Hollyhock Update : 15.5 feet

I have posted off and on about my hollyhock this summer. Hollyhocks are biennial…last year it grew to a standard size of 6 feet or so. This year it went beserk and just kept growing and growing. It was close to 12 feet the last time that I posted about it, and I had to bring the top portion inside the back porch lest it hit electrical wires running from under my roof to the pole.

Blooms start at the bottom and they die off and more blooms appear higher up, etc. Here’s what it looked like with just one or two blooms left.

hollyhock before taking it down

My view when I step out onto the back porch in the morning :

back porch view

I didn’t plant morning glories this year, but let my ‘volunteers’ from last year come up, and rather than train them on strings going up the porch, I let them twine around the tall grass, and then later on the holly hock as it continued to grow. It was a pretty sight to behold the last few weeks :)

morning glory growing up the hollyhock before taking all down

Yet, while the morning glories would bloom until frost, I tore them up and downed the hollyhock on Sept. 8th, along with filling the garbage cans with older sunflowers, weeds, etc.  The morning glory vines were downing too many of the tall grass stems, and the autumn sedum ( peeking out below in the photo above ) needs its time in the sun, to be fair to it.

Here she is…downed. My youngest son was over here the next morning and we measured her at 15.5 feet.

downed hollyhock collage

Why did she grow this tall?  I do not know.  I could have used some compost dirt when I planted her last year. It could have been companion planting with an heirloom tomato next to her. It could have been all of the rain that we had this summer.  It could have been that when I rinsed out the coffee pot in the morning, and dumped it on her, ( the back porch is right off of the galley-kitchen ) that the remains of Folger’s Breakfast Blend got her caffeinated enough to grow double-time….who knows :)

You might also enjoy:  The Giant 9 Foot Hollyhock : Early July Garden  or Fabric Pennants, House Blessings & Hauntings  or How Much Piecin’ a Quilt is Like Livin’ a Life

Sharing at : Sew Many Ways / Frugal By Choice / Cozy Little House / Savvy Southern Style / Fishtail Cottage / An Oregon Cottage

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21 Responses to Hollyhock Update : 15.5 feet

  1. Margie Miller says:

    What a huge hollyhock!

  2. Vickie says:

    Maybe I’ll start sharing my coffee with my hollyhocks! I’ve tried over and over again to get them to grow along our fence with no luck whatsoever. And my “heavenly blue” morning glories bloomed white and pale purple. I guess they need a caffeine boost, too! Your hollyhock turned out to be the perfect trellis for your morning glories!

  3. Karen says:

    I have tried morning glories without success I need to try again I love them!

  4. Jane says:

    Well, those are all good ideas as why she grew so tall. Did the plant get a lot of sun? I am starting to pull my annuals from pots. I don’t know if it’s the cool weather we’re having but I just don’t want to have a ton all at once, especially on a cold day with freezing fingers!

    My morning glories are putting on quite a show (finally!).

    Jane xx

  5. Kim says:

    That is one crazy flower, Deb! I have zinnia flower that is about 7 feet tall right now, I thought that was big! You must have the magic touch!

  6. Judy says:

    I can’t seem to get Holly Hocks to grow here. I’ve had them in every garden I’ve live, before. Sigh. My Zinnia’s are giant this year also.

  7. Love the post, and I’m going with the Folgers Breakfast Blend did it. LOL

  8. Sally says:

    That is amazing! Wow.

    Your house reminds me so much of one that my friend’s parents lived in for over fifty years. I miss
    going there.


  9. yep, must be the coffee ;)!

  10. Grandma Kc says:

    What a wonderful thing to experience! It really was beautiful!

  11. Debbie H says:

    I agree, it’s the coffee. Your summer garden was beautiful. Can’t wait to see your fall garden.

  12. Balisha says:

    Coffee….well I never!

  13. Carol Cook says:

    Okay, starting tomorrow morning when I wash out Steve’s French press, the grounds are going into my garden!

  14. Carla says:

    My guess is ample rain! They like moist soil conditions. I put my coffee grounds in my compost pile too! I wonder if your hollyhock could have made the Guinness Book of World Records!

  15. Joyce says:

    Totally amazing! My grandma had those growing in front of her fence, but I don’t recall them ever getting more than 6 feet tall – and she was a skilled gardener. I hope yours returns next summer and makes this one look like a shrimp. Btw – did you name her?

  16. Amy says:

    Maybe one for Guinness Book of World Records! They say coffee stunts your growth, but I’m thinking that’s the secret ingredient!

  17. That was one big Hollyhock for sure. Mine died last winter but it never did grow that tall. Loved those gorgeous Morning Glory.

  18. Wow…that’s one big Hollyhock. Never knew that they biennial. Love your tall grasses too. We just started planting this year and my grasses didn’t do very well. I noticed that my neighbors didn’t do well either. Thanks for sharing your lovely garden.

  19. Marti says:

    Oh no, you shouldn’t have cut it down! A few more feet and you could climb it and get the goose that lays the golden eggs. lol

  20. That Hollyhock takes my mind back to my childhood days. Mum had one growing by the back door in the sunshine. I loved it and even now it makes me think of story tales and fairies. Ours only grew the standard man’s height which for a young girl seemed quite tall.
    Morning glories over here can take over the whole garden once it takes hold.
    Love your photos
    Alexa from Sydney, Australia

  21. Patti says:

    Love it. What a beautiful surprise!! Enjoy.

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