Winter Care for Hollyhocks


Hollyhocks (Alcea rosea) are a popular biennial flower of the mallow family. Native of China, these tall, old-fashioned flowers were among the first plants brought to North America by English colonists. They are still common in cottage gardens today and will bloom for years with proper care.


Hollyhocks are drought-resistant plants. Excessively wet soils of winter can stunt growth and cause root rot. Planting the flowers in corners and near walls offers protection from wet conditions.


Cut the stems of the hollyhock plants down to the root crowns once they have turned brown following a hard frost. Plants suffering from rust should be uprooted and destroyed as the fungus can infect new plants that emerge in the spring.


Freezing temperatures can destroy the hollyhock. Prepare the winter bed by mulching with a thick layer of straw or cedar chips. This will insulate the soil and offer protection to the hibernating roots.


Wintering hollyhocks can be protected from cold winds by covering them with a canvas tarp or thick sheet.


Hollyhocks can be uprooted and brought indoors during winter months. Care must be taken not to damage the taproot when transferring to a pot.


  • Home and Garden Publications
  • Garden Grower
  • The Garden Hollyhock
Keywords: winterizing hollyhocks, preparing garden plants for winter, protecting hollyhocks from cold

About this Author

Loraine Degraff has been a writer and educator since 1999. She recently began focusing on topics pertaining to health and environmental issues. She is published in "Healthy Life Place" and "Humdinger" and also writes for Suite101. Degraff holds a Master's degree in Communications Design from Pratt Institute.