Winterize Hollyhock’s (Alcea)

December 15th, 2020 – By J. L. Wells

Growing Hollyhocks: Planting & Caring for Hollyhock Flowers | Garden Design

Winterizing hollyhock’s is an easy task. But did you know that hollyhock’s have a short life span? Many varieties only last two to maybe four years. You can buy them from root at a local hardware store or you buy the fully grown plant at your local nursery/greenhouse. Either way, the plant may already be entering its second year, unless the plant was newly grown over the previous winter from seedling.

In the meantime, once fall arrives and right before the first real harsh frost, start getting ready to winterize. Make sure you have hay/straw, fallen leaves, mulch, or some other topping. When cutting down hollyhocks, leave around 3-4 inches (8-10cm) of the plant then cover with which ever toppings you have. Make sure to cover the plant in its entirety but don’t overly pack it, allow for some air circulation or else mold or fungi growth will occur and could potentially kill the plant, same with root rot (overly wet soil causes this).

Once the plant is covered, let it be. If your winter is going to be mild (not a lot of snow) but it has been somewhat a wetter season with rain or sleet, do make sure to check the soil. If it too wet, move back some of your coverings and allow air flow for a day or so (as long as the temperature doesn’t go below freezing, we don’t want to accidentally freeze and kill the roots of the plant). If the soil is extremely dry, give it a tiny drink. Just enough to seep down and allow the roots to have a small drink to keep pushing on. Some water is good, especially if your winter isn’t as cold or snowy. Believe it or not, watering keeps the plant alive and helps it survive the winter.

That is it for hollyhocks. They are easy to winterize and easy to maintain during the winter season. You may have some growth if the weather hasn’t really went below freezing much, and that it is okay. You can either cut down the plant or leave it and let the winter take care of them.

Hope you learned something new today. If so, please leave a comment below. If there was anything I missed or something you’ve tried that helps, please let me know and I’ll even try it out myself.

Take care.

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