When I got mine a decade ago, the directions said to cut off foilage at the end of winter. I did that and my plant was okay. After a couple of years, we had a warm spell before I usually clean up the garden, and the old stalks leafed out. I then trimmed off only the dead tips. That is all I have done since. My plant now has fat stalks and is about three feet tall and wider than three feet. It is a wonderful monster. I live on the east coast in zone 7.