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Southern Plains Regional Reports

Regional Reports: The Best Perennials to Start from Seed – Southern Plains

Perennials to start from seed

Fine Gardening – Issue 155

1. Hollyhock

Name: Alcea rosea cvs.

USDA Hardiness Zones: 3 to 9

Size: 5 to 8 feet tall and 1 to 2 feet wide

Conditions: Full sun; fertile, well-drained soil

From double- to single-flowering plants, hollyhock is back in fashion. It is easy to start from seed and, once established, will self-sow for years. I grow single-flowering types to encourage more pollinators. There’s nothing like watching a fat bumblebee grab the flower and vibrate pollen from it. Sow seed indoors in small pots, press into soil, and lightly cover. You can also direct-sow in the garden and thin to the strongest plant. Hollyhock can be plagued by rust in moist areas, so keep its leaves dry.


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