How to Prune Hollyhocks

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Hollyhocks can take over an entire garden.
Hollyhocks can take over an entire garden. (Image: Red Hollyhock image by glosdad from Fotolia.com)

Hollyhocks (Alcea rosea) are striking plants that will grow in many climates and various types of soil. Hollyhocks bloom in mid-summer with huge flowers on top of stalks that reach 5 to 8 feet tall, attracting birds, butterflies and bees to the mid-summer garden. Hollyhocks are considered biennial but in many parts of the country, such as Florida, they are treated as annuals and replanted every year. Prolific self-seeders, the best way to keep the hollyhock from taking over the garden is to prune it to the ground after the last set of blooms starts to fade. The hollyhock is hardy to USDA zones 2a to 9b.

Deadhead the plant during the growing season. To deadhead, just pinch or snip off dead or dying flowers.

Cut the hollyhock plant stems all the way to the basal foliage (the part of the plant near the ground) when the plant turns brown in the fall.

Stop the hollyhock plant from reseeding by cutting the stalk to the basal foliage right after the final bloom for the season, while the plant is still green but has not yet produced seed pods.

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