Hollyhocks from Root

Another question from a neophyte perennial gardener.
I planted five hollyhock roots early this spring when I knew nothing about perennials. They are in a spot that is almost full sun, but the soil they are in is much sandier than the rest of the garden. I think some builder's sand was dumped in that area for drainage. We didn't improve the soil at the time we planted them, mostly out of stupidity. They have come up as little bushes of leaves, not more than a foot high. There is no sign of any flower spikes.
I've never grown these before so I don't know if their small size and lack of spikes is a sign that the soil was too poor to support them or because they aren't supposed to flower this year.
Do I leave them there for next year? Dig them up, improve the soil, and replace them with some decent ones from the local nursery?
They're sitting in one of the few sunny spots in my garden so I don't want to waste it!
-- Jenny - Low Carbing for 4 years. Below goal for weight. Type 2 diabetes, hba1c 5.7 . Cut the carbs to respond to my email address!
Low carb facts and figures, my weight-loss photos, tips, recipes, strategies for dealing with diabetes and more at http://www.geocities.com/jenny_the_bean /
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Jenny wrote:

Jenny,
Hollyhocks sometimes don't bloom until their second season. Yours may still bloom this season but if they don't just leave them where they are and they will bloom next year. Hollyhocks don't require much care. Just feed them every couple of weeks as you do with your other plants.
I have grown Hollyhocks for about 20 years and in the last few I have switched to the double (Chatter's double) Hollyhocks. I have picture of them on my web site, http://members.iglou.com/brosen/page7.htm and http://members.iglou.com/brosen/page8.htm They they are just as easy to grow (from seed) as the single Hollyhocks. I usually start the seeds in the early fall. That way they get a good start and usually bloom by July.
--
Bill R. (Ohio Valley, U.S.A)

Digital Camera: HP PhotoSmart 850
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Bill R wrote:

Bill - they're lovely. That's what we were hoping for. So........................mabe next year is the right attitude eh ?
Ma
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Blues Ma wrote:

Yes, just give them time. As I mentioned in the other post they MAY still bloom this year. In my area we still have over three months left of the growing season.
--
Bill R. (Ohio Valley, U.S.A)

Digital Camera: HP PhotoSmart 850
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just took a tour of your garden. beautiful!!! thanks for postig the URL..
lee h
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Jim, I forgot to ask while ago as got waysided looking at your lovely pics, but aren't Hollyhocks biennials? I forget. lee h
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Lee wrote:

Lee,
Yes they are but they re-seed quite easily. I have noticed that a lot of places are advertising them as perennials which really isn't correct.
--
Bill R. (Ohio Valley, U.S.A)

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Jenny wrote:

Where did you get them ? I planted six from Kelly Nurseries - or Burgess - and they are exactly the same as you describe. They are along a stockade fence, in very good soil. I was hoping for the tall product that is usually planted along tall fences. Didn't expect little bushy things.

Maybe we have the 'wait till next year' variety ? I am a Cubs fan as well.
Ma
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Hollyhocks are mostly biennial, grow first year, flower the second. But then mine flower for a few more years before they die off, replaced with their own babies. Give them time, you'll be pleased!
--
Ann, Gardening in zone 6a
Just south of Boston, MA
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