Starting Hollyhock seeds

kizzyseeds(Z7b VA)March 10, 2006

Hi Flower Buds,

I'm getting ready to start some perennial Hollyhocks. I realize that since they weren't winter sown, I may not get blooms this year, but my question is HOW to sow them in flats.

I've read they need light and do best surface sown. Should I just lay them flat or lightly insert them into the soil on edge? I've never sown them before and these are all from trades so I don't have a commercial packet with instructions to follow.

Any advice will be great, as I plan to start about 200 or more for the Butterfly Society. They've been chilled for about 2 weeks, but I need to start them by the 15th.

Thanks gardening friends,



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A good place to get growing instructions for any plants is any online seed catalogs. I went to Thompson and Morgan and found this:

Sowing Instructions: Sow February to March or September to October. Germinate at 15-20C (59-68F) on the surface of a good free draining, damp seed compost. Cover with a very fine sprinkling of compost or vermiculite. Place in a propagator or seal container inside a polythene bag until after germination which usually takes 14-21 days. Do not exclude light, as this helps germination.

Here is a link that might be useful: Thompson and Morgan Online Catalogue

    Bookmark   March 11, 2006 at 9:36AM
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averybird(Zone 5b, WA)

Last year I grew Hollyhocks inside and just pushed the seed down flat into the top of the soil. Actually I think I started some using the wet coffee filter method first, then transferred them to soil after they sprouted, but that might get tedious if you want 200 plants!

Hmmm so if you winter sow hollyhocks it is possible to get blooms the first year? I was bummed to hear others talking about no blooms til the second year, so I would be delighted if its true :))

Also here is a link to a site I bookmark for germination tips. It is my favorite.

Here is a link that might be useful: Seed Germination Database

    Bookmark   March 11, 2006 at 10:21AM
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tastefullyjulie(Lewiston, NY 6)

If you start them early enough they can bloom the first year. Mine did when I started them in February under lights.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2006 at 6:08PM
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