How to Protect Hollyhock


Hollyhocks were extremely popular in Victorian gardens. Today you still see these lovely flowers in urban and country gardens. Their 5- to 8-foot flowering spires can be seen growing against walls, buildings, and fences. They bloom from June through August with blossoms that are approximately 3 1/2 inches in width. Hollyhocks are biennials and they self-seed. You must protect your hollyhocks from hollyhock rust, which is a fungus that attacks the leaves, stems and other green parts of the plant.

Step 1

Grow your hollyhocks in soil that is high in organic content. They should be placed in an area that receives full sun. Do not overwater them as over watering can result in disease.

Step 2

Inspect for hollyhock rust regularly, and remove infected leaves immediately. Hollyhock rust will appear as yellow or orange spots on the top side of the leaves. These spots eventually grow together and cover and kill the entire leaf.

Step 3

Cut back the plants (after the first hard frost) down to the ground, and discard the plant material. Hollyhock rust survives on the plant debris, which is why it is important to cut back and discard the plants at the end of the growing season.

Step 4

Treat your hollyhocks with a fungicide in the spring when the new leaves begin growing. Apply several applications of the fungicide, following the manufacturer's directions.

Things You'll Need

  • Soil high in organic content
  • Hand pruning shears
  • Fungicide


  • Washington Post: Protecting Hollyhocks From Rust
  • Colorado State Extension: The Garden Hollyhock
Keywords: hollyhock rust protect, fungus fungicide cut back, blossoms disease hollyhocks

About this Author

Paula M. Ezop’s inspirational column "Following the Spiritual Soul" appeared in "Oconee Today," a Scripps Howard publication. She has published her first book, "SPIRITUALITY for Mommies," and her children's chapter book, "The Adventures of Penelope Star," will be published by Wiggles Press. Ezop has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Northeastern Illinois University and has been writing for 10 years.