Friday, July 1, 2011


If you have HOLLYHOCKS, you may have started to see the tiny holes in the leaves. This means those pesky little gray beetles with the long snout are feasting on them.  They can chew holes in the leaves, leaving them a skeleton of lace, and can even eat the flowers.  To control these little pests, handpick and drop into a bucket of soapy water, or spray pyrethrin with 1 tablespoon of rubbing alcohol added per pint of water, then spray on both sides of the leaves.  Another thing that helps decrease damage by these beetles is keeping newer, more vigorous plants. Plan on replacing your hollyhocks every other year.  They bloom in the second year, so I usually have a set of them--one in it's first year that won't bloom, and one in its second year, which will bloom.  I don't have a lot of room for them, so I only have three areas of the yard where I grow them.  They do best in wind protected areas, and, since they are taller than they are wide, look good in groups of three.  My favorite ones are the big, beautiful double ones, which actually look quite a bit like peonies.  They enjoy full sun, and like poor to average soil--in rich soil you'll have to stake them.  Don't get too much water on them, as they will get drown rot--In fact, they tolerate drought-like conditions after established. 
Peaches & Cream, White Cloud, and Newport double hollyhocks
You can see the holes in the leaves of the hollyhock in this picture

A close up of the 1/16th" beetle with the long snout

Susanne Holland Spicker Mother, Grandmother, Homemaker, Gardener, Teacher, Photographer

Passion is defined as the love of, or the object(s) of affection and emotion. I am passionate about family, friends, flowers, food, photography and fabulous music! This blog is dedicated to those loves.

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