Problems With Hollyhocks


Hollyhocks are the tall, sturdy perennials often found in ornamental gardens. These flowering plants produce colorful blooms biennially and set a multitude of seeds. Hollyhocks are easy to grow and offer a strong vertical accent to flower beds and gardens.

Alcea Rosea


The flowering hollyhock has large, lobed leaves that are subject to a fungal disease called hollyhock rust and to insect infestation.

The hollyhock is related to the hibiscus


Hollyhock rust is prevalent almost everywhere hollyhocks are grown. Air currents and rain carry fungal spores to healthy plants in other locations. The fungus can also overwinter with plant debris, infecting new plants that emerge in the spring.


Hollyhocks are hardy, drought-resistant plants. They thrive in full sun in locations that might be too dry or too hot for other plants. Excessive humidity or dampness encourages the spread of hollyhock rust among the plants.

Chocolate hollyhocks


If hollyhock plants need watering, they should receive it in the early part of the day so the leaves can dry quickly and avoid conditions that would favor fungus.


A thorough autumn cleanup will help break the disease cycle of hollyhock plants. Cut stems back to the ground, and destroy all leaves and plant parts.


Do not put infected plant debris in the composting bin because it will contaminate the compost.


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Who Can Help

  • Hollyhock rust information
Keywords: Hollyhock problems, Problems with flowering plants, Hollyhock diseases

About this Author

Loraine Degraff has been a writer and educator since 1999. She recently began focusing on topics pertaining to health and environmental issues. She is published in "Healthy Life Place" and "Humdinger" and also writes for various websites. Degraff holds a master's degree in communications design from Pratt Institute.