More HVX questiions (pics)

anniegolden(z7a)May 3, 2012

I am now fairly certain that I have 6 infected plants. Many many thanks to those of you on this forum for getting out the word on HVX.

2 Junes are definitely infected.

June plant #1

June plant #2

Golden Tiara plant #1

Golden Tiara plant #2

Golden Tiara plant #3


The only one I'm not sure of is the last one (Guacamole), but that sure looks like ink bleed to me.

One final question. I have been avoiding digging anywhere in the vicinity of these 6 plants (normally I would be planting annuals in all the bare spots). Is this being overly cautious?

Thank you.


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You should wait a week and re-examine the leaves. If the colors of the damaged areas lighten up to a light tan or whitish color then it is just frost damage. If it stays dark green then I would say HVX.

With the way the weather has been this Spring, most of us have some degree of frost damage. When new leaves appear on the plants and they look normal, it will be another affirmation that it was just frost damage.

Digging around an infected hosta can be bad. Especially if you do not sanitize your tools. After removing an HVX infected hosta, you cannot plant another hosta in that spot for years as the virus lives in the broken roots of the removed hosta that are still in the ground.

It is good to be aware of HVX, learn about it and keep your eyes open. If you don't know something, just ask. But don't spend every waking hour being stressed out about it or you will remove much of the joy that is hosta. Not every bump or blemish will be HVX. Time will tell.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 10:07AM
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Pieter zone 7/8 B.C.

The 'June' and 'Guacamole' definitely are HVX infected, the 'Golden Tiara' looks to have a virus infection and a bit of cold damage as well. Remove them ALL, do NOT compost them but toss them in the municipal waste or burn them. For the time being plant something other than a hosta in those empty spots, like perhaps heucheras or bleeding hearts.


    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 10:24AM
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If I have room for them, if I have to dig up a hosta like that I usually replace it with a hellebore, if it is a big one, smaller ones with a heuchera or fern leaf bleeding heart. Or ferns, I don't think you can ever have too many ferns. Astilbes make good replacements too. Just a few suggestions.


    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 10:58AM
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Thank you franknjim, Pieter and Sandy for your comments and suggestions. Sandy, I see more Heuchera, Astilbe and Ferns in my future. I have my eye on that Drum and Bass Astilbe over at Hallson's. From a size standpoint it would be just right to replace all the ailing ones except Guacamole, which in its second year is already large.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 11:44AM
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How awful, Im so sorry this has affected you and that such a wonderful hobby is so set back by this issue.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 1:31PM
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irawon(5a Ottawa)

Anniegolden, i feel your pain. I had to throw out 7 HVX infected 'Blue Cadet' in my first year of hosta gardening. I haven't had the heart to replace that one. If its any conselation your infected hostas are fast growers.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 4:31PM
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Yes, they are all HVX infected. Those are the HVX symptoms for each of them. :(

    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 6:33PM
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hostared(Z5, IL)

Ditto to what Chris said...All.
Where were they purchased or given to you?

    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 7:20PM
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Purchased from the garden center where I used to work. Sad, none of us ever heard of this problem.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 7:37PM
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sandyslopes z5 n. UT

Sorry you're having to deal with this in your gardens. They should be our place to de-stress, not the opposite. You're doing a good thing to show others what to look for. My wish for you is all new hosta (and your remaining ones) will all be healthy and long lived.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2012 at 3:09AM
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bernd ny zone5

There are some rules how to remove the infected hostas and not to replant in that area for a while. Any tool you use with these plants needs to be cleaned correctly. Do not compost the plants, put them into the garbage.

The Hosta Library, Hosta Virus X, states :
Contact of the infected plant's sap with sap of a healthy plant will infect the new plant. This can happen whenever cuts are made and the instruments or hands are not disinfected afterwards. Dividing hostas, removing bloom scapes, removing leaves, stepping on them, even accidentally running the lawnmower over them can and will spread this virus. It survives only in living plant tissue and dies without a host. Plants in pots may be simply disposed of or burned. Plants in the ground should be dug carefully as to get as many roots as possible, and the spot should not be replanted until any remaining roots have died and rotted away.
Google for other information.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2012 at 10:25AM
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Again, thank you all for your sympathy and expertise. I now consider myself to be moderately well-educated in this matter.

So, now I will have room for more Heuchera and Astilbe! Let the purchasing begin...

    Bookmark   May 4, 2012 at 3:29PM
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