hollyhocks

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by Deb&Al, Jun 16, 2005.

  1. Deb&Al

    Deb&Al Well-Known Member

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    i have about eight hollyhocks growing from last year, but last year i lost them all because these little green worms just made leaf-lace out of the leaves, and the HH didn't flower at all.

    this year, they are about 7 feet tall, and loaded with flower pods that haven't opened yet. i have been spraying the leaves, tops and bottoms, with a soap-based insecticide, and it seems to help for a few days and then i have to reapply. but, that's okay, because i try to avoid the chemicals.

    here's my question. i also notice flea beetles on the HHs. are the little green caterpillar worms the larve for the flea beetles?

    also, the leaves from the bottom up are the ones with the most damage, and there is no damage to the top have of the plants. there are fallen leaves underneath the plants that i have been raking out, and the leaves are like paper lace and shredded.

    i don't know how the few caterpillar worms i see could be doing all of this damage. are there bugs in the soil that come out at night or something and feed?

    any information on this would be appreciated. thanks.
    debbie
     
  2. Kygardengal

    Kygardengal Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure what the little worms are BUT...hollyhocks are the host plant for both the Painted Lady and Grey Hairstreak butterflies. You would have to look for the eggs which will be very tiny. They will seek out this plant to lay their eggs on as it is one of several plants the caterpillars will eat. The caterpillars will start out very very tiny and may look like worms.
     

  3. YuccaFlatsRanch

    YuccaFlatsRanch Well-Known Member Supporter

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    your HH didn't bloom last year because they are bi-ennials and usually don't flower until the second year.

    Bacillus thurengensis (BT) will take care of the caterpillars - safely. Neem oil might.
     
  4. Deb&Al

    Deb&Al Well-Known Member

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    hi YFR
    does that mean they won't bloom next year? will they come up next year?

    this whole bianneal (sp) thing drives me nuts.

    debie
     
  5. themamahen

    themamahen Well-Known Member

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    Hello,
    a Bienniel is a flower that will not bloom the first year it was planted, it develops the root system the second year you will get blooms and every year thereafter with the 3rd year being the best for blooms. good luck