Rent Shop Volunteer Join

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Wednesday - April 16, 2008

From: Georgetown, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Disease on non-native French hollyhocks
Answered by:

QUESTION:

I live in Georgetown, Texas. I have some French hollyhocks that have some kind of disease on the leaves - I would like to know what to spray them with to get rid of it. It looks like brown blemishes all over the leaf and the blemishes are small and round. It really looks gross. One of our local nurseries said it might be a bacteria of some kind but they weren't that helpful. I pulled off the infected leaves and the new growth eventually got the same thing. Please help! The plants have been hearty and a dark green until about a month ago.

ANSWER:

The French hollyhock is a lovely old garden flower; in fact, legend has it that Thomas Jefferson grew it at Monticello. That does not mean, however, that it is native to North America, indeed, it is native to Europe, north to Scandinavia and east to Russia and the Caucasus. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is dedicated to the care and propagation of plants native to North America, so this is a little out of our field of expertise. However, we are always glad to help out, if we can, with problems gardeners are having with their plants. We hunted around for information on Malva sylvestris, French hollyhock, and mostly found that it had no serious insect or disease problems, although Japanes beetles can be a problem, where present. We did find one reference with said that the Malva sylvestris can be prone to rust fungus. Not having a clue what that was, we searched some more and found this website on rust fungus that is probably going to tell you more than you ever wanted to know, but there are a lot of pictures you can compare to the blemishes on your flowers. If you feel that is the problem, ask your nursery to recommend a good fungicide, and apply it exactly as instructed. Good luck!

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Privacy screening from Phoenix AZ
April 14, 2013 - I live in the center of Phoenix, Az. On the eastern side of my house we have some 2 story condos next door. The width of the side yard is about 12'-15' and it gets lots of shade. I also have my powe...
view the full question and answer

Non-native Genista racemosa from Houston
June 17, 2012 - Read your info on Genista Racemosa. Doesn't address my problem of it not blooming this year. It's in full sun and growing well, about 30" tall & round. Bloomed last year. We're feeding with ba...
view the full question and answer

Shade tolerant plants for privacy from Larchmont NY
April 19, 2014 - Love your site! We have a 4'x4'x50' stone wall, full sun, with a planting bed 30"H by 24"D. We're looking for privacy, so a hedge with pruning is needed. We have looked at Ilex Crenata (8'),...
view the full question and answer

Will deer eat lemon cypress trees from Hayden ID
June 02, 2012 - Do deer eat lemon cypress trees? We do not think so since they are so spiny, but wanted a clarification.
view the full question and answer

Habiturf for Round Rock TX
March 17, 2013 - Topic Habiturf. We have just aerated our lawn. We were planning on throwing out bermudagrass seed. We already have bermudagrass as well as many weeds in the lawn especially the blue stem clump grass w...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.