Hollyhock Leaves Chewed and Have Rust - Knowledgebase Question

Oxford, NJ
Question by PCFAWC
June 8, 1998
My hollyhocks leaves have holes in them. Is something eating them and if so what and how to stop them. Also some of the plants have rust on them how can I stop this from happening and why does this happen?


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Answer from NGA
June 8, 1998

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Japanese beetles and the larvae of a couple of different moths enjoy the flavor of hollyhock leaves. An all-purpose neem-based repellent, such as Neem-Away (sold by Gardens Alive, 5100 Schenley Rd., Lawrenceburg IN 47025; 812/537-8650) keeps away more pests than the name suggests! Rust fungi are ever-present in the environment, just waiting for warm, humid conditions to favor their growth. The best deterrent is to grow your hollyhocks in a sunny place with good air circulation to help the leaf surfaces dry quickly and discourage the sprouting of spores. Remove any leaves that have the slivery-gray or orange growth on the undersides. If it looks like you'll be in an on-going battle with this problem, use Gardens Alive's Soap Sheild to prevent future outbreaks. Best of luck!

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