fungicide or Garden Safe 3-in-1 spray. These products are environmentally friendly and safe for animals and children.
Powdery mildew is a very common fungal disease and is found throughout North America. It is easy to identify because it covers the plant with some whitish powder-like substance.
Unlike Hollyhock rust, which is caused due to excessive moisture, powdery mildew is caused due to low moisture and hot weather.
As the infection grows, the powdery substance begins to spread to more new leaves and to developing buds.
Make sure the plant receives sufficient air and moisture. Watering of the plant should be done early in the morning. Clean your gardening tools regularly. These preventive measures are enough to tackle this fungal disease.
I hope I’ve given you sufficient information to grow hollyhocks in your own garden. Believe me, these plants can increase the beauty of your garden manifold. If you don’t have any these in your garden already, make sure to get some.
- Plant these at a place where there is plenty of sunlight.
- Plant them far apart to allow them for their growth.
- Water them regularly in the morning.
- Plant them in well-drained soils.
- Cover the soil around the root with mulch.
It is true hollyhock requires some efforts in the initial days, but the rewards you will reap will be much more.