My first HVX scare

gabbygardnerJune 26, 2012

Okay, so do I need to start freaking out????

First plant I suspect...

and the second....

We had a lot of Spring frost and I have moved these to where they get afternoon sun for an hour or two. I was hoping at first that was the issue, but I am doubtful now that I am going to get away without at least the worry of the virus.




Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Steve Massachusetts Zone 5b

Where did these plants come from?

The first plant looks like HVX to me. I can't tell about the second one. It's better if you take the pics when the plants are not in direct sunlight, so that you don't get that shine off of the leaves.


    Bookmark   June 26, 2012 at 10:27AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Eleven(Metro Detroit 6A)

I agree that the first one looks like HVX.

The second is hard to tell, because it looks like it has some frost damage from earlier this year.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2012 at 10:34AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

It was actually before the sun was up this morning, but I had just finished watering, so the glare is from that.

I got them from the local nursery. They are 2 or 3 years old. What a bummer, I will be soooooo sad if my other plants get this.

I am really sad about this.


    Bookmark   June 26, 2012 at 10:48AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Pieter zone 7/8 B.C.

Ain't no doubt whatever that the first one is HVX infected. Not sure about the second one, the pictures are a little too glary, but, if both came from the same source and were planted at the same time it's safe to assume the 2nd one's infected as well. Pitch 'em. Both. And plant something other than a hosta in their spots.


    Bookmark   June 26, 2012 at 10:51AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Wendys_garden(5b Great Lakes)

You say that you just moved these two plants. That means their old location is an infected site also. If you planted new hostas there, they may also get infected. Both old and new sites should be considered off-limits for future hostas.

Also, sterilize your tools asap. Hopefully they weren't used on other hostas after these were moved.
I advise digging them out with a pitchfork, there's less chance of cutting into infected roots that way.


    Bookmark   June 26, 2012 at 12:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Steve Massachusetts Zone 5b

Bring em back to your local nursery. Show them what they've done to your garden and then ask who their supplier is. The Nursery probably has no idea what this is.


    Bookmark   June 26, 2012 at 12:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Im going to have to go through my records. I hope I wrote down where I moved them from. I am pretty sure I know where they both were, and I have no hosta in those beds, and no plans to put hosta back in there.

My fear is my tools. I used my shovel to move almost all of my hosta when I moved them into the new bed this Spring. I will just be sick if it is all through my garden.


    Bookmark   June 26, 2012 at 1:54PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I would suggest buying some test strips. Moccasin was really freaked out that she might have HVX. She tested and they weren't HVX positive. The way the site is set up, it looks like you have to spend $105. Just pull down the tab to buy 5, which is $32.50.

Don't buy trouble. Wait and see what happens. You can't undo what's already happened, so sanitize your tools and just wait and see. Phil has a virus infected plant that he's had for years. It hasn't spread at all.

Chris hasn't chimed in yet. The second one could be frost/freeze damage. The first one kind of looks like hvx to me, too. But I'm no expert.


Here is a link that might be useful: hosta virus x test strips

    Bookmark   June 26, 2012 at 5:08PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think we are all in agreement that the first plant is definitely HVX.

What is the second plant supposed to be? It is really hard to tell, but it wouldn't be surprising. Look closer at the newest leaves to see if anything is going on there too.

Since you moved them all this spring it would be hard to know if this infection was already there or if you infected it this spring. While some plants take a long time to show infection others can show it a lot faster. Unfortunately some plants never show any signs of infection but will carry HVX, so that's why it is so important to wash your shovel off between each plant when moving lots of things.

I agree that at this point you might want to invest in some test kits. You can take small pieces of three plants together and test them in one kit. This way if you get a negative you know all of those plants are okay for the time being. If you get a positive, though, you won't know which one it is for certain and will have to retest them all.

How many plants did you move?

A couple new pictures of the second one when it is dry, along with a picture of the back of the leaf can help us to tell better if it is frost or HVX.

Don't worry too much - these things happen and you are certainly not the first person (nor the last) to deal with it.


    Bookmark   June 26, 2012 at 5:28PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks everyone. I will get some test kits ordered right away. I think I will start keeping my tools in a bucket of bleach water between all uses.

I appreciate the help, hopefully my update will bring good news;)


    Bookmark   June 26, 2012 at 7:39PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
weekendweeder(5A NY)

Oh, Gabby, I just got back on the forum at the end of a long day and saw your post. Sending you lots of luck. I've watched how you built out your bed this season, and I hope that most of your plants are safe. Look forward to your update.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2012 at 10:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks for the support. I have to admit I am in a state of hosta mourning. I think I just invest myself too much in each plant, I just love them.

Chin up!


    Bookmark   June 27, 2012 at 12:01AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Gabby, I got 5 test strips from the link given above. I used only ONE test strip to do the two suspected hosta. They said a quarter sized piece of leaf to test, and I made the tissue exactly the size of the quarter, half from each plant.

You can not imagine the relief I felt when the strip came up NEGATIVE.....I had my garden back! And became more determined than ever to keep this HVX monster at bay.

I keep the other 4 test strips in the fridge, they must remain cool, and if I have another suspected of HVX, I can do a test with no hesitation. except for the first hostas I tested, the rest of my plants are all in containers. I learned to keep them far enough apart to avoid sharing nematodes and slugs and cut worms, and the advantage to that also includes not sharing HVX. Any plant not doing well, I move it aside to the ICU where I can keep an eye on it. It is not easy being constantly vigilant when you are new to hosta entirely.

I know exactly how you feel, Gabby. I think we all do. Peace be with you.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2012 at 12:27AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I don't see any break down in the tissue? Am I just not educated enough on this subject to know what I'm looking for?

So sorry for your anxiety and stress. I can only imagine how you must be feeling. I am the same way with my hosta as well. Just like my pets, they are part of my family.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2012 at 3:04AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Yes, it's sounds like you all do know how I feel. I walk through them each morning, when it is cool and quiet out. I just love to see the changes, the growth and check for any problems.

They are like my babies. I really appreciate all the help from each of you, and the understanding.

Have a great day all!! I will let you all know what happens.


    Bookmark   June 27, 2012 at 2:28PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

A bucket of bleach water won't be enough to neutralize HVX on your shovel. A dip in bleach is completely ineffective, I'm afraid, plus bleach evaporates very quickly out of water left uncovered, so you would have to make fresh all the time even if it did work. Dirt also neutralizes bleach quickly, so a dirty shovel would never disinfect in bleach.

The only way to neutralize HVX on your tools is to scrub off all of the dirt, debris, and plant sap, so you need a surface cleaner and need to wipe it down. You want to spray off the dirt, wipe using a household cleaner, then air dry for the best effectiveness. Personally I use foaming lysol cleaner and disinfecting wipes, so I spray off all the dirt with water, spray the tool thoroughly with the foaming lysol, and then I follow that up by wiping off with a disinfecting wipe that contains lysol and alcohol (the alcohol speeds up the drying process). If there was a lot of dirt left I'll rinse again and wipe one more time with a disinfecting wipe.

Hope that helps some more.


    Bookmark   June 27, 2012 at 8:11PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Oh, thank you so much. I don't know how I decided that was what I was supposed to do, but I am so happy you set me straight;)

Thanks a million. I can't wait for my test strips to get here!!! I am not a very patient person, so this is a good test for me. The plants are pretty far apart, so I am not going to touch anything until they get here.

Again, thank you!!!!!!


    Bookmark   June 27, 2012 at 9:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
bernd ny zone5(5)

Thanks bkay to mention that 5 strips only may be bought! I just ordered the 5 strips, have two plants which look like virus infected, but might be HVX. Otherwise I have sprayed Roundup on infected plants, virus I thought, waited until leaves were all dried up, then removed all soil in that hole and found roots still living. So I am very interested to see if my plants have HVX.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2012 at 7:51AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Bernd- looks like we are both playing the waiting game. I hope yours turns out well!! I hate the thought of getting rid of them after I have babied them all so long to get where they are:)

Good luck!!


    Bookmark   June 28, 2012 at 5:04PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Hosta Trek fans … we lost Mr. Spock
May he live long and prosper in the garden … Miss...
bragu_DSM 5
Anyone wanna do Leaf shots? Hosta 'Dream Queen'
Who needs slo-poke 'Thunderbolt'? fwiw, hh
Zinc plant markers
Is this what everyone is using? I saw 100 for sale...
is there a bacon forum .....?????
if there is.. i should have looked .. lol if there...
ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5
Here we go again !
I seem to recall that about this time last year I posted...
tiddisolo z8 Wales UK
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™