submit pix of water stressed hosta

ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5July 26, 2014

it start with individual leaves yellowing.. and can end up the whole plant...

it usually starts with the oldest leaves ... which by this time of year.. are the outer most ones.. near the ground ...

i figure this might be a good lesson for newbs.. so when they see it ... they can water ...

pix please ...


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santamiller(8b TX)

As a semi-newbie and just to clarifyâ¦ are saying that under-watering causes yellowing of leaves? I wasn't 100% that your "water stressed" wording meant over or under, but when you said "you can water" I assume you mean under-watering.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 9:51AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

yes ... and in fact.. they can go totally dormant in really bad drought .. and that isnt good.. when they are supposed to be storing energy for next year ...

and it has a very defined LOOK ... and when you see the first leaves doing such .... you can add water ...


    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 10:11AM
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jadie88(7 MD)

Ken, this is a great thread.

I have been on vacation for much of this summer (yay!), so much of my garden has had to fend for itself (boo). The beds that are off the irrigation lines still look great, bu i have wondered if staying on the dry side will set them back for next season. I look forward to learning more on this!

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 10:15AM
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santamiller(8b TX)

Is it possible to overwater hosta (other than drowning them) in the hot part of the summer? If so what are the signs of that? I agree, this is a great thread.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 10:21AM
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luckyladyslipper(MA 5b-6a)

Though I have had hostas for decades, I feel almost like a newbie, so I really am interested in hearing what Ken has to say on this subject.

I have always taken the attitude that unless I have just planted somebody or we're in the middle of a drought (which I think we may actually be right now), I don't water. For the most part, my plants seem to thrive.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 11:17AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

santa.. in your zone.. southern blight is an issue... start a new post if you wish info on that .... use a searchable title ....

and i dont know a lot about it ... but a stressed plant.. is a stressed plant.. and carp happens to stressed plants ...

drowning a hosta.. would be a drainage issue... they are not aquatics ... but short of trying to grow them in a bog ... too much water cant be bad ...

lets see if google images can get me some pix .. see link

our friend josh has an article here .. perhaps someone can convert it to a live link:


Here is a link that might be useful: 5th pic.. partially gone .. 6th pic.. near drought dormancy ...

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 11:26AM
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I always thought yellow leaves were the result of over watering. No?? Duh!


    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 11:30AM
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I have one which has gone heat dormant. It was getting water, but with its lighter substance it just could not take it.

It is Bibb Lettuce, a gold from Stuart Asch, not generally available probably due to its wimpy substance. It is a beaut, and I've had it since 2012, but this year it decided to go heat dormant. I'll show it below.

However, with Santa's question about "too much water", yes it can have too much water but it is a matter of drainage. Good drainage does not let the plant have too much. Then, if the AIR CIRCULATION is poor, and the soil stays too wet, you can come down with SOUTHERN BLIGHT, a big bugaboo in more parts of the country than the south, but they call it something different. The petioles simply flop over dead from the bottom up. You can pluck them like a killed chicken away from the crown. With this, there are several things to do, mostly give it air and remove the orange spores like Osmocote balls you find in the pot. This "blight" afflicts more than hosta. It also attacked my DH's veggie garden where he planted them too close and the air was stagnant. I've come (wrightly or wrongly) to believe the air circulation can help a lot of things.

Note: I had this all typed ready to go when the power went off. However, it retained this amount of my comments, I'll add the picture of Bibb Lettuce which is now heat dormant, so the pot is empty below. This is what it looked like before that happened. It started with too much heat for it, it had okay drainage, did not succumb to southern blight. But, as Ken said, it is a problem encountered in the south with more than just hosta. Best to discuss it at length elsewhere in its own thread. There are already several threads about it. Do a search.

About midJune this year, Bibb Lettuce started to look bad, and it wound up heat dormant in July. So far the only one to go down for the count. Of course, it could revive later in the season when the heat breaks, and go for another couple of months say until late November. It is a survival strategy for hosta, heat dormancy. Preserving what resources it has.

GREAT topic. I'm viewing the hosta in drought images with great interest. Thanks for starting this thread, Ken. It is worthy of the FAQ list.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 1:34PM
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santamiller(8b TX)

I've seem some discussion about Southern blight before. So far I haven't had an issue with that. I'll do some more reading on the subject. When I asked about hostas getting too much water I should have been more specific that in my case they are all potted, so while the media can be really wet it isn't like it would be sitting in a bog of mud. Like D-Donna said, I have always connected yellow leaves with too much water, not too little. With our temps in the mid 90s to low 100s most days from now until mid-Sept I don't think even daily watering would cause my pot media to stay overly wet, but they are certainly still damp the next day. I've sometimes wondered if I am overwatering but I've shown no ill signs from it. Whether I water daily or skip a day I have seen no difference in plant health above the surface, but have wondered what might be happening under the surface.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 2:31PM
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Here's a drought stressed Vulcan (I thought Vulcans could handle heat and drought - Sock could!)

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 2:53PM
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zkathy(7a NC)

Rhino Hide. I'm working on irrigation today and will start a new thread about it soon.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 4:01PM
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