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beac Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-18-11 01:03 PM
Original message
Saving hollyhock seeds?
My hollyhocks are just about pooped out. Last year, they overwintered just fine (thought they never bloomed, despite being 'first-year bloomers') but I'm afraid they might not this year b/c they are only now regrowing tiny leaves at the base of the HUGE stalks. So, because I would like to plant them in some additional spots AND b/c the original ones might not make it, I want to save seeds this year.

I've been doing some research and know to look out for hollyhock weevils and to put the seeds in the freezer for a few days to kill off any larvae, but AFTER the freezer, what then? Some say store in freezer until Spring, others in a "cool dry place."

Have any of you saved hollyhock seeds in the past and what's your method?
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Denninmi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-18-11 03:16 PM
Response to Original message
1. Yes, its easy.
Let them get brown on the stalk, then harvest the individual pods, gently crush to liberate the seeds. You may want to wear gloves, they have thick hairs/thin spines that can penetrate the skin like a cactus.

I personally never did anything to kill insects in the seeds, because you get so many -- if half of them were no good, I'd still have way too many seeds for my yard.

You can plant them either right away OR hold for spring. Either way works. If you sow them now, they will come up really early, around the time of the daffodils. They will NOT bloom the first year.

I have funky plants -- they bloomed well, but the deer stripped all of the foliage. I hate deer!
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beac Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-18-11 04:16 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Thanks! Really helpful info.
So, does that mean that my hollyhocks that bloomed this year will NOT bloom next year, or does it just take two years to get going??
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Denninmi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-18-11 09:04 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. They'll bloom again next year.
Just be aware they are individually short-lived, 2 to 3 good bloom seasons is usually about it for an individual plant. But, they multiply easily, so you generally can have a copious supply.
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beac Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-18-11 09:42 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Cool. Thanks, Denninmi!
I grew them from seed to begin with and wasn't sure they'd ever amount to anything after a year and a half of clusters of small green leaves. Then this spring the leaves got bigger and bigger and when I got back after being away for almost six weeks, I had seven foot tall hollyhocks! :bounce:

And now, with your help, I'll be able to enjoy them year after year. :)
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REACTIVATED IN CT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-01-11 11:27 AM
Response to Reply #2
10. Hollyhocks are biennial - they take 2 years to bloom
n/t
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kurtzapril4 Donating Member (354 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-08-11 06:09 PM
Response to Reply #2
12. They will not bloom next year.
They are a biennial plant, which means the first year you get leaves, the second year you get blooms, then the plant dies after it goes to seed. They will self-seed, though.
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beac Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-08-11 08:03 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. OK, good to know. I have already saved some seeds and
will try both seeding some now and in the spring (as suggested elsewhere in the thread). Oddly, they had lost almost all their leaves after blooming but recently started making lots of new leaves. One last hurrah before death, I suppose.

Too bad it takes so long to get flowers-- they were STUNNERS!

I guess seeding every year from now on is the way to go. :)
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trud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-19-11 07:17 AM
Response to Reply #1
5. how do you store seeds in general?
Edited on Tue Jul-19-11 07:17 AM by trud
In paper? In plastic bags? In glass? Shut away from the air or do they need ventilation? Thanks.
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beac Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-19-11 07:46 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. I haven't done extensive seed saving, but what I have done in the past
(cilantro, morning glory, arugula, pansies and beans, so far) is to store them in a ziplock bag.

Tomato seeds require special treatment before they can be saved (there's a thread on this from last year here on the Gardening forum).

I usually Google "saving X seeds" and see what (sometimes conflicting) advice is out there about how to harvest the seeds and if you need to do anything before bagging them. Hollyhocks had a particularly wide range of differing opinions on the subject, so I came back to the resident experts here for the definitive word.

We are so lucky to have such a great little gardening community here in the 'backyard' of DU. :)
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mopinko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-23-11 08:53 AM
Response to Reply #5
8. try posting this in a separate thread.
we have at least one seed saving expert here, NRaleighLiberal. i know he pops in from time to time. but i am sure he would answer a pm.
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Curmudgeoness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-24-11 08:08 PM
Response to Reply #5
9. I store seeds in envelopes. I don't like the idea of plastic bags,
although I don't know if it matters. With envelopes, they have air and I worry about the moisture in the seeds causing problems in a sealed container. It is never a problem for me with the envelopes.
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pengillian101 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-05-11 09:38 PM
Response to Reply #9
11. Envelopes for me also.
I was never a huge saver of seeds, but when I did, I'd just put the dried seeds in separately labeled and sealed envelopes that were held together with a rubber band and stored in the fridge's bottom drawer over the winter. That worked well for me.

I don't have a garden anymore, just deck tomatoes. We have had delicious fresh BLT's already, which is early for northern MN, mmm.

Enjoy your beautiful gardens' harvest, everyone!

I absolutely love seeing everybody's gardening (& etc.) photos! :hi:
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FloriTexan Donating Member (481 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-11 04:59 PM
Response to Original message
7. Plastic baggie...
left open enough to let moisture out and store in a dry place. I put mine in my shed which gets extremely hot in N. Texas and they survive.
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