Is this leaf normal?

Moccasin(z9aMobileAL)April 3, 2014

This spring I have leaves unfurled, and while it may be the texture of maturing leaves, I don't know. Last year around this time I had several of my more mature fragrant hosta come down with some sort of virus, not HVX, but something.....and I had to toss them in the trash. This year I want to catch such problems at the earliest point so I may avoid contaminating any clean hosta which may be a tad too close to that neighbor.

But here is the picture I took yesterday of Holy Mole I think it is.
Yes, Holy Mole. Now, it could be signs of maturation, which is what I'm hoping. Or, it could be some awful virus. I await responses with my fingers crossed, holding my breath.

Holy Mole

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

you are really stretching the ability of these old eyes ...

all the guacamole progeny are slow to color up ... but i dont know if you are asking about color

puckering is a maturity issue ... all looks normal.. but i cant focus on the one at 9 oclock ... and i cant tell if it looks wonky [new term!!!1] .... or if its a camera/light thingee ...

actually.. i cant really focus on any of the puckering ... and hitting the link doesnt get me a bigger pic.. or i am a dullard this morn ...


    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 10:27AM
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And, here is a picture of Red Dragon, which may have some cold damage, not sure about this.

Can you tell anything from this picture? Or do I need closeups of both the above plants?

Your advice is always appreciated.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 10:28AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

ya know .. only chris can answer ... as he and i have spent a decade arguing about cold damage versus virus ...

i might suggest.. that you at least await a new leaf .. to rule out the cold damage issue ...


ps: the heck with RD.. whats the streaker next to it... ???

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 10:32AM
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Ah yes. Ken, the streaker next to Red Dragon is SWEET STANDARD. Isn't it a beaut? Looks better this year than before, the streaks are very pronounced. If you take a step forward or backward or left or right in my garden, you will find yourself viewing FRAGRANT HOSTA. They are everywhere.

Thanks for your response. I will be sure to take better pictures and all, but not sure the changes to Flickr will allow bigger pictures any more.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 10:38AM
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Here is the whole Sweet Standard. Not adding many eyes, perhaps a change of pots will help keep the crown in better shape, because most fragrants grow with vigor. I've had this one since 2012 and it is always nicely streaked, just not a vigorous grower.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 10:52AM
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It looks like early weather damage to me but I'd watch them through the summer.

Here are a couple I was worried about several years ago. They definitely looked odd to me and I watched them like a hawk. The later leaves were just fine and they have stayed fine in the years since. I think HVX becomes more obvious as the season progresses - doesn't get less.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 11:05AM
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McTavish, your pictures appear to be the same sort of ....distortion I guess is a good word....that I was seeing with my Holy Mole too. Good grief, if that is not a virus then I should have kept one of my hosta from last year that I threw out.

It occurred to me that I may be destined for a hosta garden of immature plants....if I cannot tell a natural maturing plant from a virused one. Now wouldn't that be a painful state! I'm thinking this year I'll have some which will be showing mature leaves...which I've never had....and I wouldn't know the difference. How distressing.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 11:13AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

if that is not a virus then I should have kept one of my hosta from last year that I threw out.

==>>> i remember that ... this year.. if you get the throwing bug.. throw them in a box and send them to me. .. lol ...

this is how i understand it works ...

the cold.. SOMETIMES ...damages individual cells ... not the whole leaf ... and not enough damage.. to make them brown and dry ... [and its usually on the leaf that is wrapping the younger interior leaves .... and by second flush.. they are the ones near touching the ground .. as the new ones pop up the center ...]

so as the unaffected parts continue to grow and extend.. the damaged parts dont ... or are slower.... so what do you get.. puckering... i suppose its sorta like the drawstring effect where the white edge doesnt grow as fast as the green center ....

or its virus ... lol ...

but doesnt it seem ridiculously coincidental ... that it is all the first leaves of the year.. the first ones to pop out when its cold???? .. and that is why i would wait to see what the second flush looks like...

sure wouldnt hurt to isolate them ....

or its virus.. lol ..


    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 11:51AM
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hosta_freak(z6 NC)

Personally,I don't see anything with either hosta. You should see some of mine from this spring;some leaves are really distorted.but,I know from past experience that they will get better when the new leaves emerge. Phil

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 2:15PM
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bkay2000(8a TX)

Mocc, mine look worse. A few look really bad. It has to be the cold, though. Some of these were new last fall, so could have a disease. Others, I've had for years and others are somewhere in between. They aren't close to each other, so it's unlikely they caught a disease and it spread. The damaged ones have nothing in common. They came from different sources, at different times and are across the way from each other.

It seems the worst damage was on those that had no pips showing. Sugar and Cream is probably one of the worst damaged, and it had nothing showing on that 16 degree morning. I've included a photo of how it looked last year on March 16. None of these had any pips showing, except Guacamole, which was put under sheets in the shed.

Fortunately, many are already covering up the ugly leaves.

Dancing Queen - New Last Year (Walter's start)

Hyacinthia (?) 15 or so years old

HOney Bells - New last fall from Green Mountain

Sugar and Cream 3rd year from a local nursery

Sugar and Cream March 16, 2013

Guacamole 5 years old at least

Sum and Substance 5 years old, at least

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 4:58PM
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I don't think it looks virused, Mocc. (Holy Mole). Of course, I use my very 'UN-expert' eyes to make that statement. 'Red Dragon' even less so. THAT one really looks like it was cold-nipped to me.

Your 'Sweet Standard' looks fantastic! I have one on order from Sebright. Can't wait, can't wait.

I assume you're feeling a lot better than 1-2 weeks ago. Glad for that.

Don B.

P.S. Was your jaunt to Iowa a 'practice run' for the National AHS Convention this summer? : )

This post was edited by Don_in_Colorado on Thu, Apr 3, 14 at 18:13

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 5:43PM
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Steve Massachusetts Zone 5b

That all looks like cold damage to me. Fragrants are more susceptible than others to damage from cold temperatures. I do agree with Ken that you need to post leaf close ups for us old people on the forum.


    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 6:54PM
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Yep, and thank you Ken. It sounds like a plan I can live with to me. I can isolate the two mentioned and any others which might turn up. It is doing nothing that makes me crazy.

And as I look at the other leaf samples with distortions, I may have sent my Fried Bananas to an early grave for nothing. It was early in the season, and it was fully leafed out when THAT showed up, and me being paranoid about virus, I jumped the gun. It was a regrettable mistake, apparently, but I'm learning.

Thanks for all the sample pictures. Glad I asked about NORMAL.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 9:32PM
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I don't know, Mocc, you may very well have been on target with your 'Fried Bananas'. I admit, I saw those pics of your FB a long time ago, but from what I remember, it's leaves looked kinda spooky, kinda 'yuck', (don't you love my technical jargon?) unlike pictures I'm seeing on this here thread. Even if you did jump the gun, like you said, you (and a lot of us, as well) are learning.

Don B.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 9:41PM
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BKay, I sure appreciate your pictures. Worth more than 1000 words. I'm saving it and if you do not mind, downloading the photos with your name on them?

Don, I sure do miss my big fine gold Fried Bananas though. I'd had it since 2011, and at first I thought it was showing signs of maturity. My delight turned to alarm, and out it went.

This time, I can play much cooler than that, at least I know how to keep the usual suspects isolated. With tool sterilization at the top of the list of reminders.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 9:57PM
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Aarrgghh! Leaf closeups is on the TO DO list.
Hard for me to lean over that low, and knees don't work too good either. When it comes to "old people", I out rank both of you whippersnappers! ;)

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 10:02PM
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bkay2000(8a TX)

You're welcome to the photos.


    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 10:34PM
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mary4b(4b WI)

What your Holy Moly is showing, I often see on my Guacamole. I've noticed my Guac's pips seem to get twisted looking while unfurling, and then the leaves have that same look as your Holy Moly's "9 o'clock" leaf. Later leaves look fine though and cover up the early ones. It happens every year, so I've quit worrying about virus and have decided it's an unfurling issue with this particular plant. Maybe it's "all in the family?"

    Bookmark   April 4, 2014 at 11:06AM
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bernd ny zone5

I would also not be alarmed with that Holy Mole, probably cold damage. In the Hosta Library are photos of HM with similar looking leaves, take a look. Also since you are buying very new hostas (not Holy M), some of them have even nothing yet in the Hosta Library, you will not know how that hosta will look when mature. Bernd

    Bookmark   April 5, 2014 at 7:18PM
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You make a valid point there, Bernd. In fact, the Hosta Library accepted some of my photos of new hosta as sort of interim since no mature plant pictures were offered to them.

I have another hosta with damaged leaves to share. It was not beneath the sasanqua protection, so it caught the effects of the cold after I up tipped its pot about 3 weeks ago. Now I see its damage.

None Lovelier....and it was looking so GOOD this year!
Emerging mid March 2014

and this week the results

cold damage I presume, but it is isolated now.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2014 at 7:30PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

email chris... and give him the link to this post.. and beg his opinion ...

make it easy for him


    Bookmark   April 5, 2014 at 7:32PM
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Okay, I sent an email to Chris at Hallson. Thru their form.
And here is another fragrant, my replacement for the Fried Bananas I lost LAST year. Now this......

Oh mercy, I'm not ready for it to be my beloved Fried Bananas! Say it isn't a virus!

    Bookmark   April 6, 2014 at 10:34PM
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From what I can see I'd also say cold damage. Eyes that are swelling to start to unfurl that then get frosted or frozen can crinkle up and cause leaves like this. Some of the pots might be too dry also or getting too root bound. In pots you probably need to repot every couple years, 3 at the most, to keep them moving along.

If you see more issues with the next couple flushes of foliage then post closeups.


    Bookmark   April 7, 2014 at 12:48AM
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mary4b(4b WI)

Mocc...that IS heartbreaking, and they are so pretty without that damage.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2014 at 11:34PM
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I'm beginning to take my claws out of the ceiling where I jumped when the word VIRUS came into my brain. OH NO!!!

But now it seems the latest group of plants received DORMANT from Hallson and Green Mt are emerging perfectly fine. I have 3 Guacamole from Chris, and 3 plantaginea, all of which are now emerging in warmer weather with no problem. Even the big Avocado showed some cold burn and the heavy rains earlier in the week washed the damaged parts away. So now the leaves have the centers gone on only the damaged portions. I think it is time to see about taking a few of them away.

Mary, thanks for the note. It isn't bad damage. We don't get so icy cold like your zone does. I'd say less than 10% show any kind of damage from cold. MY damage came from too much rain and too poor drainage during dormancy. Plus squirrels.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2014 at 11:48PM
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josephines123 z5 ON Canada

When I look at cold damaged leaves I see a leaf "cringing" when the cold hits it ... kind of like us turning our shoulders inward to huddle against the cold. Considering the reputable sources where your hosta come from, Mocc virus is the last suspect on the list IMO. :-). Not saying its impossible, just not as probable.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2014 at 8:49AM
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