Melinda's Garden Moment: Hollyhock Leaves Riddled with Holes and Spots


      An old fashioned favorite, thehollyhock, is easy to grow, but the leaves are often riddled with orange spotsand holes.

      Rustis the cause of orange spots on leaves. Though it looks bad, your plant willsurvive. A thorough cleanup in fall willhelp reduce the source of disease next season.

      Thehollyhock weevil eats small irregular holes in the leaves, while Japanesebeetles can riddle the leaves with holes eventually skeletonizing them. Knock these pests into a bucket of soapywater to reduce their population and feeding damage.

      Caterpillarsand sawflies can also eat irregular shaped holes in the leaves. Look for them at dusk on the underside ofleaves and along the stems and remove any you find.

      Healthyplants will survive these pests. Consider masking the damaged leaves with nearby shorter plants, whileallowing the flowers to shine through.

      Grow Happy Lights Hollyhocks, a more rust-resistant cultivar, for vibrantcolored single flowers on 5 to 7 foot tall plants. Start the seeds indoors in late winter forbloom the first summer or plant in the garden midsummer for flowers thefollowing year. Plant seeds ofhollyhocks every year for yearly bloom.

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