Alcea rosea, commonly known as hollyhocks, are tall, stalk-like plants that can be found growing in many climates and different types of soil. Hollyhock blooms range in color from deep reds to light pinks and even black. These semi-tropical looking flowers bloom in mid-summer with large flowers growing up stalks that can reach 5 to 7 feet in height. Proper care for hollyhocks, such as pruning, is a must when trying to maintain constant blooms and foliage from the plant.
Remove any dead or dying flowers throughout the growing season. To remove, simply pinch or clip the dead or dying growth where it branches out from the main stalk.
Use your pruning shears to cut the hollyhock plant down after it turns brown during the fall months. According to University of Illinois Extension horticulturalists, stalks can be cut down to new basal foliage when flowering is complete to keep the plant looking neat.
Since the plant has a dormant season where it is not visible in the garden, you can leave 1 to 2 inches of the stalk sticking up out of the ground. This will help you remember where the plant will sprout next year.
Water the plant after pruning sessions. Pruning can sometimes steal away nutrients from the plant. Waters will help the plant stand up to the loss.