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How to Cut Back a Perennial Hollyhock Flower

By Hollan Johnson ; Updated September 21, 2017

Hollyhocks are old and lovely plants that look great in farm and cottage gardens. They have tall stalks, reaching six to eight feet in height, covered in colorful blooms. While hollyhocks are biennials, they can be treated as perennials and will grow back for several years if they are properly cared for. Cutting back perennial hollyhocks is what helps these lovely flowers survive for more than two years.

Allow your perennial hollyhocks to bloom. If your hollyhocks do not flower in the first year, do not pull them out. Wait until the second year and they should flower.

Cut the perennial hollyhock in half after it has bloomed for the first time. This should happen sometime in the spring. Remove all the blooms from the hollyhock at this time.

Cut the hollyhock in half again after it flowers for a second time. This should happen sometime in the early the summer. Remove all the blooms from the plant.

Cut the perennial hollyhock down after it has finished flowering, leaving two to three inches of stem sticking out of the ground. This should only be done once the hollyhock's growing season is over, in middle or late summer.

Cover the ground around the perennial hollyhock with mulch to protect it for the winter. This will allow the hollyhock to grow back the following year.


Things You Will Need

  • Pruning shears
  • Mulch


  • Perennial hollyhocks self-seed if the flowers are left on the plant.


  • If you do not cut back the perennial hollyhocks, they may not grow back the following year.


About the Author


Hollan Johnson is a freelance writer and contributing editor for many online publications. She has been writing professionally since 2008 and her interests are travel, gardening, sewing and Mac computers. Prior to freelance writing, Johnson taught English in Japan. She has a Bachelor of Arts in linguistics from the University of Las Vegas, Nevada.