Old Barnyard Mix Hollyhock
They'll reseed for years of increasing color!
Our Old Barnyard Mix has been a favorite of Wayside customers for years, and it's easy to see why. These old-fashioned single-flowered blooms sport some of the darkest, richest colors known to the Hollyhock family - as well as cheery pastels and brights! All are studded with a prominent yellow center, and all arise profusely on sturdy 4- to 6-foot stems in summer, attracting hummingbirds and butterflies by the dozen. It is especially attractive to Checkered Skippers and the Common Hairstreak, acting as a host plant where they lay their eggs.
Years ago one of our horticulturists found a stand of Hollyhocks growing in an old barnyard in Vermont. Well-fertilized by cows and chickens for generations, it contained spectacular colors and unstoppable vigor. He brought a few plants home and, to our delight, they grew as happily in humid South Carolina as in frosty New England! We began propagating and custom-blending to reduce the potential for rust (that scourge of Hollyhocks!) and to select the clearest and most distinctive colors. You see the results!
The blooms are 3 to 5 inches wide, so thickly set that a budded stalk resembles some sort of exotic brussels sprout! The bloom tends to be heaviest in early summer, but continues reliably for many weeks, particularly in northern climates. Let the flowers play out on the plant, and you will be rewarded with plentiful new plants come spring.
Space these plants 2 feet apart in sun to part shade in fertile, moist soil. Hollyhocks like a good feed, so you might want to top-dress with cow manure (home cooking to the Old Barnyard Mix!) to really get them growing. They are not long-lived, so let the new plants come up each spring to be assured of plentiful, ever-increasing color! Zones 3-9.