Can I Transplant Hollyhocks?
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Many people wonder if they can transplant hollyhocks. Hollyhocks are beautiful, old-fashioned summer annual (or perennial, depending on the variety) flowers that are easy to grow under the right conditions. They are also a favorite flower of hummingbirds and butterflies.
If you want to get a head start on the growing season, you can plant hollyhock seeds in pots indoors as early as February (6-8 weeks before the last frost), then transplant them to your flower garden in the spring.
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The hollyhock seedlings can be transplanted outdoors when the outside temperature reaches at least 50 degrees F. The seedlings should each have 3-4 leaves on them.
Before planting the seedlings let them become accustomed to outdoors by placing them outside in a location where they are sheltered from wind and rain so they have a chance to become “hardened off” before planting.
Plant the seedlings in a sunny location in well drained soil, approximately 18 inches apart. Planting on a cloudy day will help prevent shock. When planting, place the tops of the roots just below the level of the surrounding soil.
Keep the area around your hollyhocks weed-free and water them weekly.
If you need to transplant a larger hollyhock plant, move it when it is not blooming, in the fall or winter. Gently pull out or dig up the plants and place them in a bucket of water until you transplant them. Plant them in a sunny location, and make sure the roots are completely covered when you plant them.
Do Hollyhocks Come Back Every Year?
Although hollyhocks are typically an annual flower, they are so good at re-seeding themselves that they invariable come back year after year.
Once you find a good location for your hollyhocks, they will multiply quickly as their seeds spread every year. You can easily transplant these new seedlings to a different location.
Do Hollyhocks like Sun or Shade?
Hollyhocks prefer a sunny location, and need sunshine to help the seeds to sprout. Once you have planted hollyhocks, the seeds that fell the year before will sprout all on their own the next spring.
Hollyhocks have a tap root that is easily damaged. For this reason, it is difficult to transplant mature hollyhock plants. Instead of moving entire hollyhock plants, it is better to either gather the seeds and plant them where you want them the next year, or wait until the seedlings emerge the next year and transplant the seedlings to a new location.
Growing Hollyhocks in Containers
Some varieties of hollyhocks can grow as tall as 6 ft. These varieties are not suited to growing in containers. However, there are some dwarf varieties of hollyhocks that can be successfully grown in containers, such as in a whisky or wine barrel.
Just make sure to check the soil frequently to see if it needs watering, as containers will dry out fairly quickly in the summertime. Water when it feels dry more than 1 inch deep into the soil.
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