How do you keep hollyhocks blooming?

Answered by Cody Janus

To keep your hollyhocks blooming, there are a few key steps you can take. First and foremost, regular deadheading is crucial. Deadheading refers to the process of removing spent blooms and dead leaves from the plant. This not only keeps your hollyhocks looking tidy, but it also promotes more growth and encourages the production of new flowers.

When deadheading your hollyhocks, it’s important to pinch off the blooms at the base of the stem, right above a leaf node. This helps to prevent any damage to the plant and ensures that new growth will continue to emerge from that point. You can use your fingers or a pair of clean, sharp pruning shears to do this.

In addition to deadheading, it’s important to provide proper care and maintenance for your hollyhocks. This includes regular watering, especially during dry spells or hot summer months. Hollyhocks prefer moist but well-draining soil, so be sure to water deeply and allow the soil to dry out slightly between waterings.

Fertilizing your hollyhocks can also help to keep them blooming. Use a balanced, slow-release fertilizer or organic compost in early spring to provide the necessary nutrients for healthy growth and flower production. Follow the instructions on the fertilizer packaging for the correct application rates.

Another important aspect of keeping hollyhocks blooming is to provide them with adequate sunlight. These plants thrive in full sun, so make sure they are planted in a location that receives at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight per day. Insufficient sunlight can result in weak growth and fewer blooms.

Toward the end of the growing season, when most of the blooms are finished, you can consider cutting down the main stems of your hollyhocks. This helps to tidy up the plant and prepare it for the winter months. However, if you want your hollyhocks to continue coming back year after year, you can leave some seed pods on the stalk. These pods will eventually mature and drop their seeds, which can lead to new hollyhock plants in the following growing season.

In summary, to keep your hollyhocks blooming, remember to regularly deadhead spent blooms and remove dead leaves. Provide proper care and maintenance, including regular watering, fertilizing, and ensuring they receive adequate sunlight. Consider cutting down the main stems at the end of the season, but leave some seed pods if you want the plant to self-seed for future growth. By following these steps, you can enjoy a vibrant display of hollyhock blooms year after year.