Gather Free Hollyhock Seed

Hollyhock - Maureen Gilmer
Just below these hollyhock flowers the round seed capsules already forming while above the flowers buds have yet to open.

Hollyhocks have long been America’s favorite flower for country gardens because the Hollyhock seed can be gathered and sown for free. Althea rosea is a biennial, growing from seed the first year with modest blooms, then the plants come back from the roots the second year for a far more magnificent showing. Therefore sow hollyhock every year. The first flowers will be going to seed by the time the last ones open at the top the stalk. Down low you’ll find capsules of small disk-like seeds. As each capsule matures the outer covering becomes fragile and papery when the seed is ready to be gathered to store. They’ll be ready for spring sowing in Black Gold Seedling Mix for an even bigger display next year.

About Maureen Gilmer

Maureen Gilmer is celebrating her 40th year in California horticulture and photojournalism as the most widely published professional in the state. She is the author of 21 books on gardening, design and the environment, is a widely published photographer, and syndicated with Tribune Content Agency. She is the weekly horticultural columnist for the Desert Sun newspaper in Palm Springs and contributes to Desert Magazine, specializing on arid zone plants and practices for a changing climate. She works and lives in the remote high desert for firsthand observations of native species. Her latest book is The Colorful Dry Garden published by Sasquatch Books. When not writing or photographing she is out exploring the desert on her Arabian horse. She lives in Morongo Valley with her husband Jim and two rescue pit bulls. When not writing or photographing she is usually out riding her quarter horse.

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