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Tall flowers (hollyhock, malva) : what to do in winter?

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Tall flowers (hollyhock, malva) : what to do in winter?

Postby Dentelle » Nov 15, 2013 9:26 am

I planted (grown indoor from seed) hollyck and malva this summer. They have grown about three feet, with some flower, and now that winter is coming, I'm wondering what should I do with the stalks? Cut them back to the ground? Let them be?
And then, in the spring, anything else I should do?

I would really appreciate your help,

-D from Ottawa
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Re: Tall flowers (hollyhock, malva) : what to do in winter?

Postby Ian66 » Nov 17, 2013 11:45 am

You can cut them back to soil level this fall.....

Both plants are biennial and so the parent plant may or may not die this winter....
They also will self seed and become invasive.....Also, being biennal, the young seedlings will not flower next summer, but will flower the following summer, so it is important to have a parent plant while the seedlings mature (if you know what I mean....if not, google "growing biennial plants)

You can save the seeds and plant them up, but if they were hybrids, the flowers may not "come true" as the parent plant flower colours......

Hope this helps....
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Re: Tall flowers (hollyhock, malva) : what to do in winter?

Postby soccermomof3 » Nov 18, 2013 8:35 am

Thanks Ian, now I know why my new hollyhocks didn't bloom this year!
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Re: Tall flowers (hollyhock, malva) : what to do in winter?

Postby sunkeeper » Nov 30, 2013 3:29 pm

Hollyhocks are very prone to rust. Water your plants from below instead of using a sprinkle, because the rust fungus spreads in water. Setting up a drip system or soaker hoses will keep water at the plant's root zone and prevent the leaves from becoming wet. However you choose to water, do so early in the day to allow water to evaporate and soak into the soil before the cooler evening hours.
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Re: Tall flowers (hollyhock, malva) : what to do in winter?

Postby StephenW-G » Dec 11, 2013 9:38 pm

Just to clarify: Hollyhock rust (Puccinia malvacearum) is not spread in water, it is spread by airborne spores. Having said that, it's true that plants with wet foliage are more susceptible to the fungus, so keeping foliage dry when irrigating plants is a good idea.

Perhaps more important is to site plants where air circulation is good to excellent, and to remove infected leaves as they appear. Using shorter plants to hide the "bare ankles" of the hollyhocks will prevent plants from becoming unsightly.

After flowering, hollyhocks should be cut back to ground level (they'll re-sprout!) and all infected foliage and debris should be removed from the planting area. Wettable sulphur (an organic fungicide) leaves a residue on leaves after spraying, but is an effective control measure for rust. Most genera in the Malva Family are susceptible to hollyhock rust to one degree or another.

Hollyhocks (Alcea rosea) are technically short-lived perennials--not biennials--and cutting plants back after flowering encourages a perennial habit.
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