bkay2000(8a TX)June 21, 2012

Well, anthracnose isn't enough for me this week. I think I have nematodes on my Wide Brim. This is the first time I've seen anything that resembles them. Since I only grow in pots, I wonder how I got this bug. It's not likely to spread to other pots, is it? I don't think I'm going to do the hot water thing. I don't care for this plant that much. Is there any other option for treatment?

Not a good hosta week.


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Yes, there is another alternative. Home remedy style.
Of course, I recommend wearing long gloves and high boots or something to protect your skin from splashing the potent brew on your skin, because I ended up with contact dermatitis on my wrists and on my ankles and knees.

I am not the originator of the treatment, but it seems to have worked. Surprisingly enough, it did not kill the plants, and they are beginning to sprout back out. I will let the person who created the treatment tell you how to do it, since I'm not that good at repeating thing verbatim.

I had two plantaginea and 1 Lakeside Kaleidoscope which came down with foliar nematodes. I got rid of the potting mix, into the trash. The pots they had lived in were soaked in the compound too, and then left in the sun to bake...which they are still doing, by the way, more than a month later. I wore latex gloves. I cut off all the grubby leaves, I ran the water hose on the roots to get rid of all the soil, and I did this out by the street so it would wash into the storm drain. The roots were lovely looking then, nothing wrong with them. So I then set the bare rooted plants into the mixture.

I remember this part of it very well. I did the 20% bleach...2 parts bleach to 10 parts water. Immersed for a good 30 minutes (that part of it is not too clear though).
I did not rinse the bleach off after I pulled them out of the mix. I then put them in a new pot with new dirt, and kept them from touching any other plants.

It can come from your soil, splashing up on your containers, or from overhead watering. The nem is in the soil but when water is available it will migrate up the petioles and to the leaves via the water droplets. I've been very careful not to water with a sprinkler since this happened, but we had all that rain a week ago, and I expect to see a few more outbreaks of it. You can look in the thread where it was diagnosed for me, and I think it will be of use to you. Let me see if I can round it up, I'll post back when I find it, okay?

    Bookmark   June 21, 2012 at 7:27PM
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BKay, I bumped one of the threads up. There is another one, fairly recent as well. I did a quick search and found several hits, so they are going to be quickly available.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2012 at 7:31PM
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Steve Massachusetts Zone 5b

You could do the heat treatment. Put the entire thing in 123 degree water for 10 minutes and then into cold water right after that. Then replant in new soil new pot.

Moccasin where did you get that bleach treatment from? I wouldn't count on that being 100% effective if I were you. Once those guys are inside the leaves and inside the crown not much will kill them. There are no nematicides available to home gardeners.

Yes they can spread to other Hostas in pots through overhead watering, or rain splashing. If you're not crazy about the Hosta just throw the whole thing into the trash. That's the easiest treatment.


    Bookmark   June 21, 2012 at 8:51PM
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This thread reminds me of my 'slug saga' about 5 years ago.

We were called out of town for a sudden, unexpected family funeral right in the heart of slug season, and while we were absent there was plentiful rain.

We returned to swiss cheese hosta and it ANNOYED me.

I ran to the little general store down the road and bought a bunch of beer and little party plastic cups and served it up.

Holy moly, did that ever work. However, it was impractical on a long term basis, to try to find, empty, clean, and refill all those beer cups. Just way too many hostas in way too much area to try to keep up with that.

Anyway, after a winter of studying, we now use a metaldahyde based poison, but that's another whole thread.

Now more on topic, nems. At a visit to the now President of the AHS's gardens, he commented that regarding nems, it was not if but when you'd have them. He had a 'systemic' granules product to control them.

The problem now is that 'we the people' cannot purchase such a product without being some sort of 'licensed' applicator.

I cannot recount how many hours I've spent scouring the internet trying to find a way to do so.

As far as I can tell, the only way to 'git 'er done' is to have a friend in another country obtain some and ship it here with ambiguous labeling.

I guess I'm not willing to ask a friend to do that, so am stuck. Darn.

I've even been in contact with AHS biggies requesting they 'attack' this problem with the vigor they've gone after HVX.

Time will tell, perhaps, hopefully.

At least we're not in the Pacific NW where they get slugs a foot long, yay!



    Bookmark   June 21, 2012 at 9:47PM
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bkay2000(8a TX)

I'm going to throw away the Wide Brim. I'm still debating throwing away the Blue Angel infected with anthracnose. I don't think it would be hard to contain if this one plant was gone. Apparently, BA is particularly vulnerable. I found one spot on Guacamole and maybe some little spots on Blue Cadet which is new this year. Even after three years of having this infected plant, there's almost no evidence that it has spread much past BA.

I grow hosta because they are pretty and easy. I've never had much problem with them before. If growing hosta in Texas is going to turn into a constant battle with chemicals, I may want to re-think my obscession.


    Bookmark   June 22, 2012 at 10:44AM
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Pieter zone 7/8 B.C.

I have successfully used the bleach bath to eliminate foliar nematodes. There's an older thread here that talks about homemade concoctions, there's an interesting article re-posted by hey_j about 3/4s down the post.

I encountered nems again last year in a 'Maui Buttercups' that was planted in one of my raised planters. Since I had more than one, this one was tossed and the hole it left was filled with about 2 gallons of boiling water.


Here is a link that might be useful: Foliar nematodes in my hostas

    Bookmark   June 22, 2012 at 11:31AM
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Steve Massachusetts Zone 5b

Thanks Pieter. That's an interesting story and a good read. What is tricky about killing nems is that they hide not only inside the leaves but also in the crown. The only treatment that I know is 100% effective is the Heat treatment. But you certainly got good results with your bleach treatment as well. It's good to know there's another alternative.


    Bookmark   June 22, 2012 at 11:59AM
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bkay2000(8a TX)

I'm considering the idea of treating with the bleach solution. I've only bare-rooted one hosta this time of year and most all of it died. So, I'm concerned about doing this in the heat. It's already close to 100 degrees here.

I see how to dispose of the dirt I remove with my hands, as I can just put it in the trash can. How do you dispose of the dirt you wash off the roots. Isn't that just going to spread nematodes everywhere?


    Bookmark   June 22, 2012 at 2:38PM
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Babka NorCal 9b

In the toilet!!!! Years ago a small group of hosta nuts, attending a convention or something, purchased an expensive, hard to find hosta. They wished to divide it so that each person would get a bit of it. But, they were staying in hotel rooms. They wiggled it around in the toilet bowl to get all the dirt off w/o damaging the roots. There was a short video of them...wish I could find it.

Have fun!


    Bookmark   June 22, 2012 at 3:22PM
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Babka NorCal 9b

Or...with a gentle hose on the driveway in the sun where your God-awful heat will fry those neems.


    Bookmark   June 22, 2012 at 3:25PM
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Steve Massachusetts Zone 5b

Or uphill of an unfriendly neighbor's yard.


    Bookmark   June 22, 2012 at 3:47PM
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