Julie J
Julie J
  • Hometalker
  • Massillon, OH
Asked on Jun 12, 2012

Some Issues With My Hollyhocks

Mimi HaywoodGailJulie J
+10

Answered

I love my hollyhocks, but their leaves are completely dead. They started out great, the plant grew into a huge bush, 7 feet tall. Then the leaves got a yellow spot underneath and was covered in little black looking flies. Now it's flowering and they're beautiful, but the rest looks terrible. Anyone else have this issue? What's the solution?
My sick looking hollyhock. The leaves look bad, the flowers are beautiful!
My sick looking hollyhock. The leaves look bad, the flowers are beautiful!
Hollyhocks
Hollyhocks
13 answers
  • 360 Sod (Donna Dixson)
    on Jun 12, 2012

    Do they look like they have any spider web looking stuff on them, around the crotch where the leave joins the stem? Can you get a closer pic of the leaves and the damage to them ? You can try spraying with a insecticide, but the damage looks to be pretty significant at this point.

  • Julie J
    on Jun 12, 2012

    No, just those annoying little black flies and spots under the leaves. Then the leaves get a million little holes, turn brown and die:(

  • Julie J
    on Jun 13, 2012

    I don't have a better photo at the moment. I did some spraying, but only once. I wonder if it can be saved for next season?

  • At first sign of infestation(next year), you can dust with Sevin. For now, after they finish blooming, just cut them back. I'm not sure how much new growth you'll get this season, but next year they should come back just fine. Gorgeous color (are you saving seeds?)

  • Douglas Hunt
    on Jun 13, 2012

    As Stephenie says, Julie, you should be saving seeds if you want more of those lovely hollyhocks. They're at best a short-lived perennial, often a biennial that completes its life cycle in two years. So you can take your chances with self-sowing, or save the seeds and plant them to make sure you have more.

  • Beverly P
    on Jun 13, 2012

    I had the same thing happening with mine, I immediately put sevin dust on it, it is doing much better now. As far as this year though unfortunately I think it got too bad for you. Next year, keep an eye on it and the first you see those little holes...get the sevin out and dust liberally! I usually find that they reseed themselves, but by all means save seeds if nothing else to grow a larger area or give away. Happy gardening! :)

  • Julie J
    on Jun 22, 2012

    Thanks, everyone. I asked a local nursery owner and she said it is common with hollyhocks. She called it rust and I have to strip the leaves, clean up the dead and the mulch around them. It spreads by spores. Sure is bad, but the flowers are great. I will definitely be saving seeds!

  • Beverly P
    on Jun 24, 2012

    To avoid this next year, try thinning out your plant so that it gets better air circulation. Mold grows in moist areas, and it may survive the winter so I think thinning it would help you. Try not to water the foliage also, only the soil. This happens alot to tomato plants as well, watering the leaves only increases the problem.

  • Jean M
    on Jun 26, 2012

    I have Hollyhocks also and I'm finding caterpillars on mine and I think that is what is eating my leaves. they don't look as bad as Julie's but I see where something has been eating the leaves on mine.

  • Gail
    on May 19, 2015

    My hollyhocks were like that last year I found small worms doing the damage I dusted with powder supposed to be ok for hollyhocks browned up the entire plant. Now they are up again and thriving but saw green worm eating leaf yesterday so got a soapy spray so going to check every day if I see a worm I pick it off and kill it. We will see what happens.

  • Julie J
    on May 20, 2015

    Good luck @Gail, I hope it works out for you. Mine never came back:(

  • Gail
    on May 20, 2015

    Checked my hollyhocks this afternoon. The leaves don't look like last year or yours but like Jean M said I have green caterpillars this year which are eating the leaves pulled off 3 and sprayed again with the soapy spray didn't see any before dark. Last year was my first year for hollyhocks wanted them for the hummingbirds but if I keep having problems I will pull them out.

  • Mimi Haywood
    on May 21, 2015

    Natural pest control: fresh minced garlic, water, dab of dawn and you have guilt free control of many pests.

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