First year flowering Hollyhocks?

MaCoggon
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MaCoggon
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Joined: 8:01 PM - Oct 17, 2003

1:18 PM - Mar 03, 2004 #1

Saw this on Gardener's World on Friday:
"Monty spent some of his 20 budget on seeds. These were mainly first-year-flowering perennials which should give a good display by mid-summer. This week he started sowing these in the greenhouse." (copied from the BBC website)
The list of seeds included a hollyhock. I thought these were biennials that you sow in the summer??
The reason I'm asking is that all my seedlings died in the heat last summer. Do you think I'd have a chance of getting some flowers if I sowed some more now?
Ma Coggon
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wannabegardener
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wannabegardener
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Joined: 10:30 PM - May 23, 2003

1:58 PM - Mar 03, 2004 #2

Ma, Scotia could probably advise you better .
My best guess is no. Not at this late date .They are indeed a biennial.
But if you lost yours to summer heat , then now would be a good time to sow the seed if you have a sheltered place you can grow them until you can get them in the ground.
That way your seedlings would be a better size and not succumb to the heat .
Funny though , in all the years I have grown them , heat has never been an issue .Water them well in the evening or early early in the morning and they do fine.Hm...
how about ordering some from a reputable mail order company as they would be selling last year's seedlings ?
The only reason people get lost in thought is because it's unfamiliar territory.
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scotia10
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scotia10
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Joined: 2:12 AM - Jun 24, 2003

4:20 PM - Mar 03, 2004 #3

Hi Ma,
You ask The list of seeds included a hollyhock. I thought these were biennials that you sow in the summer?? and Wanna saysMy best guess is no. Not at this late date .They are indeed a biennial.
Its a bit catch twenty two with these hence Wanna & Monty's answers.
Hollyhocks are very susceptable to 'rust' so the recommen dation is........ grow them as annuals!
As Wanna says it is a bit late for sowing as an annual now.
Many biennials can be forced into growing as an annual by sowing very early in the year, e.g. January.
What would be worth a try, is to sow half a packet now under a little heat, say at around 16-18C (60-64F).
This should speed up germination and consequently pricking out and growing on in pots ready for planting out after the frosts have gone.
n.b. Don't grow on under too much heat as they might get a bit weak and leggy...frost free and plenty of light is the best way.
The other half of the packet can be sown in the traditional manner,i.e. as a 'biennial'
There is a bit on my website about growing them if you care to look in there.
I hope this helps you, and if you do decide to go for it now I wish you every success...........as they say.......nothing ventured nothing gained




http://www.thegardenersalmanac.co.uk
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MaCoggon
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MaCoggon
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3:13 PM - Mar 04, 2004 #4

Thankyou both of you. I had already resigned myself to no hollyhocks this year until I saw Monty's comments on Friday, so it is worth a try! The worst that will happen is that I will get a pile of leaves this year and no flowers until next year, which leaves me no worse off than before.....
MaCoggon
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