Hollyhock questions.

Do they bloom more than once? Are the seed pods capable of being planted? If so, when should they be harvested and how do you keep them until the next year? Will the seeds from a black bloom hollyhock produce black bloom plants?
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Yes. But not reliably. It depends on your conditions.

It'd make more sense to sow the individual mericarps (which are usually treated as seeds) or even to extract the seeds from the mericarps. The mericarps can be collected when the fruits have dried out on the plant, and may be stored by keeping them cool and dry (e.g. in a sealed contained in a refrigerator - not a freezer).

Some of the time. (I bought a supposed black hollyhock this spring, and the first flower has opened pastel pink with a soft yellow centre.) If you grow black hollyhocks distant from other hollyhocks I'd guess that they'd come reasonably true to seed - there's plenty of strains of black hollyhock seed on the market. If you grow them near other hollyhocks (of the same species) then it's likely to be a case of pot luck.
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Stewart Robert Hinsley
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They bloom through a long season (all summer at least) then as bienniels are done with life.

The seeds out of the pods can be planted. To get the most plants, start them indoors about six weeks before the last frost, & plant them where wanted after last frost. They can also be planted in the autumn right where you want them to develop. Fewer will survive that way, but there'll be more than enough seed so it won't matter. First-year foliage will appear early the following spring, & each plant will flower a year after that.
Occasionally they don't bloom until their third year but it is only rarely they grow back for a second year of flowering because once they've developed seeds they've finished their lifecycle (rarely they bloom for one more year if their stalks were taken as cut flowers & never finished going to seed). To have them perpetually requires replanting them from seed. In a large enough bed they might self-seed so well it won't be necessary to think about them, they just naturally reseed, but for crowded beds of limited size it takes specific planning.
They produce vastly more flowers when grown from seed because they develop quite a large root system their first year & multiple flower stalks their second year. Buying them as second-year bedding plants getting ready to bloom their first summer in the ground often results in only one stalk of flowers.

A seed pod remains when the petals drop loose. When it darkens & looks like its about to crack open, its ripe, take the pod then. The stalks flower for a long period, & the seeds are ripening over the same long period.

The dried seed can be stored in a dark cool spot for months on end if need be.

Yes.
If you want hollyhock-like flowers that don't need to be replanted for two-year cycles, check out tree mallows & rose-of-sharon hibiscuses.
-paghat the ratgirl
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paghat wrote:

Mine started to bloom about a week or two ago. They usually keep their blooms until fall, with some surviving until winter.
The first year I cut-down some dead stalks, but haven't since. Those same stalks that were there four years ago are blooming now, as well as new stalks growing off the same root mass just below the surface. There are only a couple of stalks that are growing off of their own root masses that weren't here four years ago.
At first I was a little disappointed that they weren't acting like biennials. I had plans for the area they were planted. But I've changed my mind, and I'm working around them now. I'd feel funny about killing-off something that's supposed to be a biennial, but has been blooming for at least four years now.
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Warren H.

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hollyhocks are actually weak perennials, usually treated as biennials partly because they occasionally die out after the second year. However, they are very susceptible to rust disease and generally look REALLY crappy their third year, as well as blooming poorly, so it's best to allow the seedlings which come up very prolifically all around their bases to replace them, and just yank the third year plants up out of the ground.
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