Hollyhock or Alcea rosea is commonly used for landscaping domestic gardens. The hollyhock flowers are preferred to provide a neutral background to the garden setting with their pastel shades. Hollyhock cut flowers are popular for gifting purposes also. In order to create specific garden patterns with hollyhocks, regular pruning is needed.
You should cut-away the dead hollyhock flowers. This is vital to negate the spread of fungal diesases and encourage blooming.
- Try to cut minimally at the top of hollyhocks, i.e. avoid pruning flowers at the top of the foliage. This tends to accelerate upward growth but the formation of flowering buds is delayed. This also creates the problem of excessive side-shoot development.
- Top-pruned hollyhocks become denser towards the top, becoming vulnerable to being uprooted by strong winds.
- To preserve cut hollyhock flowers, the stem needs to be treated. You should turn the stem upside down to pour out the water. The cut-end can be plugged with cotton.
The main stem needs to be pruned if it is more than 5 feet tall because taller hollyhocks are susceptible to excessive leaning. Hollyhock stems should be cut when they start turning brown. You can increase the density of flowering branches by pinching off the growing tips of branches near the main stem. Hollyhocks with pinched branches are shorter, but flower more densely.