Trouble with my Holly Hock - Knowledgebase Question

Baltimore, Ma
Question by robinet55
June 19, 2010
My Holly Hock has a problem. After it grew nice and tall and blooms started to form, I noticed that the leaves were getting these yellow brow spots. Now these areas are on the stems, and the blooms are falling off before they open. Can this plant be saved? this my first one and it's really a pretty plant.

Answer from NGA
June 19, 2010


Hollyhocks are susceptible to a fungal disease called rust and the symptoms are those that you've described. I don't think you can do anything to save your plant now that it has the disease. Disease pathogens overwinter in plant debris so cutting back the infected plant parts and removing them from the garden is an important first step. Preventative applications of fungicide, begun very early in the spring, can protect your hollyhocks from developing rust later in the season. Fungicides containing chlorothalonil (e.g. Daconil 2787), mancozeb (e.g. Fore, Dithane, or Penncozeb), trifloxystrobin (e.g. Compass), or myclobutanil (e.g. Systhane) can be used for preventative control. So while you may need to cut back the diseased plant now, it should resprout and when it does you can begin using a fungicide to protect it from rust. Wish I had better news for you!

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