I Have Two Huge...

Hollyhocks! These plants are simply enormous. I haven't measured them but a rough estimate of six and a half feet sounds very realistic. Unfortunately they are in a really bad location - flanking our front walkway. I should have transplanted them last year to another location more suitable but either didn't think of it or was too lazy. Although the term "lazy gardener" is rarely attributed to me! Darla even thinks I don't sleep...

Hollyhocks and Dave's Daughters

Anyway these hollyhocks sprouted last spring from seeds made the previous season. They grew the first year and never produced flowers. This is the second full year of growth and they are now flowering, such is the nature of the biennial. I need to remove one of these hollyhock beasts to make the walkway walkable. I want at least one of them to grow old enough to produce seed so that I may collect it and relocate it to another garden. I did transplant a new hollyhock to another garden at the beginning of this spring so we will have a flowering hollyhock next year. To keep hollyhocks flowering year after year you really need to plant the seed every year so that when one is flowering another is growing in its first year.

One of the biggest problems with our hollyhocks is this lace effect on the leaves.

Hollyhocks are far from pest free and I've had these caterpillars on them every time. They are the larvae of the sawfly.  They munch and much and munch until the leaves resemble a set of grandma's doilies. The hollyhocks are covered with these half inch long larvae. I'll be outside very soon spraying them down with insecticidal soap to take care of the issue.

Hollyhocks are definitely not a plant for the perfectionist!

Labels: , ,