HVX.... Forbidden Fruit

bkay2000(8a TX)May 11, 2012

I saw some HVX infected Forbidden Fruit at Lowes yesterday. Talked to the asst. manager. He said all the right things. Best guess, it's one of the local growers who bought TC's from a broker with no knowledge of their origin. That seems to be the pattern.


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It is a sad story oft to be repeated, I'm afraid. Too bad they are ruining a lovely new hosta. I got it and love it, related to Orange Marmalade. Such tales strike fear into my tender heart.

Meanwhile on the home front with HVX, I keep looking for signs of HVX in the three in-ground hosta. Don'tcha kno, I think those (my originals with one summer and a whole winter in their spots) look absolutely beautiful? The Blue Angel, didn't know it could look that good. Then the Winter Snow as well, with its nice white margins and a soft green all fresh and new looking. Two leaves have more white streaks on them, but I'm not touching anything to see if they are sporting out of the same eye. Then, the sweet little innocent victim in this fiasco is my first Fragrant Queen, with the misfortune to be planted near the two Lowes hosta.

I do not know if it will be wise to Round-Up all three just before they go dormant or what. Perhaps they WON'T develop HVX. But the chances of some accident happening (like the wind blowing a piece of Esther's plant onto another clean hosta) is something I best keep in mind. Better safe than sorry.

One rotten apple can spoil the whole barrel, so they say.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 10:37PM
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You can always buy a $5.00 HVX test for a Lowes $4.00 hosta if you get tired of the waiting and not knowing.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 10:43PM
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bkay2000(8a TX)

That's an idea. I have several noids I bought at Lowe's last year and I keep staring and wondering. A test might be worth it.


    Bookmark   May 12, 2012 at 9:14AM
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bkay2000(8a TX)

I went by that Lowe's today and every hosta is gone! They probably had 200 on Thursday. Every single hosta is gone and that space is empty.

Maybe we can make a difference on the HVX problem.


    Bookmark   May 14, 2012 at 6:51PM
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Frank, do you get the results of the tests instantly? Or, do you have to mail them off and wait for results? I was under the impression that it could cost a lot more than $5--that was the test kit price but that price did not include the test results.

Just wondering. I sure would like to know about my three pretty babies. I could stand some good news now.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2012 at 8:07PM
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Steve Massachusetts Zone 5b

I'm surprised you haven't seen this thread yet. I thought you had read the entire forum several times over.


Here is a link that might be useful: Testing Positive

    Bookmark   May 14, 2012 at 8:12PM
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The test processes right in front of you. I haven't used them but I did read the instructions for the test on the Agida website.

At the link below click on "User Guide" on the right side. You have to order the test that includes the Sample bag with SEB1 buffer. They come out to a little over $6.00 per test if you buy the 5 pack. I don't know about their shipping.

Here is a link that might be useful: Agida HVX test strips

    Bookmark   May 14, 2012 at 8:16PM
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bkay2000(8a TX)

On first look, the website implies you have to buy a hundred-something dollars of test kits. What I didn't notice, is that it's a pull down menu, so you can order 5, which is now about $30.00. Generally these kinds of tests, you grind up your specimen and put it in the test lisquid, then the liquid/stick turns aome color and it's positive or negative. It's pretty straight forward.


    Bookmark   May 14, 2012 at 10:10PM
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The tests are really easy . . . just as bkay described. One neat feature is that there are two indicator lines. The top one simply means the test worked; the bottom one (which appears a little later -- maybe 5 minutes after the first one) says whether it's HVX, so if only one line appears after 15 minutes, you don't have HVX. I used too big a sample when I first tested and even the first line didn't appear. You should use a sample that's about the size of a quarter or maybe half-dollar. It's definitely worth the investment! N

    Bookmark   May 15, 2012 at 6:58AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

why would you spend 6 bucks on a strip test.. to buy a 5 dollar hosta at bigboxstore..

wouldnt it be so much simpler to JUST BUY FROM CERTIFIED VENDORS???

ya know.. if we dont support the good guys.. they will all go out of business.. and sooner or later.. all we will have ts BBStores ...

i dont understand.. after the thousands of posts.. we have to go thru this repeatedly ..

fine.. walk thru BBS.. fine.. look at hosta.. AND JUST KEEP WALKING BY.. to the other plants ..

crimminey ..


    Bookmark   May 15, 2012 at 7:45AM
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Bkay, When you see these plants you think have HVX could you please post a picture. I have Forbidden Fruit and it has a kind of unusual effect in the areas around color changes. It is almost like if you were painting with watercolors and added a little water to thin it down. There is no tissue collapse. My plant came from Naylor Creek. I am also surprised that that plant would be at Lowes.It has only been out for a few years. It is a Marco Fransen plant. I think he is in Denmark. If he is connected with a broker selling to Lowes he has gone very big time volume. The fact remains that no one is safe from HVX and most of the plants being retailed all start out at just a handful of growers. Van Wade told me about a wholesaler in Florida that sells 250,000 gallon pots of hosta every year to the big box stores that get mentioned the most. They grow them in pots. If they are the source they would have to be recycling soil which is not likely at a large commercial operation like that. I do not think they divide or ever split a plant into divisions.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2012 at 8:48AM
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bkay2000(8a TX)

I"m sorry, I didn't have my camera with me.

There was also a diseased Francee, which I didn't mention. I have no clue what it had. It was almost like mold on the leaf. The Forbidden Fruit was the first HVX I've seen in real life. It looked just like the pictures. It had the dark green ink bleed. The center was really light, so the HVX stood out like a sore thumb.

It may not have actually have been FF. It might have been Orange Marmadade. That's what I thought it was. I've bought 6 hosta from Lowe's over the last year. Three have been mislabeled. If I am guessing correctly, they came from Tri-B nursery of Hubert, Oklahoma. They were putting out some nice varieties of hosta, like Dream Queen, Great Expectations, Paul's Glory, etc. Most of the Lowe's here are carrying the really old standards out of Seville Farms, a suburban grower. Seville Farms told me they have no clue where they get their TC's. They buy them from a broker.

Ken, yes, I understand your point of view. However, as a small business person, I have to say that's the nature of the beast. Small business persons develop a market, and the bigger businesses move in with a lower per item overhead. You can't change that. 30 years ago in my business, there were bakeries, caterers, delis and butchers. Now, that's all in your local Walmart. There aren't any family shoe stores anymore as there are no family grocery stores. Still, a few of those small businesses survive. They have to be good, though. They also have to offer what the big stores can't. You can't just say, "Pay me twice as much for the same item because I'm a small business person."

Another side of that coin is price and instant gratification. I ordered 2 hosta from a small business person last week. With shipping, they were about $52.00. They weren't all that exotic, either. I have to wait at least a week before they get here and they might fry in the mail truck if we have a hot day.

Even if I spend $6.00 on a test strip for my $5.00 hosta, I come out way ahead. I also get a nice sized hosta with multiple eyes, which I won't get from the mail order grower. Were I growing in the ground, I would be more careful. I grow in pots, however, so a diseased hosta is not as bad for me as others. All I have to worry about is cutting scapes and disposing of the soil when I repot.


    Bookmark   May 15, 2012 at 11:18AM
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