My local nursery has this plant and I love it. The problem is all the leaves have dry rusty colored spots all over them, I'm not very experienced so I don't know what the problem is but I'm guessing a type of fungus as it's not effecting any of the plants being kept next to them. Anyway the nursery will start discounting plants in a few weeks and as bad as these things look I think they will probably still be there. They haven't sold a single one yet. Can these plants be saved well enough to come back next year healthy or should I just walk away?
Sick Mallow Zabrina
O duh, it's in the title, sorry. I would walk away from that, too. It's a biennial, I believe.
It would help if you could post a picture, but it's most likely rust--plants in that family are often susceptible to it. Rust can be managed to some extent if you clean up dead leaves in the fall and spray preventatively with an anti-fungal in the spring before symptoms show up, but I would be hesitant to buy plants that are clearly infected with it especially if you have other plants in your garden that are susceptible to rust since it could spread to them. Better to look for a source that's selling healthy plants.
Thanks for the tips everyone, I guess I will walk away and maybe look for some seed for Mallow Zabrina next spring.