The Q&A Archives: Hollyhocks

Question: Each year my hollyhocks get attacked and the leaves get chewed and shrivel and turn yellow.It happens every year

Answer: Hollyhocks are prone to foliage problems such as hollyhock rust as well as to a certain amount of insect damage. Hollyhock rust and other disease issues can be limited somewhat by allowing ample space for the plants so they have good air circulation and by removing and disposing of all of the fallen stems and foliage in the fall. This helps prevent carryover to the next year. The other approach is to plant flowers in front of the hollyhocks so the unattractive hollyhock foliage is concealed from view. You may be able to repel insects such as Japanese beetles by using a neem based spray per the label directions. The foliage problems are one reason why hollyhocks seem to go in and out of favor with gardeners.

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