Pruning Hollyhocks

Hollyhocks are low-maintenance plants that provide height and lovely flowers when included in a landscape. This stunner does not require much trimming or pruning, but there are a few times when Hollyhocks need to be cut back. This plant does not require heavy pruning, but taking the time to maintain the plant will help the Hollyhocks thrive and keep your yard looking nice all year long.

Deadheading Hollyhocks will help the plant bloom more, but removing all of the spent flowers will prevent the plant from self-seeding. This plant is a perennial and dies back in winter. Cutting the stalk back to the ground in the fall cleans up the landscape and will make way for new growth in the spring.


When to Prune Hollyhocks

Hollyhocks only grow and bloom during the spring and summer. The stalk can be trimmed after the flowers fade, which may encourage another round of blooms later in the growing season. The plant will naturally die back in the fall and winter. Cut back the stalk to just a few inches above the ground in the fall. Removing this growth will keep your outdoor space looking tidy and clear the way for new Hollyhock plants to grow in the spring.

Prune Hollyhock plants during the spring and summer when they are blooming. Pinch back flowers when they start to die. Removing spent flowers allows the plant to continue to bloom so that you can enjoy the lovely flowers for as long as possible.

Why Prune Hollyhocks

Hollyhocks bloom during the spring and summer. Remove flowers when they start to fade or show signs of dying. The plant will continue to support any attached growth, and removing fading flowers enables the plant to redirect energy into new flower growth. This practice is known as deadheading, and it keeps the plant looking tidy, but it also extends the blooming season. Leave flowers in place as the bloom cycle winds down so the plant can self-seed, and you’ll continue to enjoy new plants. You can also collect the seeds and plant them in the ground or start the plants indoors during the winter.


How to Prune Hollyhocks

Step 1 - Watch the flowers for signs of decline

The flowers will start to droop, fade in color, and petals will fall away when they begin to die. Remove flowers as soon as they show signs of fading so the plant can redirect energy into new blooms.

Step 2 - Grow new plants

Either leave some flowers on the plant or save the seeds so that you can grow new Hollyhocks. This plant self-seeds, and removing the flowers will extend the bloom season, but it prevents seeds from setting.

Step 3 - Trim back all growth in the fall

Cut back the plant to a few inches above the ground at the end of the growing season.

Step 4 - Cut back dead or damaged growth

Strong winds can damage Hollyhocks; trim the plant if it is damaged from high winds or inclement weather.

Hollyhock Pruning Tips

  • Cut back damaged or dead growth.
  • Remove faded flowers to encourage more blooms.
  • Trim all growth back to a few inches above the ground in the fall.


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 Author Alison Cotsonas - Published 08-11-2022